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L'attività muscolare dell'orecchio medio durante il sonno: una revisione critica della letteratura
Author/s: Simona Baldanza, Luigi De Gennaro 
Year:  2002 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  9 FullText PDF:  389 KB

Many minor muscle movements occur during REM sleep within the general muscle atonia which tonically characterizes this sleep stage and they are expressions of a potent motor ex-citation phasically overcoming motoneural inhibition of REM sleep: rapid eye movements (REMs), muscle twitches and middle-ear muscle activity (MEMA). This last was first de-scribed in humans by Pessah & Roffwarg (1972); approximately 80 percent of this activity takes place within REM sleep; it is more frequent just before or at the beginning of each REM period, showing a weak association with REMs and periorbital integrated potentials, and a stronger relationship with motor activity in the extremities and the head. This review summarizes studies hypothesizing: a) a unique centre of phasic motor activity during REM, b) a correspondence between auditory characteristics of dreaming and MEMA, c) the existence of alterations of this activity in psychiatric disorders. Conclusions lead to reject these hypotheses, leaving unsolved the definition of mechanisms and functions of this phasic activity of REM sleep.

Simona Baldanza, Luigi De Gennaro, in "RASSEGNA DI PSICOLOGIA" 1/2002, pp. , DOI:


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