Munich Neuroscience Calendar


05.03.2020, 13:00 Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie
until 14:00
Event Type: Talk
Speaker: Mark S. Blumberg
Institute: University of Iowa, USA

Title: Active sleep promotes functional connectivity and sensorimotor integration throughout the developing nervous system

Seminar room, bldg. 4
82319 Seewiesen

Host: Niels Rattenborg
Host Email:
During active (REM) sleep in mammals and birds, skeletal muscles twitch throughout the body, causing jerky movements of limbs, whiskers, wings, and eyes. These spontaneous, discrete movements are particularly prominent during the perinatal period, when active sleep predominates. As demonstrated in newborn rats, the triggering of a twitch is followed by a cascade of sensory feedback (reafference) through the sensorimotor system, resulting in coherent oscillatory activity in such structures as sensorimotor cortex, hippocampus, and red nucleus. Critically, whereas these coherently organized oscillations are apparent when pups are asleep, they are nearly absent when they are awake. In light of the functional significance ascribed to brain oscillations for learning and plasticity, these findings suggest that active sleep provides a critical context for the expression of organized activity in cortical and subcortical structures, ultimately producing a brain that is functionally integrated with its body.

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