A mathematical model that successfully imitate the brain sequence related to memory consolidation during sleeping was built according to the study published in PLOS Computational Biology.
Recent studies have proposed that certain brain activities during sleeping might play important roles in memory consolidation. However, researches on those neuronal activity was hard to perform. Michael Schellenberger Costa, Arne Weigenand and their colleagues of the University of Lübeck, Germany, have successively mimicked the pattern of the neuronal activities.
There were some studies that modeled the activities of sleeping cortex. However, the activities related to memory consolidation occurs between cortex and the central brain system, thalamus. Distinct from the previous models, this new model have mimicked this thalamocortial coupling, which is related to the memory consolidation during sleeping.
The new model produces the sequence by predicting the activities of lager mass of neurons after looking at the activities of small groups of neurons, which is different from the past models that looks at the activities of individual neurons.
The researchers confirmed that the model was correct by comparing the neuronal activities recorded by electroencephalography (EEG) during the second and first level of N-REM sleeping with the sequence produced by the new model.
This new model, using the new algorithm for brain activity modeling, is relatively simple compared to the previous models and will be useful for the future studies on memory consolidation during sleeping and the diseases related to memory consolidation.