Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Phase Synchronization as Assessed by Wavelet Phase Coherence Analysis of Prefrontal Tissue Oxyhemoglobin Signals

Lingguo Bu, Ming Zhang, Jianfeng Li, Fangyi Li, Heshan Liu, Zengyong Li

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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. Purpose To reveal the physiological mechanism of the decline in cognitive function after sleep deprivation, a within-subject study was performed to assess sleep deprivation effects on phase synchronization, as revealed by wavelet phase coherence (WPCO) analysis of prefrontal tissue oxyhemoglobin signals. Materials and Methods Twenty subjects (10 male and 10 female, 25.5 ± 3.5 years old) were recruited to participate in two tests: one without sleep deprivation (group A) and the other with 24 h of sleep deprivation (group B). Before the test, each subject underwent a subjective evaluation using visual analog scales. A cognitive task was performed by judging three random numbers. Continuous recordings of the near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) signals were obtained from both the left and right prefrontal lobes during rest, task, and post-task periods. The WPCO of cerebral Delta [HbO2 ] signals were analyzed for these three periods for both groups A and B. Results Six frequency intervals were defined: I: 0.6-2 Hz (cardiac activity), II: 0.145-0.6 Hz (respiratory activity), III: 0.052-0.145 Hz (myogenic activity), IV: 0.021-0.052 Hz (neurogenic activity), V: 0.0095-0.021 Hz (nitric oxide related endothelial activity) and VI: 0.005-0.0095 Hz (non-nitric oxide related endothelial activity). WPCO in intervals III (F = 5.955, p = 0.02) and V (F = 4.7, p = 0.037) was significantly lower in group B than in group A at rest. During the task period, WPCO in intervals III (F = 5.175, p = 0.029) and IV (F = 4.585, p = 0.039) was significantly lower in group B compared with group A. In the post-task recovery period, the WPCO in interval III (F = 6.125, p = 0.02) was significantly lower in group B compared with group A. Reaction time was significantly prolonged, and the accuracy rate and F1 score both declined after sleep deprivation. Conclusions The decline in WPCO after sleep deprivation indicates reduced phase synchronization between left and right prefrontal oxyhemoglobin oscillations, which may contribute to the diminished cognitive function.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0169279
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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