Research Themes

Research Themes

  • investigating the mechanisms that regulate sleep-wakefulness
  • brain mechanisms of synchronisation and their regulation
  • circadian rhythms and their relation to sleep
  • direct sleep effects of light and its interaction with circadian and homeostatic sleep regulation

In our laboratory, we use a complex methodological approach to study the brain systems that regulate sleep-wakefulness, with a particular focus on the role of the dopaminergic system among the ascending activating systems. Using a combination of electrophysiological and anatomical methods, we perform experiments on awake, free-moving and anaesthetised rats, often complemented by pharmacological and behavioural studies, depending on the specific research project.

One of our most important research areas is the slow cortical rhythm, which can help us to understand the function of sleep and the mechanisms of information processing during sleep. This distinctive EEG pattern is generated in the cerebral cortex and is present both in vitro and in vivo (under anaesthesia and during slow-wave sleep). Our experiments aim to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the slow cortical rhythm, the cortical neuronal circuits that generate the rhythm and their function, and the relationship of the rhythm to sensory information processing and homeostatic sleep regulation.

In our chronic laboratory, it is possible to study the mechanisms that regulate circadian rhythms and the relationship of circadian rhythms to sleep.


  • Dr. László Záborszky - Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Newark, USA
  • Dr. Tom DeBoer - Dept. of Physiology, University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands