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Clin Neurophysiol. 2018 Oct;129(10):2118-2126. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2018.07.010. Epub 2018 Jul 29.

Electrical activity of the human amygdala during all-night sleep and wakefulness.

Author information

1
Psicobiología & Neurociencias, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico; Centro de Ciencias de la Complejidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico. Electronic address: zeimt@comunidad.unam.mx.
2
Clínica de Epilepsia, Unidad de Neurocirugía Funcional, Estereotaxia y Radiocirugía, Hospital General de México, Mexico City, Mexico.
3
Laboratorio de Sueño, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico.
4
Laboratorio de Sueño, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico; Unidad de Neurodesarrollo, Instituto de Neurobiología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Querétaro, Mexico. Electronic address: corsi@unam.mx.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of the present work was to characterize the dynamics of the human amygdala across the different sleep stages and during wakefulness.

METHODS:

Simultaneous intracranial electrical recordings of the amygdala, hippocampus, and scalp electroencephalography during spontaneous sleep polysomnography in four patients suffering from epilepsy were analyzed.

RESULTS:

Power spectrum of the amygdala revealed no differences between rapid eye movement (REM) and wakefulness for all frequencies except higher power at 9 Hz during wakefulness and some low Gamma frequencies. Conversely, higher power was observed in non-REM (NREM) sleep than wakefulness for Delta, Theta and Sigma.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results showed similar activity in the amygdala between wakefulness and REM sleep suggesting that the amygdala is as active in REM as during wakefulness. The higher power in Sigma frequencies during NREM sleep suggests that amygdala slow activity may play a significant role during NREM in concurrence with hippocampal activity.

SIGNIFICANCE:

While studies have described the metabolic activity of the human amygdala during sleep, our results show the corresponding electrical pattern during the whole night, pointing out an increase of slow activity during NREM sleep that might be subjected to similar influences as other subcortical brain structures, such as the hippocampus.

KEYWORDS:

Amygdala; Human; Limbic system; Power spectrum; Sleep; Stereo EEG

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