O’Reilly, Warby, Nielsen (2017)

Editorial: Sleep Spindles: Breaking the Methodological Wall, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

pdf: oreilly-2017

Research on sleep spindles and their correlates has progressed steadily over the last decade. The subject has evolved from a simple topic of investigation to an emerging research field, as indicated this year by the first international conference on sleep spindles in Budapest, Hungary, as well as the launching of a scientific journal (i.e., Sleep Spindles and Cortical Up States: A Multidisciplinary Journal) on this topic. This increasing interest has been fueled by reports of associations of sleep spindle characteristics with diseases such as schizophrenia (Ferrarelli et al., 2007, 2010; Manoach et al.), Parkinson’s disease (Christensen et al.), REM sleep behavior disorder (Christensen et al., 2014; O’Reilly et al., 2015), Alzheimer’s disease (Montplaisir et al., 1995; Rauchs et al., 2008), autism (Limoges et al., 2005), and mental retardation (Shibagaki et al., 1982), with recovery processes following brain stroke (Gottselig et al., 2002), with cognitive faculties such as memory consolidation and intelligence (Fogel and Smith, 2011), and with sleep preservation (Landis et al., 2004; Dang-Vu et al., 2010; Schabus et al., 2012). Nonetheless, many methodological difficulties have been encountered in reliably detecting sleep spindles. Hence, this research topic was launched as a forum for proposing better practices in the study of sleep spindles and to provide new insights on spindle correlates. Authors were invited particularly to propose open-access resources that could help promote improved methods and support standardization in the field.


A total of 17 papers were accepted for publication on the research topic, with 10 being focussed particularly on methodological issues such as spindle detection and the remaining seven providing new insights on sleep spindle correlates.


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