NSCI 201 Chapter Notes - Chapter 28: Unihemispheric Slow-Wave Sleep, Suprachiasmatic Nucleus, Theta Wave

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NSCI 201 (21.28)
Sleep and Wakefulness
5th April 2016
Sleep and Wakefulness!
Consequences of total sleep deprivation in rats!
Experiment: Total sleep deprivation in white rat, sleep state monitored through EEG. Over time,
body weight decreases, food intake increases, rat dies. There exists a human disorder that
prevents sleep—this is genetic and fatal. !
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Not sure why sleep is necessary as of right now—possibly needed for memory consolidation in
the brain. !
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The duration of sleep!
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As we age, we tend to need less sleep. Babies tend to need the most sleep, up to 24 hours a
day. If there is a sleep debt, it will be paid. !
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NSCI 201 (21.28)
Sleep and Wakefulness
5th April 2016
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Circadian rhythmicity of homeostatic mechanisms!
Many biological rhythms, including sleep, have a 24 hour period. Eg. cortisol (stress hormone)
peaks right before waking. If these rhythms are disrupted, kids can fall off growth curves.!
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Sleep rhythm in the absence of cues!!!
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Sleep rhythms are determined by production and
degradation of proteins throughout the day.
These control many processes, e.g. Appetite,
arousal.!
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This is tied into daylight cycles— when in
darkness, without light cues, cycle can gradually
slip, although duration remains relatively
consistent. !
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NSCI 201 (21.28)
Sleep and Wakefulness
5th April 2016
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Photoreceptors responsible for signalling circadian light changes!
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How do we prevent free-running cycles, and entrain it to adhere to some local rhythm (daylight)?!
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This occurs through retinal input— melanopsin is a photoreceptor sensitive to light, fires action
potentials (not a hyperpolarizing process, as in cones and rods).!
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APs are sent to the suprachiasmatic nucleus > paraventricular nucleus > sympathetic nervous
system (through spinal cord) > pineal gland (production of melatonin) !
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Melatonin is sent back to influence the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus (feedback
loop formed).!
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