Spatio-temporal properties of sleep slow waves and implications for development.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Curr Opin Physiol, Volume 15, p.172-182 (2020)


<p>Objective sleep quality can be measured by electroencephalography (EEG), a non-invasive technique to quantify electrical activity generated by the brain. With EEG, sleep depth is measured by appearance and an increase in slow wave activity (scalp-SWA). EEG slow waves (scalp-SW) are the manifestation of underlying synchronous membrane potential transitions between silent (DOWN) and active (UP) states. This bistable periodic rhythm is defined as slow oscillation (SO). During its "silent state" cortical neurons are hyperpolarized and appear inactive, while during its "active state" cortical neurons are depolarized, fire spikes and exhibit continuous synaptic activity, excitatory and inhibitory. In adults, data from high-density EEG revealed that scalp-SW propagate across the cortical mantle in complex patterns. However, scalp-SW propagation undergoes modifications across development. We present novel data from children, indicating that scalp-SW originate centro-parietally, and emerge more frontally by adolescence. Based on the concept that SO and SW could actively modify neuronal connectivity, we discuss whether they fulfill a key purpose in brain development by actively conveying modifications of the maturing brain.</p>

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