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Inter- and intraindividual variation of sleep-wake regulation: a physiological, behavioural and functional neuroimaging approach

Applicant Reichert Carolin Franziska
Number 155209
Funding scheme Doc.Mobility
Research institution Centre de Recherches du Cyclotron Université de Liège
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.06.2014 - 30.11.2014
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Psychology
Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Genetics

Keywords (5)

sleep-wake regulation; vulnerability to sleep deprivation; cognition; inter-individual differences; cerebral activity

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Der Schlaf-Wach-Rhythmus des Menschen folgt einer zirkadianen Rhythmik (lat. circa diem: ungefähr ein Tag), die von der inneren Uhr im Gehirn vorgegeben wird. So sind Schlaf- und Wachphasen sowie viele körperliche Prozesse an den 24-Stunden Takt unseres Planeten angepasst, und Schläfrigkeit, Stimmung und Leistungsfähigkeit unterscheiden sich je nach Tageszeit. Bisher ist unklar, inwiefern die innere Uhr dazu beiträgt, dass Menschen je nach genetischer Ausstattung unterschiedlich stark auf Schlafentzug reagieren, zum Beispiel mit Schläfrigkeit oder verminderter Konzentrationsfähigkeit.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts:

Anhand von Fragebögen, Leistungstests, elektroenzephalographischen Messungen und Hormon-Analysen wurden im vorliegenden Projekt bereits Indikationen gesammelt, dass Menschen, die genetisch bedingt stark auf Schlafentzug reagieren, anders „ticken“. Zudem zeigte sich, dass eine Gegenregulation der Anfälligkeit für Schlafentzug zum einen endogen durch die innere Uhr erfolgt, sowie durch Nickerchen, also durch Verhaltensregulation, erreicht werden kann. Ziel ist nun, auf der Ebene der Gehirnaktivität durch funktionelle Magnet-Resonanztomographie zu untersuchen, in welchen Gehirnregionen sich eine genetisch bedingte, erhöhte Anfälligkeit für Schlafentzug je nach Tageszeit widerspiegelt. Zudem soll analysiert werden, welche Gehirnregionen mit Kompensationsmechanismen auf der Ebene der kognitiven Leistungsfähigkeit in Verbindung gebracht werden können.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext:

Die Analyse der Gehirnaktivität je nach Tageszeit verbessert das Verständnis für Störungen der Zirkadianrhythmik. Die Untersuchung von Kompensationsmechanismen gegen Anfälligkeit für Schlafentzug kann Ansatzpunkte aufzeigen, einer solchen Anfälligkeit entgegen zu wirken.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 20.05.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Sleep-wake Regulation and its Impact on Working Memory Performance: The Role of Adenosine
Reichert Carolin (2016), Sleep-wake Regulation and its Impact on Working Memory Performance: The Role of Adenosine, in Biology, 1-25.
Impact of circadian phase and prior wakefulness on cognition-related cerebral activity in humans
Carolin Reichert (2014), Impact of circadian phase and prior wakefulness on cognition-related cerebral activity in humans, Wiley, New York.
Impact of circadian phase, sleep pressure and an ADA polymorphism on cerebral correlates of working memory performance
Carolin Reichert (2014), Impact of circadian phase, sleep pressure and an ADA polymorphism on cerebral correlates of working memory performance, Wiley, New York.
Schlaf-Wach-Regulation und Arbeitsgedächtnisleistung - Einfluss eines funktionalen ADA-Polymorphismus und der zirkadianen Phase
Carolin Reichert (2014), Schlaf-Wach-Regulation und Arbeitsgedächtnisleistung - Einfluss eines funktionalen ADA-Polymorphismus und der zirkadianen Phase, Springer, Berlin.
The Circadian Regulation of Sleep: Impact of a Functional ADA-Polymorphism and Its Association to Working Memory Improvements
Carolin Reichert (2014), The Circadian Regulation of Sleep: Impact of a Functional ADA-Polymorphism and Its Association to Working Memory Improvements, in Plos One, 1-23.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
19th Congress of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology Talk given at a conference Sleep-wake and time-of-day dependent modulations of working memory 17.09.2015 Paphos, Cyprus Reichert Carolin Franziska;
22. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Schlafforschung und Schlafmedizin e.V.(DGSM) Talk given at a conference Schlaf-Wach-Regulation und Arbeitsgedächtnisleistung - Einfluss eines funktionalen ADA-Polymorphismus und der zirkadianen Phase 04.12.2014 Köln, Germany Reichert Carolin Franziska;
22nd Congress of the European Sleep Research Society Talk given at a conference Impact of circadian phase, sleep pressure and an ADA polymorphism on cerebral correlates of working memory performance. 16.09.2014 Tallin, Estonia Reichert Carolin Franziska;


Awards

Title Year
Travel grant of of the European Research Society 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
143736 Inter-individual differences underlying circadian and sleep-wake dependent modulations in cognitive performance : an electrophysiological, behavioural and functional neuroimaging approach. 01.04.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

The ability to cope with sleep loss exhibits trait-like differences between individuals. This stable interindividual variability is evident at various levels of human behaviour, for instance in subjective sleepiness, well-being, and higher order cognitive functions. In addition, physiological parameters, such as electroencephalographic (EEG) measures of fatigue, and cerebral activity underlying cognition, differ between subjects in a sleep deprived state. Several decades of research revealed that the time course of all these mentioned variables, both under well-rested conditions as well as after sleep deprivation, can be traced back to the interaction of so-called homeostatic and circadian sleep-wake-regulatory mechanisms. Consequently, interindividual differences in response to sleep loss have been associated to polymorphisms in genes involved in sleep-homeostatic processes and the circadian feedback loop.This project allows characterizing the impact of a specific functional polymorphism on sleep and wakefulness. Located in the gene encoding for adenosine deaminase (ADA), this genetic variation has been associated with differences in the enzymatic activity of ADA, implicated in the adenosinergic regulation of sleep and wakefulness. As the polymorphism has been shown to contribute to interindividual variations in homeostatic sleep pressure levels at the behavioural and electrophysiological level, it might be used as a tool to vary systematically the individual’s susceptibility to high sleep pressure. In a within-subjects design, similarly applied in earlier studies, two groups of participants (‘susceptible’ vs. ‘non-susceptible’ group) took part in two conditions, in which the status of homeostatic sleep pressure was varied systematically by either 40 hours of sleep deprivation (high sleep pressure condition) or multiple naps (low sleep pressure condition). Subjective sleepiness and well-being, cognitive performance, melatonin and EEG were measured repeatedly. Results indicate that interindividual differences in susceptibility to sleep-wake manipulation highly depend on cognitive domain and circadian phase. Furthermore, analysis of nap sleep and melatonin levels points to flexible adaptations of the circadian system to the individual level of sleep pressure. Importantly, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was applied at different circadian phases during both conditions allowing a deeper insight into the brain mechanisms underlying changes in behavioural performance according to trait-like and domain-specific susceptibility to sleep pressure. Analyses of these data might as well identify potential compensatory brain responses at the blood-oxygen dependent level, which serve to maintain performance even under high sleep pressure conditions or at adverse circadian phase. A fine grained characterization of the basic processes underlying daily fluctuations in sleepiness, well-being and cognitive performance is of particular interest considering the increasing amount of shift-work required in modern societies.
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