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Sleeps role in the consolidation of emotional episodic memories by payne and kensinger

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This study connects emotion, sleeping, and memory and focuses on emotion’s effect on memory consolidation.
Sleep cannot be separated from neuronal activities. Medial temporal regions, including amygdala and hippocampus, are more active during REM sleep than during wakeful time. REM-rich sleep also associates with cortisol increases. Researchers found that sleep plays a role in processing memory for emotional experiences.
A full night of sleep preferentially improves memory accuracy for recognition of negatively arousing pictures relevant to an equivalent period of daytime wakefulness (Payne & Kensinger, 2010). However, they also sometimes found sleep can transform memories in ways that render memories less precise in some ways but more helpful as well as adaptive, in the long run.
Emotionally salient aspects of information can be selectively remembered over less salient, neutral aspects (Payne & Kensinger, 2010). They finally conducted an experiment and suggested that sleep can change the quality of emotional memories. For example, sleep mediates consolidation process of a negative emotional experience into a lasting memory trace while permitting the fewer emotional features to deteriorate (Payne & Kensinger, 2010). Also, details of emotional experiences continue to be altered when time passes and are fundamentally influenced by sleep-based consolidation processes (Payne & Kensinger, 2010).
Payne and Kensinger studied what happened to memories in sleep. The results they obtained indicated that a person is predisposed to hang on to the main emotional component of a memory (Payne & Kensinger, 2010). For instance, if somebody sees a scene with an emotional object, like a broken car, in the forefront, he is more likely to memorize the emotional object than, for instance, the palm trees in the backdrop, particularly when he is tested after asleep in the night. They also measured brain action in sleep and established that areas of the brain implicated in memory and emotion consolidation are lively.
” In our fast-paced civilization, one of the first things to go is our sleep,” Payne asserts. ” I think that is based on a thoughtful misapprehension that the sleeping brain is not doing anything.” The brain is active. It is not merely consolidating memories but it is organizing and selecting the most prominent information. According to her, this is what makes people come up with imaginative and new ideas (Payne & Kensinger, 2010).
It is important to know how sleep-dependent consolidation processes preferentially select some information than the other, and how the sleeping brain calculates such selection. If memory functions to predict and prepare for the future as much as to recall the past, then selective consolidation effects are worthy to investigate. Some disorders, like depression and PTSD, are associated with selective negative memory bias and marked changes in REM sleep physiology (Payne & Kensinger, 2010).

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