Mounting evidence suggests that neural oscillations are related to the learning and consolidation of newly formed memory in the mammalian brain. Four to seven Hertz (4-7 Hz) oscillations in the prefrontal cortex are also postulated to be involved in learning and attention processes. Additionally, slow delta oscillations (1-4 Hz) have been proposed to be involved in memory consolidation or even synaptic down scaling during sleep. The molecular mechanisms which link learning-related oscillations during wakefulness to sleep-related oscillations remain unknown. We show that increasing the expression of calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase IV (CaMKIV), a key nucleic protein kinase, selectively enhances 4-7.5 Hz oscillation power during trace fear learning and slow delta oscillations during subsequent sleep. These oscillations were found to be boosted in response to the trace fear paradigm and are likely to be localized to regions of the prefrontal cortex. Correlation analyses demonstrate that a proportion of the variance in 4-7.5 Hz oscillations, during fear conditioning, could account for some degree of learning and subsequent memory formation, while changes in slow delta power did not share this predictive strength. Our data emphasize the role of CaMKIV in controlling learning and sleep-related oscillations and suggest that oscillatory activity during wakefulness may be a relevant predictor of subsequent memory consolidation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience