The EEG and rapid eye movements during REM sleep in normal and autistic children

Edward M. Ornitz, Edward R. Ritvo, Morton B. Brown, Steven La Franchi, Timothy Parmelee, Richard D. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


1. 1. 10.5-15 c/sec EEG activity, synchronous slow wave EEG activity and eye movement activity during REM sleep were quantified in eight young autistic and six age-matched normal children. 2. 2. A significantly greater amount of 10.5-15 c/sec activity was found in the autistic children than in the normals. 3. 3. A significantly reduced number of single eye movements and percent time of eye movement burst activity was found in the autistic children as compared with the normals. 4. 4. Considerable synchronous slow wave activity was found in both groups of children. However, there was a strong quantitative association the eye movement bursts in the normals, while this association was reduced in the autistic children. 5. 5. It is postulated that the depressed eye movement burst activity in the autistic children is a manifestation of deficient or inhibited central vestibular function. The reduced quantitative association between the synchronous slow waves and the eye movement bursts further suggests impairment of an organizing influence underlying integration of cortical and oculomotor activity. 6. 6. These neurophysiologic abnormalities in the autistic children may be related to maturational factors as suggested by the persistence of 10.5-15 c/sec frequencies in the REM sleep EEG and the tendency to approach more normal values with increasing age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1969
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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