Sleep Spindles and Memory Reprocessing

James W. Antony, Monika Schönauer, Bernhard P. Staresina, Scott A. Cairney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
392 Downloads (Pure)


We propose a framework for the memory function of spindle oscillations during sleep. In this framework, memories are reinstated by spindle events, and further reprocessed during subsequent spindle refractory periods. We posit that spindle refractoriness is crucial for protecting memory reprocessing from interference. We further argue that temporally-coordinated spindle refractory periods across local networks facilitate the consolidation of rich, multimodal representations, and that localized spindle refractoriness optimizes oscillatory interactions that support systems consolidation in the sleeping brain.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Early online date16 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Oct 2018


  • consolidation
  • neural oscillations
  • reactivation
  • refractoriness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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