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Nat Commun. 2016 Oct 17;7:13138. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13138.

Stereotypic wheel running decreases cortical activity in mice.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK.
2
European Space Agency, Advanced Concepts Team, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK.
4
Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK.

Abstract

Prolonged wakefulness is thought to gradually increase 'sleep need' and influence subsequent sleep duration and intensity, but the role of specific waking behaviours remains unclear. Here we report the effect of voluntary wheel running during wakefulness on neuronal activity in the motor and somatosensory cortex in mice. We find that stereotypic wheel running is associated with a substantial reduction in firing rates among a large subpopulation of cortical neurons, especially at high speeds. Wheel running also has longer-term effects on spiking activity across periods of wakefulness. Specifically, cortical firing rates are significantly higher towards the end of a spontaneous prolonged waking period. However, this increase is abolished when wakefulness is dominated by running wheel activity. These findings indicate that wake-related changes in firing rates are determined not only by wake duration, but also by specific waking behaviours.

PMID:
27748455
PMCID:
PMC5071642
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms13138
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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