Author(s): Nader RS, Smith CT
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Abstract Sleep spindles are waxing and waning thalamocortical oscillations with accepted frequencies of between 11 and 16 Hz and a minimum duration of 0.5 s. Our research has suggested that there is spindle activity in all of the sleep stages, and thus for the present analysis we examined the link between spindle activity (Stage 2, rapid eye movement (REM) and slow wave sleep (SWS)) and waking cognitive abilities in 32 healthy adolescents. After software was used to filter frequencies outside the desired range, slow spindles (11.00-13.50 Hz), fast spindles (13.51-16.00 Hz) and spindle-like activity (16.01-18.50 Hz) were observed in Stage 2, SWS and REM sleep. Our analysis suggests that these specific EEG frequencies were significantly related to processing speed, which is one of the subscales of the intelligence score, in adolescents. The relationship was prominent in SWS and REM sleep. Further, the spindle-like activity (16.01-18.50 Hz) that occurred during SWS was strongly related to processing speed. Results suggest that the ability of adolescents to respond to tasks in an accurate, efficient and timely manner is related to their sleep quality. These findings support earlier research reporting relationships between learning, learning potential and sleep spindle activity in adults and adolescents.
This article was published in Front Hum Neurosci
and referenced in Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology