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Free Content Vertical inversion of the visual field and REM sleep mentation

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The effects of the vertical inversion of the visual field on REM sleep mental activity were examined to explore the potential involvement of this activity in information processing. In a first experiment, four male subjects slept in the laboratory for two sessions of 6 consecutive nights: 2 adaptation nights, 2 nights of polysomnography and 2 nights of dream collection. During the days preceding Nights 3, 4, 5, 6 of each session, the subjects wore glasses which, during the second session, completely inverted (rotation of 180°) their visual field. In a second experiment with four other male subjects, the order of conditions was reversed and the experimental condition (visual inversion) was introduced twice. The data of the two experiments were combined. Overall, following visual inversion, there were significant increases in the proportion of dreams containing motor and visual difficulties (P<0.005), misfortunes (P<0.05) and dreamer confusion (P<0.05) and a decrease in dreamer participation (P<0.05). Only 4 of the 8 subjects experienced incorporations of the inverted visual field into their dreams and they tended to perform better on two of three tests of adaptation to the visual inversion. The observed changes in dreams are consistent with the notion of continuity between waking and dreaming since they appear to reflect the waking preoccupation and psychological state associated with visual inversion.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1996

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