© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Sleep deprivation (SD) has adverse effects on mental and physical health, affecting the cognitive abilities and emotional states. Specifically, cognitive functions and alertness are known to decrease after SD. The aim of this work was to identify the directional information transfer after SD on scalp EEG signals using transfer entropy (TE). Using a robust methodology based on EEG recordings of 18 volunteers deprived from sleep for 36 h, TE and spectral analysis were performed to characterize EEG data acquired every 2 h. Correlation between connectivity measures and subjective somnolence was assessed. In general, TE showed medium- and long-range significant decreases originated at the occipital areas and directed towards different regions, which could be interpreted as the transfer of predictive information from parieto-occipital activity to the rest of the head. Simultaneously, short-range increases were obtained for the frontal areas, following a consistent and robust time course with significant maps after 20 h of sleep deprivation. Changes during sleep deprivation in brain network were measured effectively by TE, which showed increased local connectivity and diminished global integration. TE is an objective measure that could be used as a potential measure of sleep pressure and somnolence with the additional property of directed relationships.
- Electroencephalography (EEG) transfer entropy (TE)
- Prolonged wakefulness
- Sleep deprivation (SD)