Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Deprivation: A Central-Neural Change during Wakefulness

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Science  21 Apr 1967:
Vol. 156, Issue 3773, pp. 403-406
DOI: 10.1126/science.156.3773.403


Three adult cats were deprived of rapid eye movement sleep for six separate periods of up to 32 days. Animals were allowed normal amouints of sleeping time during which rapid eye movement sleep was interrupted, whenever it occurred, by human observers who continually monitored the animals and their electrocortical activity. Cortical responses evoked by pairs of acoustic clicks were recorded during wakefulness. Recovery functions derived from these data were facilitated during periods of deprivation of rapid eye movement sleep and returned to base-line values when animals were allowed normal amounts of this sleep phase. This change was noted repeatedly within, as well as between, subjects. It did not occur during control periods when non-rapid eye movement sleep was interrupted on identical schedules, nor did it occur when the cats were deprived of all sleep for 22 hours a day for 5 days.