Connectivity differences between consciousness and unconsciousness in non-rapid eye movement sleep: a TMS–EEG study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

  • Minji Lee
  • Benjamin Baird
  • Olivia Gosseries
  • Jaakko Nieminen

  • Melanie Boly
  • Bradley R. Postle
  • Giulio Tononi
  • Seong Whan Lee

Research units

  • Korea University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Liege

Abstract

The neuronal connectivity patterns that differentiate consciousness from unconsciousness remain unclear. Previous studies have demonstrated that effective connectivity, as assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography (TMS–EEG), breaks down during the loss of consciousness. This study investigated changes in EEG connectivity associated with consciousness during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep following parietal TMS. Compared with unconsciousness, conscious experiences during NREM sleep were associated with reduced phase-locking at low frequencies (<4 Hz). Transitivity and clustering coefficient in the delta and theta bands were also significantly lower during consciousness compared to unconsciousness, with differences in the clustering coefficient observed in scalp electrodes over parietal–occipital regions. There were no significant differences in Granger-causality patterns in frontal-to-parietal or parietal-to-frontal connectivity between reported unconsciousness and reported consciousness. Together these results suggest that alterations in spectral and spatial characteristics of network properties in posterior brain areas, in particular decreased local (segregated) connectivity at low frequencies, is a potential indicator of consciousness during sleep.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number5175
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • CORTICAL EFFECTIVE CONNECTIVITY, TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION, HIGH-DENSITY EEG, PHASE-SYNCHRONIZATION, SLOW WAVES, PROPOFOL ANESTHESIA, BREAKDOWN, UNRESPONSIVENESS, MECHANISMS, RESPONSES

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