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Rapid Eye Movements in Sleep Furnish a Unique Probe Into Consciousness

Hong, CC-H; Fallon, JH; Friston, KJ; Harris, JC; (2018) Rapid Eye Movements in Sleep Furnish a Unique Probe Into Consciousness. Frontiers in Psychology , 9 , Article 2087. 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02087. Green open access

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Abstract

The neural correlates of rapid eye movements (REMs) in sleep are extraordinarily robust; including REM-locked multisensory-motor integration and accompanying activation in the retrosplenial cortex, the supplementary eye field and areas encompassing cholinergic basal nucleus (Hong et al., 2009). The phenomenology of REMs speaks to the notion that perceptual experience in both sleep and wakefulness is a constructive process – in which we generate predictions of sensory inputs and then test those predictions through actively sampling the sensorium with eye movements. On this view, REMs during sleep may index an internalized active sampling or ‘scanning’ of selfgenerated visual constructs that are released from the constraints of visual input. If this view is correct, it renders REMs an ideal probe to study consciousness as “an exclusively internal affair” (Metzinger, 2009). In other words, REMs offer a probe of active inference – in the sense of predictive coding – when the brain is isolated from the sensorium in virtue of the natural blockade of sensory afferents during REM sleep. Crucially, REMs are temporally precise events that enable powerful inferences based on time series analyses. As a natural, task-free probe, (REMs) could be used in non-compliant subjects, including infants and animals. In short, REMs constitute a promising probe to study the ontogenetic and phylogenetic development of consciousness and perhaps the psychopathology of schizophrenia and autism, which have been considered in terms of aberrant predictive coding.

Type: Article
Title: Rapid Eye Movements in Sleep Furnish a Unique Probe Into Consciousness
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02087
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02087
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Social Sciences, Psychology, Multidisciplinary, Psychology, predictive coding, dream, rapid eye movements (REMs) in sleep, autism, visual perception, retrosplenial cortex, claustrum, thalamic reticular nucleus, FREE-ENERGY PRINCIPLE, REM-SLEEP, VISUAL-IMAGERY, MENTAL-IMAGERY, MISIDENTIFICATION SYNDROMES, RETROSPLENIAL CONTRIBUTION, COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE, SENSORY ATTENUATION, ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE, CONGENITALLY BLIND
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10064142
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