Sleep control system

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This brainmap of the sleep control system has been compiled for Good sleep, good learning in 2012. Some of the structures have been investigated in animals only (rats, cats, monkeys, etc.). Some of the functions are hypothetical. Expect a flood of new research that will expand and modify this picture. See references below for more details. See the source article for the description of the role of individual nuclei: Science of sleep.



  • PVN - paraventricular nucleus
  • DMH - dorsomedial hypothalamus
  • LHA - lateral hypothalamic area
  • PFA - perifornical area
  • LHA/PFA - lateral hypothalamus-perifornical region
  • VTA - ventral tegmental area
  • SN - substantia nigra
  • pineal gland
  • vlPAG - ventrolateral periaqueductal grey matter
  • PPN - pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus
  • LPT - lateral pontine tegmentum
  • SLD - sublaterodorsal tegmental nucleus
  • LC - locus coeruleus
  • PC - precoeruleus region (pre-coeruleus)
  • PB - parabrachial nucleus
  • RN - raphe nucleus
  • NTS - nucleus of the solitary tract
  • Tegm - tegmentum
  • RF - reticular formation
  • TMN - tuberomammillary nucleus
  • LDT - laterodorsal tegmental nuclei
  • ARC - arcuate nucleus
  • MB - mammiliary body
  • pituitary
  • dSPZ - dorsal subparaventricular zone
  • vSPZ - ventral subparaventricular zone
  • SCN - suprachiasmatic nucleus
  • basal forebrain
  • MPO - medial preoptic area
  • VLPO - ventrolateral preoptic nucleus
  • AC - anterior commissure

For details see: How do we fall asleep?



You have a permission to republish this picture under a Creative Commons license with attribution to SuperMemo World, and a link to the updated version:

For more texts on memory, learning, sleep, creativity, and problem solving, see Super Memory Guru