Dec 30, 2014

The neural correlates of dreaming

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Francesca SiclariGiulio Tononi

Abstract

Consciousness never fades during wake. However, if awakened from sleep, sometimes we report dreams and sometimes no experiences. Traditionally, dreaming has been identified with REM sleep, characterized by a wake-like, globally "activated", high-frequency EEG. However, dreaming also occurs in NREM sleep, characterized by prominent low-frequency activity. This challenges our understanding of the neural correlates of conscious experiences in sleep. Using high-density EEG, we contrasted the presence and absence of dreaming within NREM and REM sleep. In both NREM and REM sleep, the presence of dreaming was associated with a local decrease in low-frequency activity in posterior cortical regions. High-frequency activity within these regions correlated with specific dream contents. Monitoring this posterior "hot zone" predicted the presence/absence of dreaming during NREM sleep in real time, suggesting that it may constitute a core correlate of conscious experiences in sleep.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Zone
Electroencephalography
Sleep, Slow-Wave
Experience
Structure of Cortex of Kidney
Contrast Used
Monitoring - Action
Sleep, REM
Cerebral Cortex
Posterior Part of Thigh

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