fMRI correlates of behavioural microsleeps during a continuous visuomotor task

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009:2009:2919-22. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5334486.


Behavioural microsleeps (BMs) are brief episodes of absent responsiveness accompanied by slow-eye-closure. They frequently occur as a consequence of sleep-deprivation, an extended monotonous task, and are modulated by the circadian rhythm and sleep homeostatic pressure. In this paper, a multimodal method to investigate the neural correlates of BMs using simultaneous recording of fMRI, eye-video, VEOG, and continuous visuomotor response is presented. The data were collected from 20 healthy volunteers while they performed a continuous visuomotor tracking task inside an MRI scanner for 50 min. The BMs were identified post-hoc by expert visual rating of eye-video and visuomotor response using a set of pre-defined criteria. fMRI analysis of BMs revealed changes in haemodynamic activity in several cortical and sub-cortical regions associated with visuomotor control and arousal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior
  • Brain / pathology
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Electrooculography / methods
  • Female
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sleep*
  • Time Factors
  • Vision, Ocular