We investigated the temporal relationship between hippocampal theta waves and ponto-geniculo-occipital waves (PGO) during rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep) in cats. In addition, we analyzed the relationship between hippocampal theta waves and PGO as elicited by tone stimulus (PGOE) in order to quantitively characterize the PGO wave generator mechanism. The results showed that a spontaneous PGO tended to be phase-locked to the theta wave, which was more clearly observed in the single PGO than in the cluster. However, cluster PGOE tended to be phase-locked as well as single PGOE. It was therefore suggested that the generator of PGO is activated in relation to the hippocampal theta wave. An acceleration of the theta wave associated with PGO occurrence was found, and was more markedly observed than with the cluster PGO. Although the magnitude of it was less than in the spontaneous case, an acceleration around the PGOE was also observed. These results suggest that the generators of theta and PGO receive some common activations, especially when a cluster PGO is generated. The interaction between PGO and hippocampal theta waves is expected to be involved in the possible functions of REM sleep.
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