From the Researchers:

Our long-term goal is to understand the mechanisms by which sleep-related networks regulate cognition in surgical and critical care patients. The goal of the proposed research is to investigate the role of preoptic neurons in postoperative sleep disturbances and sleep-dependent cognitive function. Our hypothesis is that preoptic neurons in the hypothalamus that regulate sleep-wake states also regulate postoperative cognition. 

To test this hypothesis, we will record the activity from and selectively manipulate preoptic sleep-promoting and wake-promoting neurons to study their role in postoperative sleep disruption, brain network activity (measured by EEG oscillations, complexity, and connectivity), as well as short- and long-term postoperative cognitive function in a mouse model of surgery. Additionally, we will test the effect of a pharmacological intervention aimed at restoring postoperative cognition, sleep-wake architecture, and cortical function to presurgical levels.