The ability to self-tickle following Rapid Eye Movement sleep dreaming

Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2):285-294 (2006)
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Abstract

Self-produced tactile stimulation usually feels less tickly—is perceptually attenuated—relative to the same stimulation produced externally. This is not true, however, for individuals with schizophrenia. Here, we investigate whether the lack of attenuation to self-produced stimuli seen in schizophrenia also occurs for normal participants following REM dreams. Fourteen participants were stimulated on their left palm with a tactile stimulation device which allowed the same stimulus to be generated by the participant or by the experimenter. The level of self-tickling attenuation did not differ between REM and non-REM sleep awakening conditions, where presence or absence of an accompanying dream was not controlled for. However, for the female participants, when awakening occurred from an REM sleep dream, self-stimulation ratings were higher than for external stimulation, whereas ratings after NREM sleep unaccompanied by a dream were lower for self-stimulation than for external stimulation. These results indicate deficits in self-monitoring and a confusion between self- and externally generated stimulation accompany REM dream formation

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