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Front. Hum. Neurosci., 17 February 2015

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DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00052

Péter Przemyslaw Ujma1, Ferenc Gombos2, Lisa Genzel3, Boris Nikolai Konrad4, Péter Simor5,6, Axel Steiger2, Martin Dresler4,7* and Róbert Bódizs1,2

1Institute of Behavioral Science, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
2Department of General Psychology, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary
3Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
4Department of Clinical Research, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany
5Department of Cognitive Sciences, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary
6Nyírõ Gyula Hospital, National Institute of Psychiatry and Addictions, Budapest, Hungary
7Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Sleep spindles are frequently studied for their relationship with state and trait cognitive variables, and they are thought to play an important role in sleep-related memory consolidation. Due to their frequent occurrence in NREM sleep, the detection of sleep spindles is only feasible using automatic algorithms, of which a large number is available. We compared subject averages of the spindle parameters computed by a fixed frequency (FixF) (11–13 Hz for slow spindles, 13–15 Hz for fast spindles) automatic detection algorithm and the individual adjustment method (IAM), which uses individual frequency bands for sleep spindle detection. Fast spindle duration and amplitude are strongly correlated in the two algorithms, but there is little overlap in fast spindle density and slow spindle parameters in general. The agreement between fixed and manually determined sleep spindle frequencies is limited, especially in case of slow spindles. This is the most likely reason for the poor agreement between the two detection methods in case of slow spindle parameters. Our results suggest that while various algorithms may reliably detect fast spindles, a more sophisticated algorithm primed to individual spindle frequencies is necessary for the detection of slow spindles as well as individual variations in the number of spindles in general.


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