Preethi started with an overview about sleep and its electro-physiologic hallmarks. She discussed about the generators of sleep-spindles and slow wave oscillations. She mentioned studies on rat-sleep and human sleep, which found changes in neural activity following sleep or its deprivation. Though the topic can also extend to other species where the role of such plasticity is not much clear, Preethi gave some insightful thoughts.
Some of the information shared included:
- A human fMRI study which found significant activation and deactivation regions in the brain during a simple motor task when performed following sleep, compared to after a similar duration of wake period. Similar study using TMS as an assessment tool found a change in the motor cortical stimulus threshold following sleep.
- When LTP was used as a neural plasticity assessment measure in the visual cortex of rats following REM sleep deprivation, studies have found a decrease in neural plasticity after a critical age of rats, as well as that BDNF infusion can reverse this effect.