Sleep cyclic alternating pattern and cognition in children: A review

Luana Novelli, Raffaele Ferri, Oliviero Bruni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several studies have been recently focused on the relationship between sleep cyclic alternating pattern (CAP) and daytime cognitive performance, supporting the idea that the CAP slow components may play a role in sleep-related cognitive processes. Based on the results of these reports, it can be hypothesized that the analysis of CAP might be helpful in characterizing sleep microstructure patterns of different phenotypes of intellectual disability and a series of studies has been carried out that are reviewed in this paper. First the studies exploring the correlations between CAP and cognitive performance in normal adults and children are described; then, those analyzing the correlation between CAP and cognitive patterns of several developmental conditions with neurocognitive dysfunction (with or without mental retardation) are reported in detail in order to achieve a unitary view of the role of CAP in these conditions that allows to detect a particular "sleep microstructure phenotype" of children with neurologic/neuropsychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-251
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Cyclic alternating pattern
  • Daytime cognitive functioning
  • NREM sleep
  • Sleep-dependent memory
  • Slow-wave sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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