Promising techniques to illuminate neuromodulatory control of the cerebral cortex in sleeping and waking states

Takeshi Kanda, Kaoru Ohyama, Hiroki Muramoto, Nami Kitajima, Hiroshi Sekiya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep, a common event in daily life, has clear benefits for brain function, but what goes on in the brain when we sleep remains unclear. Sleep was long regarded as a silent state of the brain because the brain seemingly lacks interaction with the surroundings during sleep. Since the discovery of electrical activities in the brain at rest, electrophysiological methods have revealed novel concepts in sleep research. During sleep, the brain generates oscillatory activities that represent characteristic states of sleep. In addition to electrophysiology, opto/chemogenetics and two-photon Ca2+ imaging methods have clarified that the sleep/wake states organized by neuronal and glial ensembles in the cerebral cortex are transitioned by neuromodulators. Even with these methods, however, it is extremely difficult to elucidate how and when neuromodulators spread, accumulate, and disappear in the extracellular space of the cortex. Thus, real-time monitoring of neuromodulator dynamics at high spatiotemporal resolution is required for further understanding of sleep. Toward direct detection of neuromodulator behavior during sleep and wakefulness, in this review, we discuss developing imaging techniques based on the activation of G-protein-coupled receptors that allow for visualization of neuromodulator dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-103
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroscience Research
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium
  • Cerebral cortex
  • Electrophysiology
  • Imaging
  • Neuromodulator
  • Oscillations
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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