Displaying One Session

Special Lecture
Hall A
11.07.2020, Saturday
Session Time
14:15 - 15:15
Special Lecture

Mammalian sleep, varying in space and time

Lecture Time
14:15 - 14:45


Abstract Body

Sleep is considered as sharply separate from wakefulness. However, drowsiness during the day and microarousals during the night tell us that this is not always the case. Even a consolidated sleep period is heterogeneous in time and across the brain, generating transition zones with distinct behavioral and neurophysiological attributes. Do transition zones provide windows of opportunity to interact with, and cue the sleeping brain, without the need for full-fledged wakefulness? Are transition zones relevant for sleep disorders, such as insomnias or parasomnias? My talk will focus on non-rapid-eye-movement (non-REM) sleep, known as deep restorative sleep, which recurrently goes through periods of fragility that enhance sensory arousability, that are coordinated across central and peripheral nervous systems, and that are evolutionarily conserved from rodent to human. I will show that non-REM sleep’s fragility periods are an example of a transition zone because they provide a previously unrecognized temporal raster for the occurrence of microarousals and the natural progression of non-REM and REM sleep cycles. I will also show that unsupervised classifier methods can reveal abnormal characteristics of fragility periods in searches for mouse models of sleep disruption. We are using machine learning to target fragility periods in a closed-loop feedback mode, with the goal to interfere with non-REM sleep transition zones, to probe their neural circuit bases, and to exploit these as windows of opportunity for cued memory reactivation. Our research will help to operationalize tools for moment-to-moment assessments of non-REM sleep’s fragility to guide targeted interference and to anticipate arousal in clinical settings.