SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.2 issue1Hope in parents of children with cancer. A phenomenological interpretative analysis of the relationship with health care professionalsRelationship between self-concept and subjective well-being in male patients undergoing coronary artery bypass author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO


Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086

Psic., Saúde & Doenças vol.2 no.1 Lisboa July 2001


Conteúdo visual em sonhos de cegos

Helder Bértolo & Teresa Paiva

Laboratório EEG/Sono – Centro de Estudos Egas Moniz – Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa


Resumo: O presente estudo visa estabelecer correlações entre parâmetros espectrais do EEG de sono e as variáveis dos relatos oníricos, particularmente os conteúdos visuais, e analisar as diferenças entre fases REM (sono paradoxal) e NREM (sono lento) em sonhos de cegos. Oito voluntários cegos com idades entre 21 e 43 anos, de ambos os sexos, foram registados durante duas noites de polissonografia ambulatória no domicílio. Os voluntários foram acordados por telefone, sem qualquer interacção pessoal, a cada 90 minutos, de forma a relatarem os seus sonhos. Foram realizadas análises de conteúdo baseadas nos critérios Hall e Van de Castle e análises espectrais no EEG de sono (nos 5 minutos anteriores a cada acordar). Os voluntários apresentaram conteúdos visuais nos seus relatos oníricos com diferenças entre acordares em fases REM e NREM: sendo a maior incidência durante o sono paradoxal. Foram encontradas correlações consistentes entre as variáveis dos relatos e os parâmetros espectrais do EEG de sono. A taxa de actividade visual correlaciona-se positivamente com as altas frequências do EEG (>25Hz) e negativamente com a banda alfa. Em conclusão, os voluntários cegos relatam conteúdos visuais nos seus sonhos, maioritariamente durante sono REM, que se correlacionam significativamente com as bandas espectrais de frequência.

Palavras chave: Cegos, EEG, Sonhos.


Visual contents of dreams of blind people

Abstract: The aims of this study are: to identify relationships between sleep EEG patterns and reports of dreams, more specifically visual reports, and to inspect differences between REM stages and NREM stages in dreams of blind people. A sample of eight subjects (ages between 21 and 43 years), half females, with more than 12 years of school participate voluntarily. Registers were taken in two consecutive nights, at home. Participants were awaken by telephone every 90 minutes, and were asked to relate their dreams. Content analysis of dreams were made based on the protocol of Hall & Van De Castle and spectral analysis of EEG in the five minutes before each wake up. Participants relate different visual contents in stage REM and NREM, with higher incidence during paradoxistic sleep. Correlations were found between the reports and EEG. Visual activity correlate positively with high EEG frequencies (>25Hz) and negatively with Alpha band. In conclusion the blind participants report visual contents of dreams mainly during REM sleep, which correlate significantly with spectral band frequencies.

Key words: Blinds, Dreams, EEG.


Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text only available in PDF format.



Antrobus, J. (1983). REM and NREM sleep reports: Comparison of word frequencies by cognitive classes. Psychophysiology, 20, 562-568.         [ Links ]

Berger, R.J., Olley, P., & Oswald, I. (1961). EEG and eye movements and dreams of the blind. Electroencephalogr. Clin. Neurophysiol., 13, 827-833.

Bouyer, J.J., Montaron, M.F., Vahnée, J.M., Albert, M.P., & Rougel, A. (1987). Anatomical localisation of cortical beta rhythms in cat. Neuroscience, 22, 863-869.

Butler, S., & Glass, A. (1987). Individual differences in the asymmetry of alpha activation. In A. Glass (Ed.), Individual Differences in Hemispheric Specialisation (pp.103-120). New York: Plenum.

Cavallero, C., Foulkes, D., & Hollifield, M. (1990). Memory sources of REM and NREM dreams. Sleep, 13, 449-455.

Cobb, G.W. (1998). Introduction to Design and Analysis of Experiments. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Domhoff, G.W. (1996). Finding Meaning in Dreams: A Quantitative Approach. New York: Plenum Press.

Eckhorn, R., Bauer, R., Jordan, W., Brosch, M., Kruse, W., Munk, M., & Reitboek, H.J. (1988). Coherent oscillations: a mechanism of feature linking in visual cortex? Biology and Cybernetics, 60, 121-130.

Engel, A.K., König, P., Gray, C.M., & Singer, W. (1990). Stimulus-dependent neuronal oscillations in cat visual cortex: inter-columnar interaction as determined by cross-correlation analysis. European Journal of Neuroscience, 2, 588-606.

Foulkes, D. (1978). A Grammar of Dreams. New York: Basic Books.

Foulkes, D. (1990). Dreaming and Consciousness. European Journal of Cognitif Psychology, 2, 39-55.

Freeman, W.J., & Van Dijk, B.W. (1988). Spatial patterns of visual cortical fast EEG during conditioned reflex in a rhesus monkey. Brain Research, 422, 267-276.

Goldie, L., & Green, J.M. (1960) Paradoxical blocking and arousal in the drowsy state. Nature, 187, 952, Londres.

Gray, C.M., Engel, A.K., König, P., & Singer, W. (1990). Stimulus-dependent neuronal oscillations in cat visual cortex: Receptive field properties and feature dependence. European Journal of Neuroscience, 2, 607-619.

Gray, C.M., König, P., Engel, A.K., & Singer, W. (1989). Oscillatory responses in cat visual cortex exhibit inter-columnar synchronisation which reflects global stimulus properties. Nature, 338, 334-337.

Gray, C.M., & Singer, W. (1989). Stimulus-specific neuronal oscillations in orientation columns of cat visual cortex. Proceedings. Natlonal. Academy of Sciences, 86, 1698-1702.

Hong, C.C., Potkin, S.G., Antrobus, J.S., Dow, B.M., Callaghan, G.M., & Gillin, J.C. (1997). REM sleep eye movement counts correlate with visual imagery in dreaming: A pilot study. Psychophysiology, 34(3), 377-381.

Hurovitz, C.S., Dunn, S., Domhoff, G.W., & Fiss, H. (1999) The dreams of blind men and women: A replication and extension of previous findings. Dreaming, 9(2/3), 183-193.

Jouvet, M. ( 1992). Le Château des Songes. Paris: Editions Odile Jacob.

Lavie, P. (1998). O Mundo Encantado do Sono. Lisboa: Climepsi Editores.

Lehman, D., & Koenig, T. (1997). Spatio-temporal dynamics of alpha brain electric fields, and cognitive modes. Int. J. Psychophysiol., 26(1-3), 99-112.

Lehman, D., Henggler, B., Koukkou, M., & Michel, CM. (1993). Source localization of brain electric field frequency bands during conscious, spontaneous, visual imagery and abstract thought. Brain Res. Cogn. Brain Res., 1(4), 203-210.

Lopes da Silva, F.H., Van Rotterdam, A., Storm van Leeuwen, W., & Tielen, AM. (1970). Dynamic characteristics of visual evoked potentials in tha dog. II. Beta frequency selectivity in evoked potentials and background activity. Electroencephalogr. Clinical Neurophysiology, 29, 260-268.

McKee, G., Humphrey, B., & McAdam, D.W. (1973). Scaled laterization of alpha activity during linguistic and musical tasks. Psychophysiology, 10, 441-443.

Rebert, C.S., & Low, D.W. (1978). Differential hemispheric activation during complex visuomotor performance. Electroencephalogr. Clinical Neurophysiology, 44, 724-734.

Rechtschaffen, A., & Kales, A. (1968). A Manual of Standardised Terminology, Techniques and Scoring System for Sleep Stages of Human Subjects. US Government Printing Office, Washington DC.

Rougeul-Buser, A., Bouyer, J.J., Montaron, M.F., & Buser, P. (1983). Patterns of activities in the ventrobasal thalamus and somatic cortex SI during behavioural immobility in the awake cat: Focal waking rhythms. Exp. Brain Res. (Suppl.) 7, 69-87.

Vecchi, T. (1998). Visuo-spatial imagery in congenitally totally blind people. Memory, 6, 91-102.