Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Schizophrenia, Sleep Disorders / 18.10.2022 Interview with: Michael J. Prerau, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine, Faculty, Division of Sleep Medicine Harvard Medical School Associate Neuroscientist and Director of the┬áNeurophysiological Signal Processing Core Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital What is the background for this study? Response: The brain is highly active during sleep, which makes it an important, natural way to study neurological health and disease. Scientists typically study brain activity during sleep using the electroencephalogram, or EEG, which measures brainwaves at the scalp. Starting in the mid 1930s, the sleep EEG was first studied by looking at the traces of brainwaves drawn on a paper tape by a machine. Many important features of sleep are still based on what people almost a century ago could most easily observe in the complex waveform traces. Even the latest machine learning and signal processing algorithms for detecting sleep waveforms are judged against their ability to recreate human observation. In this study, the researchers asked: What can we learn if we expand our notion of sleep brainwaves beyond what was historically easy to identify by eye? (more…)