Interhemispheric asymmetry during sleep in dogs

01 November, 2021

In the scope of the research project 169/16 - The potential effect of behavioral stimulation on social competence in dogs (via endogenous oxytocin release), supported by the BIAL Foundation, the research team led by Anna Kis published the paper “Interhemispheric asymmetry during NREM sleep in the dog” in the journal Scientific Reports.

“Functional hemispheric asymmetry was evidenced in many species during sleep. Dogs seem to show hemispheric asymmetry during wakefulness; however, their asymmetric neural activity during sleep was not yet explored. The present study investigated interhemispheric asymmetry in family dogs using non-invasive polysomnography. EEG recordings during 3-h-long afternoon naps were carried out (N = 19) on two occasions at the same location. Hemispheric asymmetry was assessed during NREM sleep, using bilateral EEG channels. To include periods with high homeostatic sleep pressure and to reduce the variance of the time spent in NREM sleep between dogs, the first two sleep cycles were analysed. Left hemispheric predominance of slow frequency range was detected in the first sleep cycle of sleep recording 1, compared to the baseline level of zero asymmetry as well as to the first sleep cycle of sleep recording 2. Regarding the strength of hemispheric asymmetry, we found greater absolute hemispheric asymmetry in the second sleep cycle of sleep recording 1 and 2 in the frequency ranges of alpha, sigma and beta, compared to the first sleep cycle. Differences between sleep recordings and consecutive sleep cycles might be indicative of adaptation-like processes, but do not closely resemble the results described in humans.”