Local Properties of Vigilance States: EMD Analysis of EEG Signals during Sleep-Waking States of Freely Moving Rats

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Abstract

Understanding the inherent dynamics of the EEG associated to sleep-waking can provide insights into its basic neural regulation. By characterizing the local properties of the EEG using power spectrum, empirical mode decomposition (EMD) and Hilbert-spectral analysis, we can examine the dynamics over a range of time-scales. We analyzed rat EEG during wake, NREMS and REMS using these methods. The average instantaneous phase, power spectral density (PSD) of intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) and the energy content in various frequency bands show characteristic changes in each of the vigilance states. The 2nd and 7th IMFs show changes in PSD for wake and REMS, suggesting that those modes may carry wake- and REMS-associated cognitive, conscious and behavior-specific information of an individual even though the EEG may appear similar. The energy content in θ2 (6Hz-9Hz) band of the 1st IMF for REMS is larger than that of wake. The decrease in the phase function of IMFs from wake to REMS to NREMS indicates decrease of the mean frequency in these states, respectively. The rate of information processing in waking state is more in the time scale described by the first three IMFs than in REMS state. However, for IMF5-IMF7, the rate is more for REMS than that for wake. We obtained Hilbert-Huang spectral entropy, which is a suitable measure of information processing in each of these state-specific EEG. It is possible to evaluate the complex dynamics of the EEG in each of the vigilance states by applying measures based on EMD and Hilbert-transform. Our results suggest that the EMD based nonlinear measures of the EEG can provide useful estimates of the information possessed by various oscillations associated with the vigilance states. Further, the EMD-based spectral measures may have implications in understanding anatamo-physiological correlates of sleep-waking behavior and clinical diagnosis of sleep-pathology. © 2013 Kumar et al.

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Kumar, R., Ramaswamy, R., & Nath Mallick, B. (2013). Local Properties of Vigilance States: EMD Analysis of EEG Signals during Sleep-Waking States of Freely Moving Rats. PLoS ONE, 8(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078174

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