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Sleep and Brain Plasticity$
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Pierre Maquet, Carlyle Smith, and Robert Stickgold

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198574002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198574002.001.0001

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The Role of Sleep in the Development of Central Visual Pathways

The Role of Sleep in the Development of Central Visual Pathways

(p.189) Chapter 10 The Role of Sleep in the Development of Central Visual Pathways
Sleep and Brain Plasticity

Marcos G. Frank

Michael P. Stryker

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews evidence in support of the hypothesis that sleep may play an important role in brain maturation. It begins by reviewing the role of endogenous neural activity and experience in the development of central visual pathways. It then discusses current findings that support a role for sleep in visual system development. The chapter concludes with a discussion of several theories regarding the functions of sleep in developing animals; specifically, it reviews the ‘Ontogenetic Hypothesis’ that posits REM sleep as an important source of endogenous activity in the developing brain, and a second view which states that NREM sleep promotes the consolidation of waking experience; a process which begins at certain stages of development, but is retained throughout the lifespan.

Keywords:   sleep, brain maturation, visual pathways, visual system development, NREM sleep, REM sleep

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