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Dynamics of the thalamo-cortical system driven by pulsed sensory stimulation

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There exists a large body of evidence pointing to an essential role of sleep in memory consolidation [13]. In particular non-REM sleep seems to be important for consolidating declarative memories [4]. Boosting the so-called slow oscillations (<1 Hz) during non-REM sleep via transcranial electric stimulation leads to a potentiation of memory [5]. It has also been demonstrated that slow oscillations can be induced by optogenetic, magnetic and acoustic stimulation [68]. Here we present data from human sleep studies and modeling results on the thalamo-cortical system under sensory stimulation, that give new clues for effective stimulation protocols. We use a population model that exhibits important features of brain activity during non-REM sleep, e.g. spindles, cortical

slow oscillations with gamma activity and clock-like delta oscillations. The model aims at reproducing evoked responses of auditory and visual stimuli at several frequencies. We extend previous results on the phase-dependent response of isolated cortex [9] to stimuli which are time-locked to spindle and slow oscillation events and test the hypothesis that the main factor determining thalamic gating properties in non-REM sleep is the phase of the cortical slow oscillation.

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Correspondence to Arne Weigenand.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Weigenand, A., Costa, M.S., Ngo, H. et al. Dynamics of the thalamo-cortical system driven by pulsed sensory stimulation. BMC Neurosci 14, P67 (2013) doi:10.1186/1471-2202-14-S1-P67

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Keywords

  • Electric Stimulation
  • Visual Stimulus
  • Population Model
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Stimulation Protocol