Why Do We Sleep ?
Terrence J. Sejnowski and Alain Destexhe
Brain Research 886: 208-223, 2000.
Slow-wave sleep consists in slowly recurring waves that are associated with a
large-scale spatio-temporal synchrony across neocortex. These slow-wave
complexes alternate with brief episodes of fast oscillations, similar to the
sustained fast oscillations that occur during the wake state. We propose that
alternating fast and slow waves consolidate information acquired previously
during wakefulness. Slow-wave sleep would thus begin with spindle
oscillations that open molecular gates to plasticity, then proceed by
iteratively ``recalling'' and ``storing'' information primed in neural
assemblies. This scenario provides a biophysically-plausible mechanism
consistent with the growing evidence that sleep serves to consolidate
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