Cortical slow oscillations (SOs) and thalamocortical sleep spindles are two prominent EEG rhythms of slow wave sleep. These EEG rhythms play an essential role in memory consolidation. In humans, sleep spindles are categorized into slow spindles (8-12 Hz) and fast spindles (12-16 Hz), with different properties. Slow spindles that couple with the up-to-down phase of the SO require more experimental and computational investigation to disclose their origin, functional relevance and most importantly their relation with SOs regarding memory consolidation. To examine slow spindles, we propose a biophysical thalamocortical model with two independent thalamic networks (one for slow and the other for fast spindles). Our modeling results show that fast spindles lead to faster cortical cell firing, and subsequently increase the amplitude of the cortical local field potential (LFP) during the SO down-to-up phase. Slow spindles also facilitate cortical cell firing, but the response is slower, thereby increasing the cortical LFP amplitude later, at the SO up-to-down phase of the SO cycle. Neither the SO rhythm nor the duration of the SO down state is affected by slow spindle activity. Furthermore, at a more hyperpolarized membrane potential level of fast thalamic subnetwork cells, the activity of fast spindles decreases, while the slow spindles activity increases. Together, our model results suggest that slow spindles may facilitate the initiation of the following SO cycle, without however affecting expression of the SO Up and Down states.
ZeitschriftPLoS ONE
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2022

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Zentren: Zentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz Lübeck (ZKIL)
  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Gehirn, Hormone, Verhalten - Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)