Sleep and vigilance states: Embracing spatiotemporal dynamics

We reconsider sleep/wake brain states as being highly dynamic and regionally complex, rather than stationary and global. We review recent evidence for spatiotemporal complexity and advances in understanding the systems that regulate vigilance state, such as neuromodulatory systems – which may be more heterogenous than originally assumed. A modular and dynamic perspective highlights novel avenues […]

Noradrenaline, sleep on it

Sleep involves infra-slow ∼50-second fluctuations between disengagement and sensory reactivity. New findings reveal that the brain’s noradrenaline system controls these dynamics by acting in the thalamus to affect sleep spindles, and by modulating coordinated heart rate variations.

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation in Humans Induces Pupil Dilation and Attenuates Alpha Oscillations

We studied the immediate effects of transient non-invasive transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation (tVNS) on heathy naïve human participants using high density EEG and pupilometery. We found that tVNS induce transient pupil dilation as in in animal models, and attenuates EEG alpha oscillations anti correlated with arousal. Our results  support the use of tVNS as non-invasive […]

Noradrenaline Modulates Visual Perceptionand Late Visually Evoked Activity

An identical sensory stimulus may or may not be incorporated into perceptual experience, depending on the behavioral and cognitive state of the organism. What determines whether a sensory stimulus will be perceived? Here we tested whether noradrenaline signaling may play a key role. We pharmacologically down- and upregulated noradrenaline signaling in healthy volunteers using clonidine […]