Sharp Wave-Ripples in Human Amygdala and Their Coordination with Hippocampus during NREM Sleep

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  • Institute of Genetics, University of Bonn, Bonn


Cooperative interactions between the amygdala and hippocampus are widely regarded as critical for overnight emotional processing of waking experiences, but direct support from the human brain for such a dialog is absent. Using overnight intracranial recordings in 4 presurgical epilepsy patients (3 female), we discovered ripples within human amygdala during nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, a brain state known to contribute to affective processing. Like hippocampal ripples, amygdala ripples are associated with sharp waves, linked to sleep spindles, and tend to co-occur with their hippocampal counterparts. Moreover, sharp waves and ripples are temporally linked across the 2 brain structures, with amygdala ripples occurring during hippocampal sharp waves and vice versa. Combined with further evidence of interregional sharp-wave and spindle synchronization, these findings offer a potential physiological substrate for the NREM-sleep-dependent consolidation and regulation of emotional experiences.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbertgaa051
JournalCerebral Cortex Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020