In the course of the past few years, a series of related studies (Aserinsky and Kleitman, 1955; Goodenough et al., 1959; Wolpert and Trosman, 1958) has demonstrated beyond doubt the association of normal dreaming with the appearance of rapid, binocularly synchronous eye-movements. It has also been claimed that the rapid eye-movements (REMs) represent scanning movements made by the dreamer as he “watches” the visual events of the dream (Dement and Kleitman, 1957a; Dement and Wolpert, 1958). The REMs are absent during dreaming among those with life-long blindness, but are retained for some years by those whose blindness arises later than childhood (Berger et al., 1962a). In a study of undisturbed nocturnal sleep by Dement and Kleitman (1957b) periods of eye-movements were observed to occur fairly regularly at about 90-minute intervals throughout the night in association with the lightest phases of cyclic variation in depth of sleep, as indicated by the electroencephalogram (EEG). These REM periods had a mean duration of about 20 minutes, and 4–6 occurred per night.
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