Spatiooral structure of sleep slow oscillations on the electrode manifold and its relation to spindles

Paola Malerba, Lauren N. Whitehurst, Stephen B. Simons, Sara C. Mednick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Electrophysiological sleep rhythms have been shown to impact human waking cognition, but their spatiooral dynamics are not understood. We investigated how slow oscillations (SOs; 0.5-4 Hz) are organized during a night of polysomnographically-recorded sleep, focusing on the scalp electrode manifold. We detected troughs of SOs at all electrodes independently and analyzed the concurrent SO troughs found in every other electrode within ±400 ms. We used a k-clustering algorithm to categorize the spatial patterns of SO trough co-occurrence into three types (Global, Local or Frontal) depending on their footprint on the electrode manifold during the considered time window. When comparing the clusters across non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep stages, we found a relatively larger fraction of Local SOs in slow wave sleep (SWS) compared to stage 2, and larger fraction of Global SOs in stage 2 compared to SWS. The probability of SO detection in time between two electrodes showed that SO troughs of all types co-occurred at some nearby electrodes, but only Global troughs had traveling wave profiles, moving anteriorly to posteriorly. Global SOs also had larger amplitudes at frontal electrodes and stronger coupling with fast spindles (12.5-16 Hz). Indeed, SO-spindle complexes were more likely to be detected following a Global SO trough compared to SOs in other clusters. Also, the phase-amplitude modulation of SOs over spindles (modulation vector) was higher for Global SOs across the electrode manifold. Given the recent evidence of a link between thalamocortical coupling and cognition, our findings suggest stronger cognitive relevance of Global SOs as compared to other SO types in sleep memory processing. Clinical Trials No clinical trial is related to this study.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberzsy197
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant (R01 AG046646) to S.C.M. Conflict of interest statement. None declared.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Sleep Research Society.


  • local/global sleep
  • slow oscillations
  • spindles
  • thalamocortical coupling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatiooral structure of sleep slow oscillations on the electrode manifold and its relation to spindles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this