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Free Content Phasic brain activity related to the onset of rapid eye movements during rapid eye movement sleep: study of event-related potentials and standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography

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The function of rapid eye movements (REMs) during REM sleep is still a matter that is open to debate. In a previous study, we found positive brain potential (P200r) time-locked to the onset of REMs. This potential was not observed during saccades of wakefulness. In this study, we estimated the electrical generation of this potential to investigate the phasic brain activity related to REMs. Data were collected in a sleep laboratory from nine healthy university students. REMs during REM sleep were recorded during natural nocturnal sleep. Event-related potential time-locked to the onset of REMs were averaged. Standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) was used to identify the current sources of P200r. The results showed that P200r have neuronal generators in the left premotor area, left primary motor and sensory cortices, left inferior parietal lobule and bilateral occipital areas (precuneus, cuneus and lingual gyrus). All these areas are known to contribute to visuomotor processing. These phasic brain activities might play a key role in explaining the function of REMs during REM sleep.
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Keywords: event-related potential; rapid eye movement sleep; standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan 2: Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Saitama, Japan

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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