A coherent body of evidence supports the notion that sleep is a local and use-dependent process. Significant changes in brain morphology and function occur in the first years of life, revealing a postero–anterior trajectory of cortical maturation. On this basis, a recent study demonstrated that regional cortical maturation between early childhood and late adolescence is reflected in regional changes of sleep slow wave activity (SWA) during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Our hypothesis is that changes of electroencephalogram (EEG) rhythms during sleep from birth to childhood are also mirrored by parallel regional changes in the EEG rhythms of sleep according to the assumption of a postero–anterior gradient in cortical maturation. We studied all-night EEG of 39 healthy, full-term, infants and children aged between 0 and 48 months, evaluating regional differences in NREM sleep. We confirmed the strictly local nature of sleep with frequency-specific regional differences. Specifically, we found a general shift of maxima of the upper alpha activity from occipital to prefrontal regions, expressed mainly by the ~11 Hz frequency. This shift corresponds to a postero–anterior trajectory of the so-called ‘slow spindles’. The theta and alpha EEG activity of the frontal cortex exhibits a clear, positive, correlation with age. We conclude that specific local differences during NREM sleep, parallel cortical maturation also in the first 4 years of life.

Mapping changes in cortical activity during sleep in the first 4 years of life

D'Atri, Aurora;FERRARA, MICHELE;
2016

Abstract

A coherent body of evidence supports the notion that sleep is a local and use-dependent process. Significant changes in brain morphology and function occur in the first years of life, revealing a postero–anterior trajectory of cortical maturation. On this basis, a recent study demonstrated that regional cortical maturation between early childhood and late adolescence is reflected in regional changes of sleep slow wave activity (SWA) during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Our hypothesis is that changes of electroencephalogram (EEG) rhythms during sleep from birth to childhood are also mirrored by parallel regional changes in the EEG rhythms of sleep according to the assumption of a postero–anterior gradient in cortical maturation. We studied all-night EEG of 39 healthy, full-term, infants and children aged between 0 and 48 months, evaluating regional differences in NREM sleep. We confirmed the strictly local nature of sleep with frequency-specific regional differences. Specifically, we found a general shift of maxima of the upper alpha activity from occipital to prefrontal regions, expressed mainly by the ~11 Hz frequency. This shift corresponds to a postero–anterior trajectory of the so-called ‘slow spindles’. The theta and alpha EEG activity of the frontal cortex exhibits a clear, positive, correlation with age. We conclude that specific local differences during NREM sleep, parallel cortical maturation also in the first 4 years of life.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/110518
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