During two consecutive nights polysomnographic recordings were performed at subjects home. REMs were detected by visual inspection on both EOG channels (EOG-H, EOG-V) and further classified as occurring isolated or in bursts. Dream recall was defined by the existence of a dream report. The two groups were compared using t-test and also the two-way ANOVA and a post-hoc Fisher test (for the features diagnosis (blind vs. sighted) and dream recall (yes or no) as a function of time).
The average of REM awakenings per subject and the recall ability were identical in both groups. CB had a lower REM density than CS; the same applied to REM bursts and isolated eye movements. In the two-way ANOVA, REM bursts and REM density were significantly different for positive dream recall, mainly for the CB group and for diagnosis; furthermore for both features significant results were obtained for the interaction of time, recall and diagnosis; the interaction of recall and time was however, stronger.
In line with previous findings the data show that blind have lower REMs density. However the ability of dream recall in congenitally blind and sighted controls is identical. In both groups visual dream recall is associated with an increase in REM bursts and density. REM bursts also show differences in the temporal profile. REM visual dream recall is associated with increased REMs activity.