Neural Correlates of Dream Lucidity Obtained from Contrasting Lucid versus Non-Lucid REM Sleep: A Combined EEG/fMRI Case Study
Martin Dresler, PhD1; Renate Wehrle, PhD1; Victor I. Spoormaker, PhD1; Stefan P. Koch, PhD2; Florian Holsboer, MD, PhD1; Axel Steiger, MD1; Hellmuth Obrig, MD2,3,4; Philipp G. Sämann, MD1; Michael Czisch, PhD1
1Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany; 2Berlin NeuroImaging Center, Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany; 3Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; 4Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University Hospital Leipzig, Germany
To investigate the neural correlates of lucid dreaming.
Parallel EEG/fMRI recordings of night sleep.
Sleep laboratory and fMRI facilities.
Four experienced lucid dreamers.
Measurements and Results:
Out of 4 participants, one subject had 2 episodes of verified lucid REM sleep of sufficient length to be analyzed by fMRI. During lucid dreaming the bilateral precuneus, cuneus, parietal lobules, and prefrontal and occipito-temporal cortices activated strongly as compared with non-lucid REM sleep.
In line with recent EEG data, lucid dreaming was associated with a reactivation of areas which are normally deactivated during REM sleep. This pattern of activity can explain the recovery of reflective cognitive capabilities that are the hallmark of lucid dreaming.
Dresler M; Wehrle R; Spoormaker VI; Koch SP; Holsboer F; Steiger A; Obrig H; Sämann PG; Czisch M. Neural correlates of dream lucidity obtained from contrasting lucid versus non-lucid REM sleep: a combined EEG/fMRI case study. SLEEP 2012;35(7):1017–1020.