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Homeostatic behavior of fast Fourier transform power in very low frequency non-rapid eye movement human electroencephalogram

Homeostatic behavior of fast Fourier transform power in very low frequency non-rapid eye movement human electroencephalogram

Neuroscience 140(4): 1395-1399

Basic research shows that the physiological and molecular mechanisms of very low frequency (<1 Hz) electroencephalogram (EEG) waves of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep differ from those of the higher (1-4 Hz) delta frequencies. Human studies show that the across-NREM period dynamics of very low frequency and 1-4 Hz EEG also differ. These differences and the reported failure of very low frequency EEG power to increase after a night of total sleep deprivation raise the question of whether very low frequency EEG shows the other homeostatic properties established for higher delta frequencies. Here we tested the relation of very low frequency EEG power density to prior waking duration across a normal day and whether these low frequencies meet another criterion for homeostatic sleep EEG: conservation of power across a late nap and post-nap sleep. Data from 19 young adults recorded in four separate sessions of baseline, daytime nap and post-nap sleep were analyzed. Power density in very low frequency NREM EEG increased linearly when naps were taken later in the day (i.e. were preceded by longer waking durations). In the night following an 18:00 h nap, very low frequency power was reduced by roughly the amount of power in the nap. Thus, very low frequency EEG meets two major homeostatic criteria. We hypothesize that these low frequencies reflect the executive rather than the functional processes by which NREM sleep reverses the effects of waking brain activity.

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Accession: 012154486

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PMID: 16631313

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.03.005

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