Odor cueing during sleep improves consolidation of a history lesson in a school setting

Vidal, Vanesa
Barbuzza, Alejo R.
Tassone, Leonela M.
Brusco, Luis Ignacio
Ballarini, Fabricio
Forcato, Cecilia
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"Sleep is a key factor in memory consolidation. During sleep, information is reactivated, transferred, and redistributed to neocortical areas, thus favoring memory consolidation and integration. Although these reactivations occur spontaneously, they can also be induced using external cues, such as sound or odor cues, linked to the acquired information. Hence, targeted memory reactivation during sleep represents an advantageous tool for improving memory consolidation in real-life settings. In this study, our goal was to improve the consolidation of complex information such as that of a history lesson, using a school study session in the presence of an odor, and a reactivation round while sleeping at home on the same night of the acquisition, without using additional study sessions. We found that complex information can be associated with an odor in the classroom and that one session of reactivation during the frst night of sleep in the students’ houses improves its consolidation. These results bring new evidence for the implementation of reactivation during sleep in real-life settings."