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Front Syst Neurosci. 2014 Oct 16;8:203. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2014.00203. eCollection 2014.

Chaos analysis of EEG during isoflurane-induced loss of righting in rats.

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Neuropharmacology Laboratory, Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA, USA.
Department of Psychology and Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary Calgary, AB, Canada.


It has long been known that electroencephalogram (EEG) signals generate chaotic strange attractors and the shape of these attractors correlate with depth of anesthesia. We applied chaos analysis to frontal cortical and hippocampal micro-EEG signals from implanted microelectrodes (layer 4 and CA1, respectively). Rats were taken to and from loss of righting reflex (LORR) with isoflurane and behavioral measures were compared to attractor shape. Resting EEG signals at LORR differed markedly from awake signals, more similar to slow wave sleep signals, and easily discerned in raw recordings (high amplitude slow waves), and in fast Fourier transform analysis (FFT; increased delta power), in good agreement with previous studies. EEG activation stimulated by turning rats on their side, to test righting, produced signals quite similar to awake resting state EEG signals. That is, the high amplitude slow wave activity changed to low amplitude fast activity that lasted for several seconds, before returning to slow wave activity. This occurred regardless of whether the rat was able to right itself, or not. Testing paw pinch and tail clamp responses produced similar EEG activations, even from deep anesthesia when burst suppression dominated the spontaneous EEG. Chaotic attractor shape was far better at discerning between these awake-like signals, at loss of responses, than was FFT analysis. Comparisons are provided between FFT and chaos analysis of EEG during awake walking, slow wave sleep, and isoflurane-induced effects at several depths of anesthesia. Attractors readily discriminated between natural sleep and isoflurane-induced "delta" activity. Chaotic attractor shapes changed gradually through the transition from awake to LORR, indicating that this was not an on/off like transition, but rather a point along a continuum of brain states.


anesthesia; behavior; burst suppression; consciousness; cortex; delta activity; sleep; theta

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