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Sleep Res Online. 1999;2(3):65-9.

Frontal predominance of a relative increase in sleep delta and theta EEG activity after sleep loss in humans.

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  • 1Circadian, Neuroendocrine and Sleep Disorders Section, Division of Endocrinology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA. ccajochen@gcrc.bwh.harvard.edu


The effect of sleep deprivation (40 h) on topographic and temporal aspects of electroencephalographic (EEG) activity during sleep was investigated by all night spectral analysis in six young volunteers. The sleep-deprivation-induced increase of EEG power density in the delta and theta frequencies (1-7 Hz) during nonREM sleep, assessed along the antero-posterior axis (midline: Fz, Cz, Pz, Oz), was significantly larger in the more frontal derivations (Fz, Cz) than in the more parietal derivations (Pz, Oz). This frequency-specific frontal predominance was already present in the first 30 min of recovery sleep, and dissipated in the course of the 8-h sleep episode. The data demonstrate that the enhancement of slow wave EEG activity during sleep following extended wakefulness is most pronounced in frontal cortical areas.

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