William Dement and nathaniel Kleitman, 1957 THE RELATION OF EYE MOVEMENTS DURING SEEP TO DREAM ACTIVITY: AN OBJECTIVE METHOD FOR STUDYING DREAM

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1 William Dement and nathaniel Kleitman, 1957 THE RELATION OF EYE MOVEMENTS DURING SEEP TO DREAM ACTIVITY: AN OBJECTIVE METHOD FOR STUDYING DREAM

2 BACK GROUND AND CONTEXT The study of dream activity and its relation to physiological variables during sleep necessitates a reliable method of determining with precision when dreaming occurs There have been studies to substantiate relationships between eye movements during sleep and dream recall. Subjective reports of dream contents need to be objectively related with some physiological phenomena which in turn can be measured by physical techniques Three approaches were used in the present study. Dream recall during rapid eye movement or quiescent periods was elicited without direct contact between E and S, The subjective estimate of duration of dreams was compared with the length of eye movement periods before awakening, and pattern of the eye movements were related to the dream content to see if they represented a specific expression of the visual experience of dreaming or merely a random motor discharge of a more active central nervous system

3 KEY WORDS Electroencephalogram (EEG)- A method of recording the electrical activity in the brain. Electromyogram (EMG) is a method of recording electrical activity in the muscle Electrooculaogram (EOG) is a method of recording electrical activity in the eyes Stages of sleep- Awake state, NREM stage (Asleep: stages one and two, Asleep: stages three and four) and REM sleep Waves- Beta wave (In an awake states the pattern of the waves); Alpha wave (brain waves more slower and more regular and have a greater amplitude height of the wave); Theta Waves (Brain waves slow down further, greater wave frequency-distance from the crest of one wave to the next, and the amplitude also is greater); and delta waves (waves are slowest and have highest amplitude). Sleep Process- from awake to stages 1 &2-3 &4-REM, reversing back through 4,3,2 and instead of 1 again REM sleep. This cycle repeats 3 to 4 times with 90 minutes per cycle. The length of REM episodes increases and length of delta sleep decreases in each cycle.

4 AIM AND HYPOTHESIS To study the relationship between sleep and dreaming using objective method There is a significant relationship between REM/NREM sleep and dreaming, such that REM sleep is associated with dreaming and NREM sleep is not There is a significant positive correlation between the subjective estimate of the duration of dreams and the length of eye movement period prior to awakening There is a significant association between the pattern of eye movement and the content of the dream, such that the former actually reflects the visual experience of the dream

5 METHODS Design- Lab experimentation-observation Method, Natural Experiment Target Variables- REM, NREM, patterns of eye movements; Dream recall and dream content Sample- 7 adult males and 2 adult females 5 of which were intensively studied and 4 of which were used to confirm results; Sampling technique-opportunity Experimental Controls-Alcohol or caffeine avoided, location of the study and sleeping time. Participants were not told whether they had just been having REM activity whey they were awoken. Subjects spoke into the recording device about the dreams in order to avoid the experimenter s effects. Use of different patterns of awakenings as a counterbalance in the distribution

6 PROCEDURE Electrodes were attached around the participant s eyes to measure activity and hence eye movement and attached to the participants scalp to record brain waves. The participant then went to sleep in a quiet darkened room At various times during the night the participants were awakened by a bell placed by their bed. The awakenings were done either during an REM period or at varying time periods after REM activity had stopped. The investigators used different patterns for awakening the five most intensively studied participants to avoid any unintentional pattern. For example, with two participants they used a table of random numbers, one participants was awoken during three REM periods and then three NREM periods, and one was told he would only be awoken during REM sleep but infact was awoken randomly during REM and NREM sleep. The participants was instructed to speak into a recording machine near their bed (stating whether they had been dreaming), describing if they could the content of the dream, and saying if they had been dreaming, whether they were dreaming for 5 or 15 mts. An investigator was listening outside the room and occasionally entered the room to further question the participant on some particular point of the dream. The participants usually fell back to sleep within five minutes. The nine subjects were studied over a total of 61 nights, with a total of 351 awakenings which averaged out at 5.7 awakening per night

7 RESULTS OCCURRENCE OF REM ACTIVITY All participants had REM every night. REM sleep was characterized by a low voltage, relatively fast EEG pattern. In between the REM periods, EEG patterns indicating deeper sleep were either predominantly high voltage, slow activity or frequent, well define sleep spindles with a low voltage background. No REMs were observed during initial onset of sleep REM periods lasted between 3 and 50 minutes with a mean of about 20 minutes. The REM period tended to get longer the later in the night it occurred. The eyes were not constantly in motion during REM activity, instead there were bursts of between 2 and 100 movements REM periods occurred at fairly regular intervals. The frequency was characteristic for every individual. WD averaged one REM period every 70 minutes, for KC it was once every 104 minutes. The average was an REM episode every 92 minutes Despite the disturbance of being regularly awakened the REM periods were as frequent as those recorded in a previous study of uninterrupted sleep. If a participant was awakened during an REM period during the final hours of sleep, when such periods tended to be quite long, they often went back into REM sleep as if the heightened brain activity had not run its course

8 RESULTS HYPOTHESIS 1- EYE MOVEMENT PERIODS AND DREAM RECALL For all participants there was high incidence of recall of dream during REM periods and a low incidence of recall during NREM periods regardless of the patterns used to determine awakenings. However there were times when REM activity was not associated with a coherent dream and times when NREM sleep did produce a coherent dream recall. There were individual differences. Some participants were better able to recall their dreams If participants were awoken more than eight minutes after the end of REM period, very few dreams were recalled (6 dreams of 132 awakenings) whereas if participants were awoken within eight minutes of an REM period the proportion rose ( 5 dreams in 17 awakenings) When participants were awoken during deep NREM sleep they sometimes were rather bewildered and reported that they must have been dreaming but could not remember the dream. They recalled a mood, such as anxiety or pleasantness, but no specific content. Most of the instances when dreams could not be recalled during REM sleep occurred during the early part of the night (only 9 of the 39 cases of no dreams in REM sleep were reported in the last four hours of

9 RESULTS HYPOTHESIS 2- LENGTH OF REM PERIODS AND SUBJECTIVE DREAM DURATION There was a significant correlation between the minutes of REMs and lengths of dream narratives (number of words used) The estimates of duration of dreams were fairly accurate.

10 RESULTS HYPOTHESIS 3- EYE MOVEMENT PATTERNS AND VISUAL IMAGERY OF THE DREAM Type of eye movement Mainly vertical (three such dreams reported) Mainly Horizontal (one dream reported) Both vertical and horizontal (10 dreams) Very little or no movement 21 dreams Content of dreams reported by participants Standing at the bottom of cliff and looking at climbers at different levels. Climbing ladders and looking up and down. Shooting at a basketball net and looking down to pick up the next ball Two people throwing tomatoes at each other Looking at things close to them, e.g. talking to a group of people, fighting with someone Watching something in the distance or just staring fixedly at some object The recall of the dreams showed some relationship to the type of eye movements.

11 RESULTS- EFFECTS OF PRACTICE Participants did not recall more dreams as they got more practiced

12 CONCLUSION A high incidence of dream recall was obtained from participants when woken during REM periods, and only a very low incidence when woken at other times When a series of awakenings was conducted either 5 or 15 minutes after the REMs (dreaming) had begun, participants judged the correct dream duration fairly accurate The pattern of REMs was related to the visual imagery of the dream

13 EVALUATION Usefulness Application Ecological Validity Reliability and validity Representative sample Quantitative Vs Qualitative data

14 EVALUATION Usefulness- when Dement & Kleitman carried out this study, they were testing for the first time the idea that the observed physical response of rapid eye movement during sleep was connected to the almost mystical state of dreaming. The physiology of sleep was just beginning to be unravelled and all of a sudden the world of dreams seemed to be coming into the domain of science. Application- Today vast amount of sleep research is being carried out to help people with sleep disorders or who work shifts. Also, some work done on the disruptive potential of sleep deprivation and its connection to learning and memory. On the other hand, sleep deprivation is a tactic used on prisoners (in crime, in war and political) to make them more cooperative. Validity- Use of observation as a method add up to the validity. The use of experimental controls in the procedures have contributed to reducing effect of extraneous factors. In order to confirm the meaningfulness of eye movement pattern and dream content, 20 naive participants and 5 of the experimental participants were asked to observe distant and close-up activity while awake. These measurements were in all cases comparable to those occurring during dreaming. However use of self report measures to dream recall and dream contents may question the validity of the measure.

15 EVALUATION Reliability- Subsequent studies have found that there are large differences between individuals in the reports of dreaming during REM. Also they were inconsistent with the findings of Dement and Kleitman s present study that there is a relationship between eye movements and what the person is dreaming about. Representative sample-a further problem with the study was the sample size. The sample size was small and only included 2 females so we could argue that the results were biased towards the dream pattern of men rather than women. This may limit the generalizability of the study. Ecological Validity- An obvious weakness of the study is its lack of ecological validity. The situation in which the participants had to sleep was unusual and could have affected their sleep patterns. Also the nature of the method of waking participants may have affected their ability to recall their dream. Quantitative Vs Qualitative data- The study collected both quantitative (self report-dream recall, dream duration estimates) and observation (EEG patterns); qualitative (dream contents). This contributes to the reliability and validity of the study. It has also showed us that the relationship between dream and sleep can be studies objectively

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