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Biological Research

versión impresa ISSN 0716-9760


VIVALDI, ENNIO A et al. On-line analysis of biosignals for the automation of total and specific sleep deprivation in the rat. Biol. Res. [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.4, pp.439-452. ISSN 0716-9760.

A computer-based system that automates sleep studies, including sleep deprivation paradigms, is described. The system allows for total or REM-specific sleep deprivation and is based on a reliable, fast-responding, on-line state detection algorithm linked to a dependable intervention device. Behavioral state detection is achieved by dimensión reduction of short-term EEG power spectrum. Interventions are made by serial outputs to servomotors that move a cage with different patterns and variable intensity. The system can adapt itself to individual characteristics and to changes in recording conditions. Customized protocols can be designed by defining the states or stages to be deprived, including scheduling temporal patterns. A detailed analysis of the relevant signáis during and after deprivation is readily available. Data is presented from two experimental designs in rats. One consisted of specific REM-sleep short-term deprivation and the other of 10-hour total sleep deprivation. An outline of conceptual and practical considerations involved in the automation of laboratory set-ups oriented to biosignal analysis is provided. Careful monitoring of sleep EEG variables during sleep deprivation suggests peculiarities of brain functioning in that condition. A corollary is that sleep deprivation should not be considered to be merely a forced prolonged wakefulness.

Palabras clave : sleep; sleep deprivation; biosignal analysis; digital control; automation.

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