Modulation of the brain's functional network architecture in the transition from wake to sleep.

Progress in Brain Research
Linda J Larson-PriorSteven E Petersen


The transition from quiet wakeful rest to sleep represents a period over which attention to the external environment fades. Neuroimaging methodologies have provided much information on the shift in neural activity patterns in sleep, but the dynamic restructuring of human brain networks in the transitional period from wake to sleep remains poorly understood. Analysis of electrophysiological measures and functional network connectivity of these early transitional states shows subtle shifts in network architecture that are consistent with reduced external attentiveness and increased internal and self-referential processing. Further, descent to sleep is accompanied by the loss of connectivity in anterior and posterior portions of the default-mode network and more locally organized global network architecture. These data clarify the complex and dynamic nature of the transitional period between wake and sleep and suggest the need for more studies investigating the dynamics of these processes.


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