Neurophysiology of the States of Sleep
Michel Jouvet
Physiological Reviews 47 (2) pp : 117-177 (1967)


Definitions and Abbreviations

State of Sleep Characterized by Slow Cortical Activity Slow Sleep

Behavioral aspect

Electrophysiological aspect

Structures and mechanisms responsible for slow sleep

State of Sleep Characterized by Fast Cortical Activity-Paradoxical Sleep

Behavioral aspects

Electrophysiological aspects

Structures and mechanisms responsible for paradoxical sleep

A synthesis of paradoxical sleep mechanisms

Relationship with oneiric activity in man

Phylogenesis of the States of Sleep

Ontogenesis of the States of Sleep

Relationship Between Slow Sleep and Paradoxical Sleep Unicity or Duality of Sleep Mechanisms

A Possible Monoaminergic Theory of Sleep

Figure 1

Figure 2


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V. Ontogenesis of the States of Sleep

If phylogenesis allows us to dissociate the appearance of the two states of sleep during evolution, such a dissociation may also be observed during ontogenesis in the cat. In kittens and newborn rats (84, 86, 236, 422, 423), PS may be observed immediately after birth, when slow sleep is almost nonexistent. Paradoxical sleep has a peculiar aspect phasic phenomena prevail on tonic phenomena, which is why it is called "sleep with jerks" (422) or "sommeil agite" (86). It occupies about 50 % of the day and 80-90 % of behavioral sleep and very often occurs immediately after waking, since there is no phase of slow sleep between. Progressively, during cortical maturation, a slow sleep state appears and increases while PS decreases, so that in the adult, slow sleep constitutes 70 % and PS only 20-25 % of behavioral sleep. The occurrence of fast cortical activity (423) and of hippocampal theta rhythm (86) during PS precedes, by a few days, the waking tonic cortical desynchronization, which was interpreted in favor of a dissociation of the mechanism respectively responsible for waking and PS fast cortical activities.

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