High γ Activity in Cortex and Hippocampus Is Correlated with Autonomic Tone during SleepeNeuro, 2021
Studies in animals have demonstrated a strong relationship between cortical and hippocampal activity, and autonomic tone. However, the extent, distribution, and nature of this relationship have not been investigated with intracranial recordings in humans during sleep. Cortical and hippocampal population neuronal firing was estimated from high γ band activity (HG) from 70 to 110 Hz in local field potentials (LFPs) recorded from 15 subjects (nine females) during nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Autonomic tone was estimated from heart rate variability (HRV). HG and HRV were significantly correlated in the hippocampus and multiple cortical sites in NREM stages N1–N3. The average correlation between HG and HRV could be positive or negative across patients given anatomic location and sleep stage and was most profound in lateral temporal lobe in N3, suggestive of greater cortical activity associated with sympathetic tone. Patient-wide correlation was related to δ band activity (1–4 Hz), which is known to be correlated with high γ activity during sleep. The percentage of statistically correlated channels was weaker in N1 and N2 as compared with N3, and was strongest in regions that have previously been associated with autonomic processes, such as anterior hippocampus and insula. The anatomic distribution of HRV-HG correlations during sleep did not reproduce those usually observed with positron emission tomography (PET) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during waking. This study aims to characterize the relationship between autonomic tone and neuronal firing rate during sleep and further studies are needed to investigate finer temporal resolutions, denser coverages, and different frequency bands in both waking and sleep.