Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Leonore Bovy (Donders series 488)

5 March 2021

Promotors: Prof. dr. I. Tendolkar & Prof. dr. G. Fernández
Copromotor: Dr. M. Dresler

From Dusk to Dawn: On sleep, memory and bias in depression

A negative memory bias – or better memory for negative compared to neutral or positive information – plays an important role in the development and continuation of depression. Sleep plays an important role in memory processing and many depressed patients show disturbed sleep. Our studies investigated whether negative memory schemas - and subsequent sleep-related consolidation - underlie negative memory bias and which areas of the brain play a role in this. Our findings showed that the mPFC plays an important role in memory bias processing. Namely, we found increased mPFC activation while learning an emotional memory task and that stimulating the mPFC leads to a more positive bias after negative schemas were first activated. We could not confirm a specific role of sleep in the memory processing of emotional schemas in our healthy sample, nor a clear association between sleep changes and procedural memory processing.