Laboratory of Neurobiology of Sleep and Wake

The laboratory was organized in 2007, Dr. Sc. V.B. Dorokhov. The creation of the laboratory was preceded by organizational work to restore the interest of the scientific community to research in the field of experimental somnology in our country. Research laboratory "Neurobiology of sleep and wakefulness" aimed at analyzing the relationship between sleep and the implementation of cognitive functions in the waking state. This research area can be briefly formulated as “Sleep, Activity, and Cognitive Functions.” Within the framework of this problem, the following are studied: mechanisms of disturbed activity caused by a critical decrease in the level of wakefulness; the role of daytime sleep in the restoration of human performance; sleep involvement in human and animal memory consolidation processes.

Currently, laboratory research is conducted in the following areas:

1) The study of the psycho-physiological mechanisms of falling asleep - the transition from wakefulness to sleep. 

The theoretical basis of these studies is the perception (Dorokhov VB 2001-2008) that the interaction of regulatory systems of wakefulness and sleep when falling asleep is accompanied by mental processes associated with the emergence of a drowsy state of consciousness, which is characterized by switching attention from analyzing information coming from the outside world to processing information retrieved from the memory. This transition is not recognized by the subject, which, on the one hand, provides a normal transition to physiological sleep, but on the other hand, the unawareness of the process of falling asleep while performing monotonous activities is the cause of various incidents in transport and production during a critical decrease in wakefulness. The laboratory has developed several experimental models for the study of impaired professional activity caused by a decrease in wakefulness when performing monotonous monotonous activities. The results of these studies were used to create the Machinist Wakefulness Control System (TSKBM), produced by Neurokom CJSC for railway transport. Violations of visual-motor coordination on a model of monotonous activity that simulates falling asleep at the wheel are currently being investigated. To register eye movement, a non-contact method of eye movement video registration (Eyegaze Development System, LC Technologies, USA) is used.

2) Study of sleep functions in learning and memory consolidation. 

Currently, most researchers believe that sleep is involved in the processes of consolidation (consolidation) of memory - the transition of short-term memory into long-term memory. However, the role of individual phases of sleep in the formation of different types of memory and their subtle mechanisms remain unknown. The study of the role of sleep in learning is carried out both on animals and on humans. The results obtained showed the effectiveness of the experimental models used to study the role of sleep in memory consolidation processes, both in animals and in humans. 

3) Non-pharmacological methods of improving sleep quality.

The laboratory studies the effectiveness of low-frequency peripheral stimulation of different modalities, with frequency parameters characteristic of EEG during falling asleep and deep sleep. Studies have been conducted on the effects of near-threshold electrodermal stimulation, acoustic stimulation with binaural beats, acoustic stimulation synchronized with delta waves of sleep, and weak electromagnetic fields of ultra-low frequency.


4) Chronotypes and operator performance.

It is known that the efficiency of operator activity during night and shift work depends on individual features of a person's chronotype, depending on which the lack of sleep can be expressed in different degrees. Correlation analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of a number of genes with chronotype parameters and accident statistics in sliding schedule bus drivers was carried out using a large sample of professional drivers (299 subjects) working on a rotating schedule with 10-year accident statistics. At present, studies aimed at expanding the chronotype characteristics and determining its markers in EEG characteristics, as well as manifestation in individual features of work and cognitive activity are actively carried out on large samples.


Scientific cooperation: a number of IHNA&NPh RAS laboratories; the Department Higher Nervous Activity, Biological Faculty and the Department of Psychophysiology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University; A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS, V.A. Kotel'nikov Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics RAS; CJSC "NEUROCOM" and other institutions.

Grants: Research supported by RFBR grants; RHF; The basic research program of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences "Fundamental sciences -  to medicine"; RAS program "Mechanisms of physiological functions: from molecule to behavior."

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