Functional brain alterations in acute sleep deprivation: An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis

Sleep Med Rev. 2019 Aug;46:64-73. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2019.03.008. Epub 2019 Mar 28.


Sleep deprivation (SD) is a common problem in modern societies, which leads to cognitive dysfunctions including attention lapses, impaired working memory, hindering decision making, impaired emotional processing, and motor vehicle accidents. Numerous neuroimaging studies have investigated the neural correlates of SD, but these studies have reported inconsistent results. Thus, we aimed to identify convergent patterns of abnormal brain functions due to acute SD. Based on the preferred reporting for systematic reviews and meta-analyses statement, we searched the PubMed database and performed reference tracking and finally retrieved 31 eligible functional neuroimaging studies. Then, we applied activation estimation likelihood meta-analysis and found reduced activity mainly in the right intraparietal sulcus and superior parietal lobule. The functional decoding analysis using the BrainMap database indicated that this region is mostly related to visuospatial perception, memory and reasoning. The significant co-activation of this region using the BrainMap database were found in the left superior parietal lobule, intraparietal sulcus, bilateral occipital cortex, left fusiform gyrus and thalamus. This region also connected with the superior parietal lobule, intraparietal sulcus, insula, inferior frontal gyrus, precentral, occipital and cerebellum through resting-state functional connectivity in healthy subjects. Taken together, our findings highlight the role of superior parietal cortex in SD.

Keywords: ALE meta-analysis; Functional neuroimaging; Inferior parietal lobule; Intraparietal sulcus; Sleep deprivation; Superior parietal lobule.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Functional Neuroimaging*
  • Humans
  • Parietal Lobe / metabolism
  • Parietal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / metabolism
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology*
  • Thalamus