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First Evidence of Replay During Sleep in the Human Motor Cortex, Which Governs Voluntary Movement - Neuroscience News

First Evidence of Replay During Sleep in the Human Motor Cortex, Which Governs Voluntary Movement - Neuroscience News

First Evidence of Replay During Sleep in the Human Motor Cortex, Which Governs Voluntary Movement - Neuroscience News
Jun 25, 2022 1 min, 58 secs

Neurotechnology research articles deal with robotics, AI, deep learning, machine learning, Brain Computer Interfaces, neuroprosthetics, neural implants and more.

Summary: Data collected from a tetraplegic man learning a BCI to play Simon showed the brain replays the learned information during sleep.

Scientists believe that this replay of neuronal firing during sleep is how the brain practices newly learned information, which allows a memory to be consolidated—that is, converted from a short-term memory to a long-term one.

Importantly, says Cash, understanding whether replay occurs with the learning of motor skills could help guide the development of new therapies and tools for people with neurologic diseases and injuries.

To study whether replay occurs in the human motor cortex—the brain region that governs movement—Rubin, Cash, and their colleagues enlisted a 36-year-old man with tetraplegia (also called quadriplegia), meaning he is unable to move his upper and lower limbs, in his case due to a spinal cord injury.

Sensors implanted in T11’s motor cortex measured patterns of neuronal firing, which reflected his intended hand movement, allowing him to move the cursor around on the screen and click it at his desired locations.

That night, while T11 slept at home, activity in his motor cortex was recorded and wirelessly transmitted to a computer.

“This is the most direct evidence of replay from motor cortex that’s ever been seen during sleep in humans,” says Rubin.

Most of the replay detected in the study occurred during slow-wave sleep, a phase of deep slumber.

Interestingly, replay was much less likely to be detected while T11 was in REM sleep, the phase most commonly associated with dreaming.

“Learned Motor Patterns Are Replayed in Human Motor Cortex during Sleep” by Daniel B.

Learned Motor Patterns Are Replayed in Human Motor Cortex during Sleep.

Consolidation of memory is believed to involve offline replay of neural activity.

To determine whether replay occurs after motor learning, we sought to record from motor cortex during a novel motor task and subsequent overnight sleep

Intracortical neural activity from precentral gyrus and 2-lead scalp EEG were recorded overnight as he slept

Replay events occurred at speeds ranging from 1 to 4 times as fast as initial task execution and were most frequently observed during slow-wave sleep

These results demonstrate that recent visuomotor skill acquisition in humans may be accompanied by replay of the corresponding motor cortex neural activity during sleep


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