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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2001 Nov;25(5 Suppl):S57-62.

Individual 'fingerprints' in human sleep EEG topography.

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Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology University of Zürich CH-8057, Zürich, Switzerland.


The sleep EEG of eight healthy young men was recorded from 27 derivations during a baseline night and a recovery night after 40 h of waking. Individual power maps of the nonREM sleep EEG were calculated for the delta, theta, alpha, sigma and beta range. The comparison of the normalized individual maps for baseline and recovery sleep revealed very similar individual patterns within each frequency band. This high correspondence was quantified and statistically confirmed by calculating the Manhattan distance between all pairs of maps within and between individuals. Although prolonged waking enhanced power in the low-frequency range (0.75-10.5 Hz) and reduced power in the high-frequency range (13.25-25 Hz), only minor effects on the individual topography were observed. Nevertheless, statistical analysis revealed frequency-specific regional effects of sleep deprivation. The results demonstrate that the pattern of the EEG power distribution in nonREM sleep is characteristic for an individual and may reflect individual traits of functional anatomy.

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