Skip to main content

Free Content Eyelid movements measured by Nightcap predict slow eye movements during quiet wakefulness in humans

Download Article:

You have access to the full text article on a website external to Ingenta Connect.

Please click here to view this article on Wiley Online Library.

You may be required to register and activate access on Wiley Online Library before you can obtain the full text. If you have any queries please visit Wiley Online Library



A precipitous decline in eyelid movements (ELMs) has been shown to be a highly reliable indicator of sleep onset. While ELMs correlate well with eye movements during waking and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the eye sensor remains silent during the period of slow eye movements (SEMs) typical of sleep onset. If the ELM density (e.g. ELMs per minute) dropped simultaneously with the appearance of SEMs prior to sleep onset, it could be a promising tool for identifying decreases in alertness prior to overt sleep onset. The present study was designed to determine whether the presence of SEMs in the transitional period preceding stage 1 sleep is reflected in decreases in ELM density. ELM densities were computed for 2.5-s epochs with and without SEMs, as well as for 15-s epochs. Decreases in ELM density not only were an excellent correlate of the appearance of SEMs during wakefulness with closed eyes, but also a good predictor of their occurrence (c. 82% accuracy) at a time resolution of 2.5 s. Based on these results, we conclude that ELM density reliably predicts moderate changes in the level of alertness during quiet wakefulness.

Keywords: alertness; drowsiness; electro-oculography; eyelid movements; nightcap; slow eye movements

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2004

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more