EEG Synchrony and Behavioral Inhibition



The raphé nuclei of the brain stem and the neurotransmitter serotonin have long been implicated in the production of sleep. Michel Jouvet at the University of Lyon has been the major proponent of this position. In the 1950s, Jouvet and his colleagues manipulated brain levels of serotonin in two ways. They used drugs that inhibited serotonin breakdown, thus increasing its availability at synapses, and drugs that prevented serotonin synthesis, thus decreasing its availability for synaptic release. Slow-wave sleep was enhanced when serotonin levels were increased, and insomnia was produced with reduced serotonin. However, papers appeared that presented data inconsistent with the role of serotonin in slow-wave sleep. Two such reports showed that activation of the nucleus raphé dorsalis, considered to be the major source of forebrain serotonin, failed to produce EEG synchronization and sleep, though it did produce inhibition of behavior that has been associated with slow-wave sleep (Jacobs et al., 1973; Siegel and Brownstein, 1975).


Conditioned Stimulus Unconditioned Stimulus Caudate Nucleus Basal Forebrain Reticular Formation 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2002

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