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Decoding Brain Responses to Names and Voices across Different Vigilance States

Cognition and Consciousness Research, Laboratory for Sleep, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunner Strasse 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Transfaculty Research Platform Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences, University of Basel, Birmannsgasse 8, CH-4055 Basel, Switzerland
Centre for Chronobiology, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, Wilhelm-Klein-Str. 27, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland
Department of Health Sciences, Università Degli Studi di Milano, 20146 Milan, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Filippo Zappasodi, Silvia Comani and Patrique Fiedler
Sensors 2021, 21(10), 3393;
Received: 22 March 2021 / Revised: 5 May 2021 / Accepted: 7 May 2021 / Published: 13 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection EEG Sensors for Biomedical Applications)
Past research has demonstrated differential responses of the brain during sleep in response especially to variations in paralinguistic properties of auditory stimuli, suggesting they can still be processed “offline”. However, the nature of the underlying mechanisms remains unclear. Here, we therefore used multivariate pattern analyses to directly test the similarities in brain activity among different sleep stages (non-rapid eye movement stages N1-N3, as well as rapid-eye movement sleep REM, and wake). We varied stimulus salience by manipulating subjective (own vs. unfamiliar name) and paralinguistic (familiar vs. unfamiliar voice) salience in 16 healthy sleepers during an 8-h sleep opportunity. Paralinguistic salience (i.e., familiar vs. unfamiliar voice) was reliably decoded from EEG response patterns during both N2 and N3 sleep. Importantly, the classifiers trained on N2 and N3 data generalized to N3 and N2, respectively, suggesting similar processing mode in these states. Moreover, projecting the classifiers’ weights using a forward model revealed similar fronto-central topographical patterns in NREM stages N2 and N3. Finally, we found no generalization from wake to any sleep stage (and vice versa) suggesting that “processing modes” or the overall processing architecture with respect to relevant oscillations and/or networks substantially change from wake to sleep. However, the results point to a single and rather uniform NREM-specific mechanism that is involved in (auditory) salience detection during sleep. View Full-Text
Keywords: sleep; EEG; decoding sleep; EEG; decoding
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wielek, T.; Blume, C.; Wislowska, M.; del Giudice, R.; Schabus, M. Decoding Brain Responses to Names and Voices across Different Vigilance States. Sensors 2021, 21, 3393.

AMA Style

Wielek T, Blume C, Wislowska M, del Giudice R, Schabus M. Decoding Brain Responses to Names and Voices across Different Vigilance States. Sensors. 2021; 21(10):3393.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wielek, Tomasz, Christine Blume, Malgorzata Wislowska, Renata del Giudice, and Manuel Schabus. 2021. "Decoding Brain Responses to Names and Voices across Different Vigilance States" Sensors 21, no. 10: 3393.

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