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Trends Neurosci. 2018 Jul;41(7):470-482. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2018.03.003. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

Slow-Wave Activity Enhancement to Improve Cognition.

Author information

1
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Electronic address: wilckenska@upmc.edu.
2
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
3
University of California, Berkeley, Department of Psychology, CA, USA.

Abstract

Slow-wave activity (SWA), and its coupling with other sleep features, reorganizes cortical circuitry, supporting cognition. This raises the question: can cognition be improved through SWA enhancement? SWA enhancement techniques range from behavioral interventions (such as exercise), which have high feasibility but low specificity, to laboratory-based techniques (such as transcranial stimulation), which have high specificity but are less feasible for widespread use. In this review we describe the pathways through which SWA is enhanced. Pathways encompass enhanced neural activity, increased energy metabolism, and endocrine signaling during wakefulness; also direct enhancement during sleep. We evaluate the robustness and practicality of SWA-enhancement techniques, discuss approaches for determining a causal role of SWA on cognition, and present questions to clarify the mechanisms of SWA-dependent cognitive improvements.

KEYWORDS:

NREM sleep; executive function; memory consolidation; slow-wave activity

PMID:
29628198
PMCID:
PMC6015540
[Available on 2019-07-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2018.03.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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