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Ketamine and sleep modulate neural complexity dynamics in cats.

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Castro-Zaballa, Santiago 
Bor, Daniel 
Canales-Johnson, Andrés 


There is increasing evidence that the level of consciousness can be captured by neural informational complexity: for instance, complexity, as measured by the Lempel Ziv (LZ) compression algorithm, decreases during anaesthesia and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep in humans and rats, when compared with LZ in awake and REM sleep. In contrast, LZ is higher in humans under the effect of psychedelics, including subanaesthetic doses of ketamine. However, it is both unclear how this result would be modulated by varying ketamine doses, and whether it would extend to other species. Here, we studied LZ with and without auditory stimulation during wakefulness and different sleep stages in five cats implanted with intracranial electrodes, as well as under subanaesthetic doses of ketamine (5, 10, and 15 mg/kg i.m.). In line with previous results, LZ was lowest in NREM sleep, but similar in REM and wakefulness. Furthermore, we found an inverted U-shaped curve following different levels of ketamine doses in a subset of electrodes, primarily in prefrontal cortex. However, it is worth noting that the variability in the ketamine dose-response curve across cats and cortices was larger than that in the sleep-stage data, highlighting the differential local dynamics created by two different ways of modulating conscious state. These results replicate previous findings, both in humans and other species, demonstrating that neural complexity is highly sensitive to capture state changes between wake and sleep stages while adding a local cortical description. Finally, this study describes the differential effects of ketamine doses, replicating a rise in complexity for low doses, and further fall as doses approach anaesthetic levels in a differential manner depending on the cortex.


Funder: Programa de Desarrollo de Ciencias Básicas, PEDECIBA


cats, complexity, cortex, ketamine, local field potential, psychedelics, sleep, thalamus, Animals, Cats, Electroencephalography, Ketamine, Rats, Sleep, Sleep Stages, Sleep, REM, Wakefulness

Journal Title

Eur J Neurosci

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Wellcome Trust (210920/Z/18/Z)