A Framework for Quantitative Modeling of Neural Circuits Involved in Sleep-to-Wake Transition

Optogenetics has transformed research in the understanding on how neural circuits work. The ability to estimulate single neurons enables the investigators to learn how can influence a predetermined behavior or response. In the present paper Luis de Lecea and his research group proposes a framework to investigate all the circuitry involved in the sleep-wake transitions using the stimulation of single neurons. It is through the knowledge of these mechanisms that we might be able to know how similar or different sedation techniques could be as compared to physiologic sleep and to test if the use of specific drugs to induce sedation might have the same beneficial effects as physiologic sleep.