We lack detailed knowledge about the spatio-temporal physiological signatures of REM sleep, especially in humans. By analyzing intracranial electrode data from humans, we demonstrate for the first time that there are prominent beta (15-35 Hz) and theta (4-8 Hz) oscillations in both the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the DLPFC during REM sleep. We further show that these theta and beta activities in the ACC and the DLPFC, two relatively distant but reciprocally connected regions, are coherent. These findings suggest that, counter to current prevailing thought, the DLPFC is active during REM sleep and likely interacting with other areas. Since the DLPFC and the ACC are implicated in memory and emotional regulation, and the ACC has motor areas and is thought to be important for error detection, the dialogue between these two areas could play a role in the regulation of emotions and in procedural motor and emotional memory consolidation.
Keywords: Anterior Cingulate Cortex; Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex; Oscillations; REM Sleep; human; neuroscience.