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Human sleep regulation: topographical EEG analysis and modeling

English title Human sleep regulation: topographical EEG analysis and modeling
Applicant Achermann Peter
Number 112674
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Start/End 01.05.2006 - 31.08.2009
Approved amount 260'742.00
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Keywords (6)

sleep; sleep regulation; sleep homeostasis; sleep EEG topography; computational modeling; trait-like features

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
The primary objective of the projects is to obtain new insights into the processes underlying sleep regulation and to advance knowledge about thefunction(s) of sleep. This goal shall be reached by an integrated approach based on computational modeling and state-of-the-art EEG analysis.
Focusing on average data may obscure important features of sleep regulation which are revealed by the analysis of individuals. Thus, a common theme of the projects will be the investigation of individual characteristics of sleep regulation. The identification of individual traits relevant for sleep regulation could provide a basis for future genetic analyses.

a)Simulations in the framework of the two-process model will be based on such data of individuals to determine individual characteristics of the sleep process and neurobehavioral performance. In addition, simulations based on different EEG derivations will serve to examine possible regional differences in sleep homeostasis.

b)The analysis of the EEG will focus on oscillatory events (slow oscillations, delta and alpha activity, sleep spindles). Neocortical slow oscillations (< 1 Hz) are a fundamental cellular phenomenon. Their role in sleep regulation, however, is uncertain. Thus, their response to challenges induced by sleep deprivation is of particular interest. By identifying such oscillatory events, a fine grained analysis will allow to assess whether the typical changes observed in the power spectra in response to sleep deprivation are due to changes in the incidence or duration of events or to changes in background activity. Furthermore, topo graphical analyses of oscillatory events may reveal underlying mechanisms.
Emphasis will also be placed on the investigation of slow oscillations during maturation (infancy and adolescence). Studying developmental changes and the morphology of slow oscillations during infancy and puberty and their relationship to sleep homeostasis may shed light on the underlying cortical mechanisms.
A particular line of research will be devoted to the analysis of trait-like features in the human sleep EEG. We intend to identify the frequency components that characterize sleep in young adults and will extend the analysis to sleep data during adolescence. Trait-like characteristics may help to identify distinct phenotypes and to search for genes underlying human sleep regulation.

In summary, it is expected that new insights into functional aspects of sleep will be gained. The results will provide the basis for further studies at the cellular and molecular level, thereby contributing to an integrated approach to sleep.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
100567 Sleep regulation in humans and animals: Regional and functional aspects 01.04.2003 Project funding
130766 Human sleep regulation: Insights from inter-individual differences 01.05.2010 Project funding