Modulation of brain state, e.g., by anesthesia, alters the correlation structure of spontaneous activity, especially in the delta band. This effect has largely been attributed to the ∼1 Hz slow oscillation that is characteristic of anesthesia and nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. However, the effect of the slow oscillation on correlation structures and the spectral content of spontaneous activity across brain states (including NREM) has not been comprehensively examined. Further, discrepancies between activity dynamics observed with hemoglobin versus calcium (GCaMP6) imaging have not been reconciled. Lastly, whether the slow oscillation replaces functional connectivity (FC) patterns typical of the alert state, or superimposes on them, remains unclear. Here, we use wide-field calcium imaging to study spontaneous cortical activity in awake, anesthetized, and naturally sleeping mice. We find modest brain state-dependent changes in infraslow correlations but larger changes in GCaMP6 delta correlations. Principal component analysis of GCaMP6 sleep/anesthesia data in the delta band revealed that the slow oscillation is largely confined to the first three components. Removal of these components revealed a correlation structure strikingly similar to that observed during wake. These results indicate that, during NREM sleep/anesthesia, the slow oscillation superimposes onto a canonical FC architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035002
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Calcium
  • Functional connectivity
  • Hemoglobin
  • Sleep
  • Slow oscillation


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