REM sleep eye movement counts correlate with visual imagery in dreaming: A pilot study

Charles Chong Hwa Hong, Steven G. Potkin, John S. Antrobus, Bruce M. Dow, Glenn M. Callaghan, J. Christian Gillin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on the findings of our previously published positron emission tomography study, we proposed that recorded eye movements during REM sleep are visually targeted saccades. In the present study, we examined the correlation between the number of eye movements in REM sleep (EM) and visual imagery in dreaming (V) and provided further support for our proposal. All the observations (N = 11) were made with one individual to eliminate interindividual variation and were made during the second REM sleep period to control for a time-of-night effect. V, with or without dream report length partialled out, was strongly associated with EM only in the 1-min interval immediately preceding awakening. The time course of the association suggests that the strong EM-V association reflects a phasic, localized activation of the eye movement-control system in association with REM sleep eye movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-381
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1997


  • Dreaming
  • Eye movements
  • REM sleep
  • Saccadic scan
  • Visual imagery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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