MEG Tomography of Human Cortex and Brainstem Activity in Waking and REM Sleep Saccades

Andreas A. Ioannides*, Maria Corsi-Cabrera, Peter B C Fenwick, Yolanda Del Rio Portilla, Nikos A. Laskaris, Ara Khurshudyan, Dionyssios Theofilou, Tadahiko Shibata, Sunao Uchida, Tetsuo Nakabayashi, George K. Kostopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


We recorded the magnetoencephalographic (MEG) signal from three subjects before, during and after eye movements cued to a tone, self-paced, awake and during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During sleep we recorded the MEG signal throughout the night together with electroencephalographic (EEG) and electromyographic (EMG) channels to construct a hypnogram. While awake, just prior to and during eye movements, the expected well time-locked physiological activations were imaged in pontine regions, with early 3 s priming. Activity in the frontal eye fields (FEF) was identified in the 300 ms before the saccade onset. Visual cortex activation occurred 200 ms after saccades. During REM, compared to the eyes closed awake condition, activity was higher in supplementary motor area (SMA) and lower in inferior parietal and precuneus cortex. Electroocculographic (EOG) activity just prior to REM saccades correlated with bilateral pontine and FEF activity some 250-400 ms before REM saccade onset, which in turn was preceded 200 ms earlier by reciprocal activation of the pons and FEF. An orbitofrontal-amygdalo-parahippocampal-pontine sequence, possibly related to emotional activation during REM sleep, was identified in the last 100 ms leading to the REM saccade, but not linked to saccade initiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-72
Number of pages17
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jan
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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