The fine structure of slow-wave sleep oscillations: from single
neurons to large networks.
Alain Destexhe and Diego Contreras
In: Sleep and Anesthesia, Edited by Hutt, A. Springer,
New York, pp. 69-105, 2011.
The cellular bases of slow-wave sleep oscillations have been
investigated since the first extracellular and intracellular
recordings in mammals. The major brain regions which have been
identified are the thalamus and cerebral cortex, which are
intimately linked by means of reciprocal projections. The
activities of thalamic and cortical neurons during sleep have been
largely documented by electrophysiological studies. The cellular
mechanisms underlying these oscillations depend on many factors,
such as the connectivity and intrinsic properties of the different
types of thalamic and cortical neurons. Of great help to understand
these cellular mechanisms, is the use of computational models,
which are based on experimental data, and if possible, generate
predictions to test them. This type of interaction between
experimental results and modeling efforts has been quite successful
in the (still ongoing) exploration of the mechanisms of sleep
oscillations, which this chapter attempts to summarize.
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