A Thalamocortical Neural Mass Model of the EEG during NREM Sleep and Its Response to Auditory Stimulation

Michael Schellenberger Costa*, Arne Weigenand, Hong Viet V. Ngo, Lisa Marshall, Jan Born, Thomas Martinetz, Jens Christian Claussen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few models exist that accurately reproduce the complex rhythms of the thalamocortical system that are apparent in measured scalp EEG and at the same time, are suitable for large-scale simulations of brain activity. Here, we present a neural mass model of the thalamocortical system during natural non-REM sleep, which is able to generate fast sleep spindles (12–15 Hz), slow oscillations (<1 Hz) and K-complexes, as well as their distinct temporal relations, and response to auditory stimuli. We show that with the inclusion of detailed calcium currents, the thalamic neural mass model is able to generate different firing modes, and validate the model with EEG-data from a recent sleep study in humans, where closed-loop auditory stimulation was applied. The model output relates directly to the EEG, which makes it a useful basis to develop new stimulation protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1005022
JournalPLoS computational biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016 Schellenberger Costa et al. This
is an open access article distributed under the terms
of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided the original
author and source are credited.


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