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Sleep deprivation impairs recall of social transmission of food preference in rats

Authors Wooden J, Pido J, Mathews H, Kieltyka R, Montemayor B, Ward C

Received 4 June 2014

Accepted for publication 1 August 2014

Published 4 November 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 129—135


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Steven A Shea

Jessica I Wooden,1,2 Jennifer Pido,1 Hunter Mathews,1 Ryan Kieltyka,1 Bertha Montemayor,1 Christopher P Ward1,3

1Department of Psychology, University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2Department of Psychology, University of Houston, 3Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA

Abstract: Evidence indicates that sleep plays an important role in learning and memory, and disruption of sleep especially seems to interfere with hippocampal memory processes. Social transmission of food preference (STFP), a natural test of paired associative learning, has been shown to be dependent on the hippocampus. While social transmission of food preference is not a novel task, it has not been used to examine the role of sleep in memory consolidation. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups: cage control; sleep-deprived; and device control. Demonstrator rats were given powdered food mixed with a target spice. Test rats then interacted with demonstrator rats before being given a two choice test of powered food with the target spice or a novel spice. Sleep-deprived rats were then placed in an automated device that prevented sleep for 24 hours. After sleep deprivation, animals were given a preference test again to determine memory for the target spice at both 24 hours and 72 hours. Polysomnography was used to validate the method of sleep deprivation. During immediate preference testing, rats demonstrated a clear preference for the food containing the target spice. Rats that experienced 24 hours of sleep deprivation following the initial testing indicated a significant reduction in the recall of the target spice at 24 and 72 hours. The cage control and device animals maintained their preference for food containing the target spice. Therefore, the loss of sleep interfered with memory consolidation for food preference learned via social transmission.

Keywords: hippocampus, learning, consolidation

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