Activation of the motor cortex during phasic rapid eye movement sleep

Fabrizio De Carli, Paola Proserpio, Elisa Morrone, Ivana Sartori, Michele Ferrara, Steve Alex Gibbs, Luigi De Gennaro, Giorgio Lo Russo, Lino Nobili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When dreaming during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, we can perform complex motor behaviors while remaining motionless. How the motor cortex behaves during this state remains unknown. Here, using intracerebral electrodes sampling the human motor cortex in pharmacoresistant epileptic patients, we report a pattern of electroencephalographic activation during REM sleep similar to that observed during the performance of a voluntary movement during wakefulness. This pattern is present during phasic REM sleep but not during tonic REM sleep, the latter resembling relaxed wakefulness. This finding may help clarify certain phenomenological aspects observed in REM sleep behavior disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-330
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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