Spatio-temporal characteristics of correlated brain activity during awake rest and early sleep
Fukunaga M, Horovitz S, de Zwart J, van Gelderen P, Fulton S, Balkin T, Duyn J
National Institutes of Health
During rest, a number of physiologic processes remain active in the human brain, some of which cause spatio-temporal patterns of correlated activity observable with BOLD fMRI. However, it is unclear whether this activity represents active cognitive processes. To investigate this, we performed fMRI during various levels of alertness including awake rest and early sleep. We found that spatially correlated activity continues during early sleep, indicating that it does not require a high level of alertness or consciousness, and suggesting that it does not represent conscious mentation.