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Free Content Brain temperature dependent changes in the electroencephalogram power spectrum of humans and animals

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In animals, changes in brain temperature induce a shift in frequencies in the electroencephalogram (EEG). Given the large decreases in body and brain temperature that occur during hibernation, putative functions that were previously ascribed to certain EEG frequencies are no longer valid because of the progressive shift away from the original frequency. In the present review it is proposed that even moderate temperature changes in humans and animals, such as those across the circadian or menstrual cycle, or induced by drugs, have a significant effect on EEG frequencies and the corresponding power spectrum. Alterations in the relative EEG power spectrum, in studies where body temperature also changes, may not be a direct cause of the treatment under investigation, but a consequence of effects on body or brain temperature. However, these effects on the EEG power spectrum are usually interpreted to result directly from the experimental treatment.
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Keywords: EEG spectral analysis; brain temperature; hibernation; high frequency activity; menstrual cycle

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Pharmacology, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Publication date: 1998-12-01

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