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Sleep Spindles & Cortical Up States 1:(1) pp.42-54 (2017)

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DOI: 10.1556/2053.01.2017.002

Róbert Bódizs1,2,3*†, Ferenc Gombos2†, Péter P. Ujma1,3, Sára Szakadát1, Piroska Sándor1, Péter Simor6,7, Adrián Pótári6, Boris Nikolai Konrad4, Lisa Genzel8, Axel Steiger5, Martin Dresler4,5 and Ilona Kovács2
1Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
2Department of General Psychology, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary
3National Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Budapest, Hungary
4Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
5Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany
6Department of Cognitive Science, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary
7Nyírő Gyula Hospital, National Institute of Psychiatry and Addictions, Budapest, Hungary
8Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom



Females and males differ in several features of their spindle oscillations, as well as in the hemispheric lateralization of their neurocognitive processes. In addition, the hemispheric lateralization of cognitive functions was shown to vary in an age-dependent manner. In spite of the above knowledge, data on the hemispheric lateralization of these oscillatory phenomena are scarce and no sex differences or age effects in the hemispheric lateralization of sleep spindles were reported. Here, we aim to fill this gap by the description of the hemispheric lateralization of sleep spindles in healthy human subjects. Data sets from three research groups were unified (N = 251, age range: 4−69 years, 122 females) in this retrospective multicenter study. The amplitude, density, and duration of slow (frontally dominant) and fast (centroparietally dominant) spindles were analyzed using the individual adjustment method. Hemispheric lateralization was quantified by the (L − R)/mean (L, R) index. Orbitofronto-temporo-occipital and parietal fast sleep spindle measures are left lateralized, while prefrontal spindle amplitude is characterized by right hemispheric dominance. Left lateralization of fast spindle density and duration in the temporal and orbitofrontal regions, respectively, increases as a function of age in males, but not in females. In turn, females are characterized by higher left hemispheric dominance in occipitally measured fast spindle durations as compared with males. Sleep spindles are asymmetrically distributed over the two hemispheres. This phenomenon is sexually dimorphic and region-specific perhaps indexing sex differences in neurocognitive architectures.

Keywords: sleep spindles; sigma activity; hemispheric lateralization; sexual dimorphism; gender differences; temporal lobe


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