UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology; Anaclet Lab

Publication Date


Document Type



Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Computational Biology | Nervous System | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Physiological Processes


Origin and functions of intermittent transitions among sleep stages, including short awakenings and arousals, constitute a challenge to the current homeostatic framework for sleep regulation, focusing on factors modulating sleep over large time scales. Here we propose that the complex micro-architecture characterizing the sleep-wake cycle results from an underlying non-equilibrium critical dynamics, bridging collective behaviors across spatio-temporal scales. We investigate theta and delta wave dynamics in control rats and in rats with lesions of sleep-promoting neurons in the parafacial zone. We demonstrate that intermittent bursts in theta and delta rhythms exhibit a complex temporal organization, with long-range power-law correlations and a robust duality of power law (theta-bursts, active phase) and exponential-like (delta-bursts, quiescent phase) duration distributions, typical features of non-equilibrium systems self-organizing at criticality. Crucially, such temporal organization relates to anti-correlated coupling between theta- and delta-bursts, and is independent of the dominant physiologic state and lesions, a solid indication of a basic principle in sleep dynamics.


Sleep, Neurons, Probability distribution, Rats, Electroencephalography, Homeostasis, Regulations, Sleep disorders

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Copyright: © 2019 Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



PLoS Comput Biol. 2019 Nov 14;15(11):e1007268. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007268. eCollection 2019 Nov. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PLoS computational biology

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.