Michele Ferrara

Michele Ferrara
University of L'Aquila · Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences

Full Professor

About

225
Publications
107,719
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
9,855
Citations
Introduction
Full Professor of Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology. Currently teaching Physiological Psychology, Sleep Psychophysiology and Methods in Neuroscience. MAIN RESEARCH AREAS Sleep and learning; Sleep and emotions; Hippocampal sleep; Sleep deprivation and frontal lobe functions; Psychobiology of dreaming Scopus Author ID: 7101722312 ORCID ID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2304-7576
Additional affiliations
March 2016 - present
Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2012 - February 2016
Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2012 - September 2015
Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
Position
  • Head, Section of Psychological and Social Sciences

Publications

Publications (225)
Article
Full-text available
Several non motor symptoms (NMS) can precede the onset of the classical motor Parkinson's Disease (PD) syndrome. The existence of pre--motor and even pre--clinical PD stages has been proposed but the best target population to be screened to disclose PD patients in a pre--clinical, thus asymptomatic, stage is still matter of debate. The REM sleep be...
Article
Full-text available
Background: It is well known that the course of migraine is influenced by comorbidities and that individual psychological characteristics may impact on the disease. Proper identification of psychological factors that are relevant to migraine is important to improve non-pharmacological management. This study aimed at investigating the relationship...
Preprint
Full-text available
Since the first lockdown of Spring 2020, the COVID-19 contagion waves pervasively disrupted the sleep and mental health of the worldwide population. Notwithstanding the largest vaccination campaign in human history, the pandemic has continued to impact the everyday life of the general population for two years now. The present study provides the fir...
Conference Paper
Introduzione: Il sonno svolge un ruolo cruciale nel consolidamento delle memorie. La Targeted Memory Reactivation (TMR) è una tecnica in grado di manipolare il processamento notturno delle memorie, tipicamente utilizzata in setting laboratoriale. Stimoli sensoriali presenti nel contesto di apprendimento vengono usati per riattivare in maniera non i...
Conference Paper
Introduction: The issue of the misalignment between the daily social/ working schedule and the endogenous biological clock is a long-standing controversy, the so-called “social jetlag”. This phenomenon is especially pronounced among the evening-type people, leading them to experience shorter sleep duration, more severe sleep disturbances, and relat...
Conference Paper
Introduction: Sleep plays a critical role in the process of memory consolidation. Targeted memory reactivation (TMR) is a well-established methodology to manipulate memory processing overnight, typically employed in a laboratory setting. Sensory cues are used to non-invasively reactivate associated memory traces during the deepest sleep stage (N3),...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common inflammatory chronic skin disease typically associated with atopic comorbidities and other non-atopic conditions such as sleep disturbances, mood and anxiety disorders. A growing literature proposed a crucial role of sleep disturbances in the development of mental health problems in AD. We tested thi...
Article
Full-text available
Eveningness is distinctively associated with sleep disturbances and depression symptoms due to the misalignment between biological and social clocks. The widespread imposition of remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed a more flexible sleep schedule. This scenario could promote sleep and mental health in evening-type subjects. We invest...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Migraine is a recurrent headache disorder that has a still unclear pathophysiology, involving several circuits of both the central and peripheral nervous system. Monoclonal antibodies acting on the calcitonin gene-related (CGRP) pathway (CGRP-MAbs) are the first drugs specifically designed for migraine; those drugs act peripherally on...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of evidence highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic affected oneiric activity. However, only a few studies have assessed the longitudinal changes in dream phenomenology during different phases of the pandemic, often focused on a limited number of dream variables. The aim of the present study was to provide an exhaustive assessment of d...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background and aims: Eveningness is distinctively associated with sleep disturbances and depression symptoms due to the misalignment between biological and social clock. The widespread imposition of remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed a more flexible sleep schedule. This scenario could promote sleep and mental health of evening-type...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic led world authorities to adopt extraordinary measures to counteract the spread of the virus. The Italian government established a national lockdown from 9 March to 3 May 2020, forcing people in their homes and imposing social distancing. During the pandemic emergency, university students emerged as a vulnerable category. Indee...
Article
Full-text available
Background Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) could counteract the pathophysiological triggers of migraine attacks by modulating cortical excitability. Several pilot randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessed the efficacy of tDCS for migraine prevention. We reviewed and summarized the state of the art of tDCS protocols for migraine pr...
Article
Importance: The association of fast backward-rotating shift work (ie, anticlockwise sequence of afternoon, morning, and night shifts) with subjective and objective measures of sleep-wake quality, daytime attention, and tiredness of health care workers has not yet been established. Objective: To investigate the association of shift rotation directi...
Article
Full-text available
The restraining measures due to the COVID-19 outbreak deeply affected the general population’s sleep health and psychological status. The current literature proposes young and older people as two particularly at-risk groups. However, the differential impact of the lockdown period in these specific age categories needs to be disentangled. Through a...
Article
Full-text available
Healthy aging is characterized by macrostructural sleep changes and alterations of regional electroencephalographic (EEG) sleep features. However, the spatiotemporal EEG pattern of the wake-sleep transition has never been described in the elderly. The present study aimed to assess the topographical and temporal features of the EEG during the sleep...
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence showed that EEG activity alterations that occur during sleep are associated with structural, age-related, changes in healthy aging brains, and predict age-related decline in memory performance. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients show specific EEG alterations during sleep associated with cognitive decline, including reduced sleep spin...
Article
Full-text available
The first COVID-19 contagion wave caused unprecedented restraining measures worldwide. In Italy, a period of generalized lockdown involving home confinement of the entire population was imposed for almost two months (9 March-3 May 2020). The present is the most extensive investigation aimed to unravel the demographic, psychological, chronobiologica...
Article
Study Objectives During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown, there was a worldwide increase in electronic devices’ daily usage. Prolonged exposure to backlit screens before sleep influences the circadian system leading to negative consequences on sleep health. We investigated the relationship between changes in evening screen exposure...
Article
Full-text available
AD patients undergo a slowing of waking EEG rhythms since prodromal stages, which could be ascribed to poor sleep quality. We examined the relationship between wake and sleep alterations by assessing EEG activity during (NREM/REM) sleep and (pre-sleep/post-sleep) wakefulness in AD, MCI and healthy controls. AD and MCI show high sleep latency and le...
Article
After the March–April 2020 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, a second contagion wave afflicted Europe in the autumn. The present study aimed to evaluate sleep health/patterns of Italians during this further challenging situation. A total of 2,013 Italians longitudinally participated in a web-based survey during the two contagion peaks o...
Article
Literature supports the existence of a significant relationship between sleep quality/quantity and empathy. However, empathic ability and empathic propensity are distinct constructs. Expression of empathic propensity depends on the subjective cognitive costs attributed to the empathic experience. Studies on the effects of the experimental reduction...
Article
Study objectives: The aim of the study was to describe the spontaneous electroencephalographic (EEG) features of sleep in the human calcarine cortex, comparing them with the well-established pattern of the parietal cortex. Methods: We analysed pre-surgical intracerebral EEG activity in calcarine and parietal cortices during NREM and REM sleep in...
Preprint
Full-text available
After the March-April 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, a second contagion wave afflicted Europe in autumn. This study aimed to evaluate sleep health/patterns of Italians during this further challenging situation. A total of 2013 Italians longitudinally participated in a web-based survey during the two contagion peaks of the COVID-19 outbreak. We investigate...
Preprint
Full-text available
The first COVID-19 contagion wave caused unprecedented restraining measures worldwide. In Italy, a period of generalized lockdown involving home confinement of the entire population was imposed for almost two months (9 March–3 May 2020). The present is the most extensive investigation aimed to unravel the demographic, psychological, chronobiologica...
Chapter
Quantitative analyses of electroencephalogram (EEG) during sleep have made it possible to establish “slow-wave activity” (SWA) as a biological marker of sleep depth and sleep homeostasis. Homeostasis is a basic principle of sleep regulation: it indicates that a sleep deficit induces a compensatory increase in sleep intensity, while excessive sleep...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: In adolescence, physiological (circadian and homeostatic regulation of sleep) and social habits contribute to delayed sleep onset, while social obligations impose early sleep offset. The effects of delayed school start time on the subjective/objective measures of sleep-wake patterns and academic achievement have not been established. Met...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: In the current study, we aimed to investigate the EEG correlates of dream recall (DR) monitoring both the homeostatic and state-trait like factors. We assessed the influence of the time of night on the EEG correlates of DR from REM sleep. Specifically, we tested the continuity-hypothesis (on the theta EEG band) and the activation-hypothes...
Preprint
Full-text available
Study Objectives: During the COVID-19 lockdown, there was a worldwide increase in electronic devices' daily usage. The exposure to backlit screens before falling asleep leads to negative consequences on sleep health through its influence on the circadian system. We investigated the relationship between the changes in evening screen exposure and the...
Article
Full-text available
Italy was the first western hotspot of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to contain the spread of the virus, the Italian Government imposed home confinement to the entire population for almost two months. The present study is the first large-scale longitudinal report of the sleep and mental health changes during the prolonged lockdown due to the COVI...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objectives/Introduction: Italy has been the first European hotspot of COVID- 19 pandemic, and the first state applying total lockdown measures implying home confinement of the general population. In this study, we investigated the consequences of this unprecedented confinement on the Italian population's sleep. Methods: 13989 Italian citizens (aged...
Article
Full-text available
Several findings support the activation hypothesis, positing that cortical arousal promotes dream recall (DR). However, most studies have been carried out on young participants, while the electrophysiological (EEG) correlates of DR in older people are still mostly unknown. We aimed to test the activation hypothesis on 20 elders, focusing on the Non...
Article
Full-text available
Study Objectives: To evaluate the effects of total and partial sleep deprivation on reflection impulsivity and risk-taking in tasks requiring deliberative decision-making processes. Participants and Methods: Seventy-four healthy young adults were selected to participate in two independent experiments, each consisting of a crossover design. In Expe...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep represents a crucial time window for the consolidation of memory traces. In this view, some brain rhythms play a pivotal role, first of all the sleep slow waves. In particular, the neocortical slow oscillations (SOs), in coordination with the hippocampal ripples and the thalamocortical spindles, support the long-term storage of the declarativ...
Article
The sleep onset (SO) process is characterized by gradual electroencephalographic (EEG) changes. The interest for the possibility to manipulate the electrophysiological pattern of the wake-sleep transition is recently growing. This review aims to describe the EEG modifications of the SO process in healthy humans and the evidence about their experime...
Article
An inadequate amount of sleep can negatively affect emotional processing, causing behavioural and neurofunctional changes. However, unlike the condition of total sleep deprivation, which has been extensively studied, the effects of prolonged sleep restriction have received less attention. In this study, we evaluated, for the first time, the effects...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Recent studies demonstrate that 5-Hz bilateral transcranial alternating current stimulation (θ-tACS) on fronto-temporal areas affects resting EEG enhancing cortical synchronization, but it does not affect subjective sleepiness. This dissociation raises questions on the resemblance of this effect to the physiological falling asleep process...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we used structural equation modeling to investigate the interplay among Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU), Anxiety Sensitivity (AS), and sleep problems. poor sleep quality or sub-threshold insomnia problems, respectively. Depression and anxiety levels were above the cutoff for about one-fourth of the participants. Structural equation m...
Article
Reactivation processes are fundamental for procedural memory improvement. Targeted memory reactivation (TMR) influences memory consolidation through the re-exposure to certain perceptual components present in a previous phase of associative learning. On the other hand, motor imagery (MI) affects procedural skills through a repeated mental simulatio...
Article
Full-text available
The existence of two different types of sleep spindles (slow and fast) is well-established, according to their topographical distribution at scalp- and cortical-level. Our aim was to provide a systematic investigation focused on the temporal evolution of sleep spindle sources during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Spindle activity was recorded...
Article
Full-text available
During the sleep onset (SO) process, the human electroencephalogram (EEG) is characterized by an orchestrated pattern of spatiotemporal changes. Sleep deprivation (SD) strongly affects both wake and sleep EEG, but a description of the topographical EEG power spectra and oscillatory activity during the wake-sleep transition after a period of prolong...
Article
Sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) has a trait-like nature. Several findings highlighted the heritability of spectral power in specific frequency ranges and sleep spindles during NREM sleep. However, a genetic influence on the K-complex (KC), one of the electrophysiological hallmarks of NREM sleep, has never been assessed. Here, we investigated the h...
Chapter
In this chapter, we have reviewed an extensive literature supporting the critical role of sleep for several aspects of emotional processing and regulation.
Article
Full-text available
Objective Narcolepsy type 1 widely affects the architecture of sleep with frequent fast transition to REM sleep at both nighttime and daytime sleep onset. The occurrence of repeated sleep onset REM periods over the Multiple Sleep Latency Test offers a unique opportunity to identify EEG patterns predictive of successful dream recall after short peri...
Article
Sleep onset is characterized by specific and orchestrated patterns of frequency and topographical EEG changes. Power analyses and computational assessments of network dynamics have described an earlier synchronization of the centrofrontal areas rhythms and a spread of synchronizing signals from associative prefrontal to posterior areas. We assess h...
Article
Full-text available
The human ability to vicariously share someone else's emotions (i.e., emotional empathy) relies on an extended neural network including regions in the anterior cingulate and insular cortex. Here, we tested the hypothesis that good sleep quality is associated with increased activation in the brain areas underlying emotional empathy. To this aim, we...
Article
Introduction: Sleep is a complex physiological process, linked with the function of every bodily organ, and its dysregulation has negative impacts for well-being and health. Despite its importance, after decades of research, much uncertainty remains with respect to brain functional changes occurring when we fall asleep. The known point is that ther...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep and wakefulness are no longer to be considered as discrete states. During wakefulness brain regions can enter a sleep-like state (off-periods) in response to a prolonged period of activity (local use-dependent sleep). Similarly, during nonREM sleep the slow-wave activity, the hallmark of sleep plasticity, increases locally in brain regions pr...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to experience aesthetics plays a fundamental role in human social interactions, as well as the capacity to feel empathy. Some studies have shown that beauty perception shares part of the neural network underlying emotional and empathic abilities, which are also known to affect sleep quality and duration. In this study, we evaluated for...
Article
Objective/Background: Massive changes in brain morphology and function in the first years of life reveal a postero-anterior trajectory of cortical maturation accompanied by regional modifications of NREM sleep. One of the most sensible marker of this maturation process is represented by electroencephalographic (EEG) activity within the frequency ra...
Article
A growing body of literature suggests a critical implication of sleep in emotional processing. This review aims at synthesizing current evidence on the role of sleep and sleep loss in the modulation of emotional reactivity, emotional memory formation, empathic behavior, fear conditioning, threat generalization and extinction memory. Behavioral and...
Article
Introduction: From birth up to adulthood, important maturational changes in brain morphology and function involve different cortical areas with different timing, mainly following a posterior-anterior trajectory (Shaw et al., 2008). According to the notion that sleep plays a key role in cortical plasticity, regional changes of cortical activity duri...
Article
K-COMPLEXES AND SLOW WAVE ACTIVITY DURING NREM SLEEP IN PATIENTS WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE M. Gorgoni 1, F. Reda1, G. Lauri 1, I. Truglia 1, S. Cordone 1, S. Scarpelli 1, A. Mangiaruga 1, A. D'Atri 1, C. Bartolacci 1, V. Alfonsi 1, C. Schiappa 1, M. Ferrara 2, P.M. Rossini 3,4, L. De Gennaro 1 Introduction: An association between decreased frontal...
Article
Full-text available
Rhythmic non-invasive brain stimulations are promising tools to modulate brain activity by entraining neural oscillations in specific cortical networks. The aim of the study was to assess the possibility to influence the neural circuits of the wake-sleep transition in awake subjects via a bilateral transcranial alternating current stimulation at 5...
Article
Full-text available
COVER ILLUSTRATION: Brain connectivity in pre and post sleep onset conditions at sigma band.
Article
Full-text available
Although the deleterious effects of sleep deprivation on memory consolidation are well documented, it is still unclear how the facilitating effect of emotions on memory consolidation processes could be modulated by the lack of sleep. In this study, we investigated the effects of sleep deprivation on episodic memory using emotional and non-emotional...
Article
Full-text available
The common knowledge of a uniqueness of REM sleep as a privileged scenario of dreaming still persists, although consolidated empirical evidence shows that the assumption that dreaming is just an epiphenomenon of REM sleep is no longer tenable. However, the brain mechanisms underlying dream generation and its encoding in memory during NREM sleep are...
Article
Sleep onset is characterized by a specific and orchestrated pattern of frequency and topographical EEG changes. Conventional power analyses of electroencephalographic (EEG) and computational assessments of network dynamics have described an earlier synchronization of the centrofrontal areas rhythms and a spread of synchronizing signals from associa...