Time-varying effective connectivity of the cortical neuroelectric activity associated with behavioural microsleeps

Jlenia Toppi, Laura Astolfi, Govinda R. Poudel, Carrie R H Innes, Fabio Babiloni, Richard D. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An episode of complete failure to respond during an attentive task accompanied by behavioural signs of sleep is called a behavioural microsleep. We proposed a combination of high-resolution EEG and an advanced method for time-varying effective connectivity estimation for reconstructing the temporal evolution of the causal relations between cortical regions when microsleeps occur during a continuous visuomotor task. We found connectivity patterns involving left-right frontal, left-right parietal, and left-frontal/right-parietal connections commencing in the interval [- 500; - 250] ms prior to the onset of microsleeps and disappearing at the end of the microsleeps. Our results from global graph indices derived from effective connectivity analysis have revealed EEG-based biomarkers of all stages of microsleeps (preceding, onset, pre-recovery, recovery). In particular, this raises the possibility of being able to predict microsleeps in real-world tasks and initiate a 'wake-up' intervention to avert the microsleeps and, hence, prevent injurious and even multi-fatality accidents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-432
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroImage
Volume124
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sep 10 2015

Keywords

  • Behavioural microsleeps
  • EEG
  • Effective connectivity
  • Graph theory
  • Time-varying connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology

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