Sleep deprivation impairs object recognition in mice

Palchykova, S., Winsky-Sommerer, R., Meerlo, P., Durr, R. & Tobler, I., 2006, In : Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 85, p. 263-271

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  • S Palchykova
  • R Winsky-Sommerer
  • P Meerlo
  • R Durr
  • Irene Tobler

Many studies in animals and humans suggest that sleep facilitates learning, memory consolidation, and retrieval. Moreover, sleep deprivation (SD) incurred after learning, impaired memory in humans, mice, rats, and hamsters. We investigated the importance of sleep and its timing in in object recognition task in OFI mice subjected to 6 h SD either immediately after the acquisition phase (0-6 SD) or 6h later (7-12 SD), and in corresponding undisturbed controls. Motor activity was continuously recorded with infrared sensors. All groups explored two familiar, previously encountered objects to it similar extent, both at the end of the acquisition phase and 24 h later during the test phase, indicating intact familiarity detection. During the test phase 0-6 SD mice failed to discriminate between the single novel and the two familiar objects. I it contrast, the 7-12 SD group and the two control groups explored the novel object significantly longer than the two familiar objects. Plasma corticosterone levels determined after SD did not differ from time-matched undisturbed controls, but were significantly below the level measured after learning alone. ACTH did not differ between the groups. Therefore, it is unlikely that stress contributed to the memory impairment. We conclude that the loss of sleep and the activities the mice engaged in during the SD, impaired recognition memory retrieval, when they Occurred immediately after acquisition. The delayed SD enabled memory consolidation during the 6 h when the mice were allowed to sleep, and had no detrimental effect on memory. Neither SD schedule impaired object familiarity processing, Suggesting that only specific cognitive abilities were sensitive to the intervention. Sleep may either actively promote memory formation, or alternatively, sleep may provide optimal conditions of non-interference for consolidation. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-271
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • sleep, sleep function, sleep deprivation, cognition, learning, memory, memory formation, memory consolidation, recognition memory, object recognition, object place recognition, exploration, stress hormones, ACTH, corticosterone, OF1 mice

ID: 1156592