Electrophysiological evidence for dreaming: human cerebral potentials associated with rapid eye movement during REM sleep

Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology
S MiyauchiS Torii


In order to examine the relationship between rapid eye movement (REM) during REM sleep and dreaming, scalp EEGs (Fz, Cz, Pz and Oz) of 4 normal human subjects, time-locked to REM onset, to saccade onset toward fixation targets and to saccade onset in total darkness, were averaged. The results include the following: Three positive potentials were associated with REM: a sharp potential in the parieto-occipital area just before REM onset; a large, slow potential in the vertex area 140-180 msec after REM onset; and a potential in the occipital area 210-280 msec after REM onset. Three positive potentials, one being the so-called EM-antecedent potential and the others being the lambda response, were associated with the waking saccades toward targets: a sharp potential in the parieto-occipital area just before the saccade onset and two potentials in the occipital area with latencies of 140-150 and 260-310 msec from the saccade onset. Only the EM-antecedent potential appearing just before saccade onset was found in association with saccades in total darkness. The similarities between the 3 positive potentials during REM sleep and the lambda response during wakefulness, and the relationship between those potentials and dreaming, are dis...Continue Reading


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