Cortical locations of maximal spindle activity: magnetoencephalography (MEG) study

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The aim of this study was to determine the main cortical regions related to maximal spindle activity of sleep stage 2 in healthy individual subjects during a brief morning nap using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Eight volunteers (mean age: 26.1 ± 8.7, six women) all right handed, free of any medical psychiatric or sleep disorders were studied. Whole-head 148-channel MEG and a conventional polysomnography montage (EEG; C3, C4, O1 and O2 scalp electrodes and EOG, EMG and ECG electrodes) were used for data collection. Sleep MEG/EEG spindles were visually identified during 15 min of stage 2 sleep for each participant. The distribution of brain activity corresponding to each spindle was calculated using a combination of independent component analysis and a current source density technique superimposed upon individual MRIs. The absolute maximum of spindle activation was localized to frontal, temporal and parietal lobes. However, the most common cortical regions for maximal source spindle activity were precentral and/or postcentral areas across all individuals. The present study suggests that maximal spindle activity localized to these two regions may represent a single event for two types of spindle frequency: slow (at 12 Hz) and fast (at 14 Hz) within global thalamocortical coherence.

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