All-night recordings from subdural electrocorticographic (ECoG) electrodes on the human medial and basal temporal lobes were analysed to examine spindling activities during sleep. Subjects were three males and three females who were candidates for neurosurgical treatments of partial epilepsy. Subdural electrodes were attached to the medial and basal temporal lobe cortices, allowing ECoG and electroencephalogram from the scalp vertex (Cz EEG) to be recorded simultaneously during all night sleep. In one case, subdural electrodes were attached also on the parietal lobe. Fast Fourier transformation (FFT) analyses were performed on the ECoG and Cz EEG signals. No organized sleep spindles or sigma band (12-16 Hz) peaks in FFT power spectra were observed from the medial or basal temporal lobes of the non-epileptogenic hemispheres during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. In a case with parietal electrodes, organized spindle bursts were observed in parietal signals synchronized with Cz spindles. Although delta band (0.3-3 Hz) power from both the medial and basal temporal lobes fluctuated across each night as expected, sigma activity changed little. However, 14 Hz oscillatory bursts were observed in the medial basal temporal lobe of epileptogenic hemisphere in two cases and bilaterally in one case during not only NREM sleep but rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and wakefulness. From the present study we conclude that sleep spindle activities are absent in the medial and basal temporal lobes. Fourteen Hz oscillatory bursts observed from the medial or basal temporal lobe in some cases were not considered to be sleep spindles since they also appeared during REM sleep and wakefulness. These waveforms could have originated due to epileptic pathology, since they frequently appeared in epileptic regions.
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