Phase-locked auditory stimulation of theta oscillations during rapid eye movement sleep

Harrington, Marcus O. ORCID:, Ashton, Jennifer E., Ngo, Hong-Viet V. and Cairney, Scott A. (2021) Phase-locked auditory stimulation of theta oscillations during rapid eye movement sleep. Sleep, 44 (4). ISSN 0161-8105

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Auditory closed-loop stimulation is a non-invasive technique that has been widely used to augment slow oscillations during non-rapid eye movement sleep. Based on the principles of closed-loop stimulation, we developed a novel protocol for manipulating theta activity (3-7 Hz) in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Sixteen healthy young adults were studied in two overnight conditions: Stimulation and Sham. In the Stimulation condition, 1 s of 5 Hz amplitude-modulated white noise was delivered upon detection of two supra-threshold theta cycles throughout REM sleep. In the Sham condition, corresponding time points were marked but no stimulation was delivered. Auditory stimulation entrained EEG activity to 5 Hz and evoked a brief (~0.5 s) increase in theta power. Interestingly, this initial theta surge was immediately followed by a prolonged (~3 s) period of theta suppression. Stimulation also induced a prolonged (~2 s) increase in beta power. Our results provide the first demonstration that the REM sleep theta rhythm can be manipulated in a targeted manner via auditory stimulation. Accordingly, auditory stimulation might offer a fruitful avenue for investigating REM sleep electrophysiology and its relationship to behavior.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2020 Sleep Research Society 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail
Uncontrolled Keywords: auditory stimulation,rapid eye movement sleep,theta,clinical neurology,physiology (medical) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2728
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2023 16:33
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2023 16:33
DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsaa227


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