Heart Rate Deceleration in REM Sleep: An Orienting Reaction Interpretation.

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    • Abstract:
      Eye-bursts (EBs) in REM sleep are associated with "active" dream reports. Heart rate (HR) and T-wave amplitude (TWA) were studied during EBs, quiescent intervals (Q), and pre-EBs in REM sleep of 18 normal subjects. A clear and significant HR deceleration (HRD) emerged, which began 3 seconds before eye-bursts, but there were no coincident changes in TWA. Assuming EBs to be an instance of stimulus intake, the psychological interpretation of these phasic HRDs is that they are attentional orienting responses. Moreover, if TWA reflects predominanfiy sympathetic myocardial influence, then the absence of EB-asssociated TWA changes may suggest a vagal rather than sympathetic physiological mechanism. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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