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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 May 2024 - 17 May 2024

2024 May 08

Neurosci Biobehav Rev


The effect of REM-sleep disruption on affective processing: A systematic review of human and animal experimental studies.


Pesonen AK, Koskinen MK, Vuorenhela N, Halonen R, Mäkituuri S, Selin M, Luokkala S, Suutari A, Hovatta I


Evidence on the importance of rapid-eye-movement sleep (REMS) in processing emotions is accumulating. The focus of this systematic review is the outcomes of experimental REMS deprivation (REMSD), which is the most common method in animal models and human studies on REMSD. This review revealed that variations in the applied REMSD methods were substantial. Animal models used longer deprivation protocols compared with studies in humans, which mostly reported acute deprivation effects after one night. Studies on animal models showed that REMSD causes aggressive behavior, increased pain sensitivity, reduced sexual behavior, and compromised consolidation of fear memories. Animal models also revealed that REMSD during critical developmental periods elicits lasting consequences on affective-related behavior. The few human studies revealed increases in pain sensitivity and suggest stronger consolidation of emotional memories after REMSD. As pharmacological interventions (such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs]) may suppress REMS for long periods, there is a clear gap in knowledge regarding the effects and mechanisms of chronic REMS suppression in humans.