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Neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological bases of waking and sleeping 

Neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological bases of waking and sleeping
Chapter:
Neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological bases of waking and sleeping
Author(s):

Barbara E. Jones

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199682003.003.0004
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date: 18 February 2020

Neurons distributed through the reticular core of the brainstem, hypothalamus, and basal forebrain and giving rise to ascending projections to the cortex or descending projections to the spinal cord promote the changes in cortical activity and behavior that underlie the sleep–wake cycle and three states of waking, NREM (slow wave) sleep, and REM (paradoxical) sleep. Forming the basic units of these systems, glutamate and GABA cell groups are heterogeneous in discharge profiles and projections, such that different subgroups can promote cortical activation (wake/REM(PS)-active) versus cortical deactivation (NREM(SWS)-active) by ascending influences or behavioral arousal with muscle tone (wake-active) versus behavioral quiescence with muscle atonia (NREM/REM(PS)-active) by descending influences. These different groups are in turn regulated by neuromodulatory systems, including cortical activation (wake/REM(PS)-active acetylcholine neurons), behavioral arousal (wake-active noradrenaline, histamine, serotonin, and orexin neurons), and behavioral quiescence (NREM/REM(PS)-active MCH neurons). By different projections, chemical neurotransmitters and discharge profiles, distinct cell groups thus act and interact to promote cyclic oscillations in cortical activity and behavior forming the sleep-wake cycle and states.

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