Chaotic behavior of EEG slow-wave activity during sleep

Raffaele Ferri, Filippa Alicata, Stefano Del Gracco, Maurizio Elia, Sebastiano A. Musumeci, Maria C. Stefanini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of the dynamics of non-linear systems allows the evaluation of the correlation dimension which, in turn, provides an estimate of the number of variables needed to model the process. In such a view, the correlation dimension was calculated for the profiles of the EEG slow-wave activity during sleep obtained from 7 young normal controls and in their corresponding artificial stochastic signals. It was possible to evaluate the complexity of all the real profiles which exhibited an average dimension of 3.76 (SD 0.331), but not that of the artificial control ones. This allows us to conclude that sleep regulation might be considered as a deterministic non-linear process and that the already proposed two-process model of sleep regulation needs to include additional variables with non-linear interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-543
Number of pages5
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996


  • correlation dimension
  • deterministic chaos
  • power spectra
  • sleep regulation
  • slow-wave activity
  • stochastic process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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