Identification of a rapid eye movement sleep window for learning of the win-shift radial arm maze task for male Sprague–Dawley rats
This study identified a rapid eye movement sleep window (RSW) for the eight-arm win-shift radial arm maze (RAM) task. The RSW is defined as a period of time after training during which rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is necessary for efficient learning of a task. Rats were trained over a 15-day period on the win-shift RAM task. After daily training, groups of rats were deprived of REM sleep using the flowerpot technique or were returned to their cages to serve as controls. Groups were deprived of REM sleep during separate 4-h intervals, such that the entire 24-h time-period after training was investigated for the effects of REM sleep deprivation on learning. The results of the analyses of variance that were calculated for latency to completion data and a measure of the rate of performance improvements, and a survival analysis that was calculated using the first day of maze completion as a censoring variable, indicated that the RSW for the win-shift task is 0–4 h post-training.