Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 Jun;115(6):1368-73.

EEG spectral analysis of wakefulness and REM sleep in high functioning autistic spectrum disorders.

Author information

Neurodevelopmental Disorders Program, Laboratoire du Sommeil, Centre de Recherche Fernand-Seguin, Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, 7070 Boulevard Perras, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H1E 1A4.



The aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of temporo-occipital regions in the pathophysiology of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) by using REM sleep and waking EEG.


The EEG recordings of 9 persons with ASD and 8 control participants were recorded using a 12-electrode montage. Spectral analysis (0.75-19.75 Hz) was performed on EEG activity recorded upon two activated states: REM sleep and wakefulness.


During REM sleep, persons with ASD showed a selective, significantly lower absolute beta (13.0-19.75 Hz) spectral amplitude over the primary (O(1), O(2)) and associative (T(5), T(6)) cortical visual areas compared to controls. Persons with ASD showed significantly higher absolute theta (4.0-7.75 Hz) spectral amplitude over the left frontal pole region (Fp1) compared to controls during evening wakefulness, but not during morning wakefulness.


The results of waking EEG are consistent with previously reported observations of neuropsychological signs of frontal atypicalities in ASD; results from REM sleep are the first EEG evidence to support the hypothesis of abnormal visuoperceptual functioning in ASD. Altogether, these results point toward atypical thalamo-cortical mechanisms subserving the neural processing of information in ASD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center