Memory consolidation involves the reactivation of memory traces during sleep. If many memories are reactivated each night, how much do they interfere with one another? To explore this question, we examined whether reactivating multiple memories incurs a cost to sleep-related benefits by contrasting reactivation of multiple memories versus single memories during sleep. First, participants learned the on-screen location of different images. Each image was part of a semantically interconnected group (e.g., images of different cats). Groups were comprised of either one, two, or six images. During sleep, group-related sounds (e.g., "meow") were unobtrusively presented to reactivate memories for half of the groups. The benefit in location recall for cued versus non-cued items was independent of the number of items in the group, suggesting that reactivation occurs in a simultaneous, promiscuous manner. Intriguingly, sleep spindles and delta-theta power modulations were sensitive to group size and reflected the extent of previous learning. Our results demonstrate that multiple memories may be consolidated in parallel without compromising each memory's sleep-related benefit, suggesting that the brain's capacity for reactivation is not strictly limited by separate resources needed for individual memories. These findings highlight alternative models for parallel consolidation that should be considered in future studies. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
- Downloaded 741 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 40,271
- In neuroscience: 5,436
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 100,322
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 93,596
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!