The topological characteristics of brain networks changes according to environmental demands and can be described under the framework of graph theory. We hypothesized that 24-hours long sleep deprivation (SD) causes functional rearrangements of the brain topology so as to impair optimal communication, and that such rearrangements relate to changes in specific cognitive tasks, especially the ones requiring attention. Thirty-four young men underwent MEG recording and assessments of attention and switching abilities before and after SD. We found loss of integration of brain network and a worsening of attention but not of switching abilities. This results showed that brain network changes due to SD selectively impaired attention and forced the brain to put in place a compensatory mechanism to preserve the switching ability as the nature of the presented stimuli involved differently the top-down and bottom-up processing.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience