Sleep and the Brain

Philippe Peigneux, Charline Urbain and Remy Schmitz

in The Oxford Handbook of Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780195376203
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Sleep and the Brain

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  • Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology



The phenomenological experience of sleep as a cessation of waking activity is misleading. Indeed, it suggests that sleep constitutes, like a switch, a simple mechanism by which are shut off all neurophysiological processes associated with an active and costly wake state of vigilance. In this chapter, we present a summary description of sleep and its defining features, viewed from behavioral, neurobiological, neurophysiological, and functional neuroanatomical perspectives. Given the universality of sleep and/or sleep-like phenomena across animal species, we review also the phylogenesis of sleep. As the reader will realize, the simplistic view that sleep is a mere state of inactivity must be replaced by the conception of a complex, multidimensional, and active state of the brain.

Keywords: NREM; REM; SWS; USWS; neurobiology; neurophysiology; functional neuroanatomy; phylogenesis; EEG; PET; fMRI; MEG

Article.  17381 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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