Characterization of the mu rhythm during rapid eye movement sleep

Stephen P. Duntley, Albert H. Kim, Daniel L. Silbergeld, John W. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: The rolandic mu rhythm, a resting activity of somatosensory cortex, is a striking feature of the waking human electroencephalogram. This study will demonstrate that activity with identical features occurs during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Methods: Eye and chin leads were added during prolonged closed circuit television (video) electroencephalographic (EEG) recording with scalp (12 patients) or subdural electrodes including 64 contract grids over the frontoparietal cortices (5 patients). Sleep staging was performed by reformatting into standard polysomnography montages (using two EEG channels, and eye and chin channels) and applying standard scoring criteria. The recordings were then reviewed using all EEG channels to assess rhythmic EEG activity by a reader blinded to the sleep staging. Results: During scalp recordings, 7-10 Hz central rhythms were seen during wakefulness in 7 patients, with 6 of these also having similar rhythms during REM sleep. Similar activity was seen over somatosensory cortex during wakefulness and REM in all invasively recorded patients. This activity was blocked by contralateral body movement or contralateral somatosensory stimuli, even during REM sleep. It was absent in other sleep stages. Conclusions: This REM sleep activity recapitulates all the characteristics of the waking rolandic mu rhythm. This demonstrates functional similarity between the states of wakefulness and REM sleep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-531
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Electrocorticography
  • Mu rhythm
  • Rapid eye movement sleep


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