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Journal Articles eLife Year : 2023

Increased cortical plasticity leads to memory interference and enhanced hippocampal-cortical interactions

Abstract

Our brain is continuously challenged by daily experiences. Thus, how to avoid systematic erasing of previously encoded memories? While it has been proposed that a dual-learning system with 'slow' learning in the cortex and 'fast' learning in the hippocampus could protect previous knowledge from interference, this has never been observed in the living organism. Here, we report that increasing plasticity via the viral-induced overexpression of RGS14414 in the prelimbic cortex leads to better one-trial memory, but that this comes at the price of increased interference in semantic-like memory. Indeed, electrophysiological recordings showed that this manipulation also resulted in shorter NonREM-sleep bouts, smaller delta-waves and decreased neuronal firing rates. In contrast, hippocampal-cortical interactions in form of theta coherence during wake and REM-sleep as well as oscillatory coupling during NonREM-sleep were enhanced. Thus, we provide the first experimental evidence for the long-standing and unproven fundamental idea that high thresholds for plasticity in the cortex protect preexisting memories and modulating these thresholds affects both memory encoding and consolidation mechanisms. Editor's evaluation This important study reveals that slow plasticity in the neocortex is essential to prevent memory interference. The method of artificially increasing plasticity in the prefrontal cortex of rats during learning and its effect on sleep physiology, when memories are believed to be reprocessed, is solid. The work will be of interest to neuroscientists interested in learning and memory.
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hal-04112434 , version 1 (31-05-2023)

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Irene Navarro Lobato, Adrian Aleman-Zapata, Anumita Samanta, Milan Bogers, Shekhar Narayanan, et al.. Increased cortical plasticity leads to memory interference and enhanced hippocampal-cortical interactions. eLife, 2023, ⟨10.7554/eLife.84911⟩. ⟨hal-04112434⟩
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