Sleep spindles in humans: insights from intracranial EEG and unit recordings

Sleep spindles are an EEG hallmark of NREM sleep and are believed to mediate many sleep-related functions, from memory consolidation to cortical development. Spindles differ in location, frequency, and association with slow waves, but whether this heterogeneity may reflect different physiological processes and potentially serve different functional roles remains unclear. Here we used a unique […]

Regional slow waves and spindles in human sleep

The most prominent EEG events in sleep are slow waves, reflecting a slow (<1 Hz) oscillation between up and down states in cortical neurons. It is unknown whether slow oscillations are synchronous across the majority or the minority of brain regions–are they a global or local phenomenon? To examine this, we recorded simultaneously scalp EEG, […]

Local sleep in awake rats

In an awake state, neurons in the cerebral cortex fire irregularly and EEG recordings display low-amplitude, high-frequency fluctuations. During sleep, neurons oscillate between ‘on’ periods, when they fire as in an awake brain, and ‘off’ periods, when they stop firing altogether and the EEG displays high-amplitude slow waves. However, what happens to neuronal firing after […]

Dreaming and the brain: from phenomenology to neurophysiology

Dreams are a remarkable experiment in psychology and neuroscience, conducted every night in every sleeping person. They show that the human brain, disconnected from the environment, can generate an entire world of conscious experiences by itself. Content analysis and developmental studies have promoted understanding of dream phenomenology. In parallel, brain lesion studies, functional imaging and […]