Event-related desynchronization and synchronization in evoked K-complexes
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K-complexes ? phenomena occurring in sleep EEG ? pose severe challenges in terms of detection as well as finding their physiological origin. In this study, K-complexes (KCs) were evoked by auditory stimuli delivered during sleep. The use of evoked KCs enables testing the sleeping nervous system under good experimental control. This paradigm allowed us to adopt into the KC studies a method of signal analysis that provides time-frequency maps of statistically significant changes in signal energy density. Our results indicate that KCs and sleep spindles may be organized by a slow oscillation. Accordingly, KCs might be evoked only if the stimulus occurs in a certain phase of the slow oscillation. We also observed middle-latency evoked responses following auditory stimulation in the last sleep cycle. This effect was revealed only by the time-frequency maps and was not visible in standard averages.
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Jaroslaw Zygierewicz, Department of Biomedical Physics, Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland