Johnson LA, Euston DR, Tatsuno M, McNaughton BL Stored-trace reactivation in rat prefrontal cortex is correlated with down-to-up state fluctuation density J Neurosci 30(7):2650-61. (2010)
Spontaneous reactivation of previously stored patterns of neural activity occurs in hippocampus and neocortex during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Notable features of the neocortical local field potential during NREM sleep are high-amplitude, low-frequency thalamocortical oscillations including K-complexes, low-voltage spindles, and high-voltage spindles. Using combined neuronal ensemble and local field potential recordings, we show that prefrontal stored-trace reactivation is correlated with the density of down-to-up state transitions of the population of simultaneously recorded cells, as well as K-complexes and low-voltage spindles in the local field potential. This result strengthens the connection between reactivation and learning, as these same NREM sleep features have been correlated with memory. Although memory trace reactivation is correlated with low-voltage spindles, it is not correlated with high-voltage spindles, indicating that despite their similar frequency characteristics, these two oscillations serve different functions.