Human Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Shows Local Increases in Low-Frequency Oscillations and Global Decreases in High-Frequency Oscillations Compared to Resting Wakefulness

Benjamin BairdGiulio Tononi


It is often assumed that during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep the cerebral cortex homogenously shows electroencephalogram (EEG) activity highly similar to wakefulness. However, to date no studies have compared neural oscillatory activity in human REM sleep to resting wakefulness with high spatial sampling. In the current study, we evaluated high-resolution topographical changes in neural oscillatory power between both early and late naturalistic REM sleep and resting wakefulness in adult humans. All-night recordings with 256-channel high-density EEG (hd-EEG) were collected in healthy volunteers (N = 12). Topographic analysis revealed that, compared to wake, both the first and last cycle of REM sleep were associated with increased low-frequency oscillations in local central and occipital regions. In contrast, high-frequency activity in both α and β bands (8-20 Hz) was globally decreased during both early and late REM sleep cycles compared to wakefulness. No significant differences in topographic power in any frequency band were observed between REM sleep cycles occurring early and late in the night. We replicated these findings in an independent dataset (N = 33). Together, our findings show that human REM sleep shows consistent...Continue Reading


Nov 29, 2019·Annals of Neurology·Nicolás von EllenriederBirgit Frauscher
Mar 14, 2021·Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology·Chiara Cirelli, Giulio Tononi

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