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Frontiers in Mathematical Biology

Dynamics of sleep-wake regulation

Cecilia Diniz Behn

Gettysburg College


Waking and sleep states are regulated by the coordinated activity of neuronal populations in the brainstem and hypothalamus whose synaptic interactions define a sleep-wake regulatory network. Mathematical models of this network contain mechanisms operating on multiple time scales. By exploiting the naturally-arising slow time scale of the homeostatic sleep drive, techniques such as fast-slow analysis may be used to analyze mechanisms of transition in the deterministic system. Alternatively, by focusing on stochastic properties of this model network, the generative mechanisms associated with the fine architecture of sleep-wake behavior may be investigated.