David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (1):67-68 (2005)
Walker's target article proposes a refinement of the well known two-stage model of memory formation to explain the positive effects of sleep on consolidation. After a first stage in which a labile memory representation is formed, a further stabilisation of the memory trace takes place in the second stage, which is dependent on (REM) sleep. Walker has refined the latter stage into a stage in which a consolidation-based enhancement occurs. It is not completely clear what consolidation-based enhancement implies and how it can be dissociated from a stage for memory-stabilisation. A more serious consideration, however, is whether a second stage in memory consolidation that is solely dependent on sleep, is really necessary. The classical, passive, interference theory is able to explain adequately the findings related to the effects of sleep and memory, and can lead perhaps better to an understanding of the highly variable data in this field.
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