Gamma EEG dynamics in neocortex and hippocampus during human wakefulness and sleep

Jose L CanteroR Stickgold


Little is known about the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the human sleep-wake cycle. Using intracranial electrodes in humans, we investigated changes in topographic distribution of gamma power and local- and long-range gamma EEG coherence in neocortex and hippocampus during different cerebral states. We report significantly greater variability in gamma power across cortical regions during wakefulness than during either slow wave or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In addition, local (within cortical regions) and long-range (between cortical regions) gamma coherence was significantly higher during wakefulness than during sleep, and functional gamma-range coupling between the neocortex and hippocampus was seen during wakefulness, but not during sleep. These findings demonstrate a functional link between different stages of conscious awareness and the level of coupling of gamma-band oscillations in the human brain.


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