Fading signatures of critical brain dynamics during sustained wakefulness in humans Academic Article uri icon


  • Sleep encompasses approximately a third of our lifetime, yet its purpose and biological function are not well understood. Without sleep optimal brain functioning such as responsiveness to stimuli, information processing, or learning may be impaired. Such observations suggest that sleep plays a crucial role in organizing or reorganizing neuronal networks of the brain toward states where information processing is optimized. Increasing evidence suggests that cortical neuronal networks operate near a critical state characterized by balanced activity patterns, which supports optimal information processing. However, it remains unknown whether critical dynamics is affected in the course of wake and sleep, which would also impact information processing. Here, we show that signatures of criticality are progressively disturbed during wake and restored by sleep. We demonstrate that the …

publication date

  • October 30, 2013