Highly Dynamic Spatiotemporal Organization of Low-Frequency Activities During Behavioral States in the Mouse Cerebral Cortex

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Although low-frequency (LF < 10 Hz) activities have been considered as a hallmark of nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, several studies have recently reported LF activities in the membrane potential of cortical neurons from different areas in awake mice. However, little is known about the spatiotemporal organization of LF activities across cortical areas during wakefulness and to what extent it differs during NREM sleep. We have thus investigated the dynamics of LF activities across cortical areas in awake and sleeping mice using chronic simultaneous local field potential recordings. We found that LF activities had higher amplitude in somatosensory and motor areas during quiet wakefulness and decreased in most areas during active wakefulness, resulting in a global state change that was overall correlated with motor activity. However, we also observed transient desynchronization of cortical states between areas, indicating a more local state regulation. During NREM sleep, LF activities had higher amplitude in all areas but slow-wave activity was only poorly correlated across cortical areas. Despite a maximal amplitude during NREM sleep, the coherence of LF activities between areas that are not directly connected dropped from wakefulness to NREM sleep, potentially reflecting a breakdown of long-range cortical integration associated with loss of consciousness.

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