In: Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, Edited by Squire LR,
Academic Press, Oxford. Vol. 8, pp. 1037-1044 (2009).
The thalamus and cerebral cortex are both implicated in the genesis
of slow-wave sleep oscillations, such as sleep spindles or slow waves
(up and down states). The activities of thalamic and cortical
neurons during these oscillations have been well documented by
electrophysiological studies. To determine the cellular mechanisms
of sleep oscillations, it is necessary to use computational models
tightly based on experimental data, as reviewed in this chapter.
Different models successfully explained the genesis of sleep
oscillations based on interactions between complex intrinsic neuronal
properties and different synaptic receptor types present in cortical
and thalamic circuits. These advances have raised interesting
possibilities regarding the function of slow-wave sleep.
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