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Linking the nature and functions of sleep: insights from multimodal imaging of the sleeping brain

Song, Chen and Tagliazucchi, Enzo 2020. Linking the nature and functions of sleep: insights from multimodal imaging of the sleeping brain. Current Opinion in Physiology 15 , pp. 29-36. 10.1016/j.cophys.2019.11.012

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Sleep and wakefulness are traditionally considered as two mutually exclusive states with contrasting behavioural manifestations and complementary neurobiological functions. However, the discoveries of local sleep in global wakefulness and local wakefulness in global sleep have challenged this classical view and raised questions about the nature and functions of sleep. Here, we review the contributions from recent multimodal imaging studies of human sleep towards understanding the relationship between the nature and functions of sleep. Through simultaneous tracking of brain state and mapping of brain activity, these studies revealed that the sleeping brain can carry out covert cognitive processing that was thought to be wake-specific (wake-like function in the sleeping brain). Conversely, the awake brain can perform housekeeping functions through local sleep of neural populations (sleep-like function in the awake brain). We discuss how the blurred boundary between sleep and wakefulness highlights the need to radically rethink the definition of brain states, and how the recently discovered fMRI signatures of global and local sleep can help to address these outstanding questions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2468-8673
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 December 2019
Date of Acceptance: 30 November 2019
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2020 08:21

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