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Nat Commun. 2017 May 25;8:15499. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15499.

Coordination of cortical and thalamic activity during non-REM sleep in humans.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, California 92093, USA.
2
Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, California 92093, USA.
3
Central Integration of Pain, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, INSERM, U1028; CNRS, UMR5292; Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, Bron, France.
4
Aix-Marseille Université, 13385 Marseille, France.
5
INSERM, Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes UMR 1106, 13005 Marseille, France.
6
APHM (Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille), Timone Hospital, 13005 Marseille, France.
7
Unité d'Hypnologie, Service de Neurologie Fonctionnelle et d'Épileptologie, Hôpital Neurologique, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Bron 69002, France.
8
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, California 92093, USA.

Abstract

Every night, the human brain produces thousands of downstates and spindles during non-REM sleep. Previous studies indicate that spindles originate thalamically and downstates cortically, loosely grouping spindle occurrence. However, the mechanisms whereby the thalamus and cortex interact in generating these sleep phenomena remain poorly understood. Using bipolar depth recordings, we report here a sequence wherein: (1) convergent cortical downstates lead thalamic downstates; (2) thalamic downstates hyperpolarize thalamic cells, thus triggering spindles; and (3) thalamic spindles are focally projected back to cortex, arriving during the down-to-upstate transition when the cortex replays memories. Thalamic intrinsic currents, therefore, may not be continuously available during non-REM sleep, permitting the cortex to control thalamic spindling by inducing downstates. This archetypical cortico-thalamo-cortical sequence could provide the global physiological context for memory consolidation during non-REM sleep.

PMID:
28541306
PMCID:
PMC5458505
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms15499
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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