Research
Print page Print page
Switch language
The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
Published

Rapid eye movements are reduced in blind individuals

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

DOI

  1. External validation of a data-driven algorithm for muscular activity identification during sleep

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Automatic sleep classification using adaptive segmentation reveals an increased number of rapid eye movement sleep transitions

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Aetiology and treatment of nightmare disorder: State of the art and future perspectives

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  4. Sleep efficiency and neurophysiological patterns in middle-aged men are associated with cognitive change over their adult life course

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  1. Pupillary light responses in type 1 and type 2 diabetics with and without retinopathy

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Robust, ECG-based detection of Sleep-disordered breathing in large population-based cohorts

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Long-term health and socioeconomic consequences of childhood and adolescent-onset of narcolepsy

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. The role of sleep in the pathophysiology of nocturnal enuresis

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

View graph of relations

There is ongoing controversy regarding the role of rapid eye movements (EMs) during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. One prevailing hypothesis is that EMs during REM sleep are indicative of the presence of visual imagery in dreams. We tested the validity of this hypothesis by measuring EMs in blind subjects and correlating these with visual dream content. Eleven blind subjects, of whom five were congenitally blind (CB) and six late blind (LB), and 11 matched sighted control (SC) subjects participated in this study. All participants underwent full-night polysomnography (PSG) recordings that were staged manually following American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) criteria. Nocturnal EMs were detected automatically using a validated EM detector, and EM activity was represented as "EM coverage" computed as percentage of time with EM in each sleep stage. Frequency of sensory dream elements was measured in dream recall questionnaires over a 30-day period. Both blind groups showed less EM coverage during wakefulness, N1, N2 and REM sleep than did controls. CB and LB subjects did not differ in EM activity. Validation of the detector applied to blind subjects revealed an overall accuracy of 95.6 ± 3.6%. Analysis of dream reports revealed that LB subjects reported significantly more visual dream elements than did CB. Although no specific mechanisms can be revealed in the current study, the quasi absence of nocturnal EMs in LB subjects despite preserved visual dream content does not support the visual scanning of dreams hypothesis. Specifically, results suggest a dissociation between EMs and visual dream content in blind individuals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Volume28
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)e12866
ISSN1365-2869
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

ID: 59153569