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Keywords:

  • Spontaneous electro dermal response;
  • Sleep;
  • Storming;
  • Skin potential;
  • Skin resistance;
  • Finger plethysmograph;
  • Heart rate. (D. G. McDonald)

ABSTRACT

A series of studies on spontaneous electro dermal responses (storming) in normal human stage 3–4 sleep J5 reported. It was found that: (a) storming rates during sleep are positively correlated with spontaneous response rates during wakefulness, (b) more storming is demonstrated by subjects who remain awake during a baseline recording at the start of the night, (c) there is a negative correlation between storming rate and amount of stage 3–4 sleep, (d) storming rates decrease from night 1 to night 2, (e) stunners differ from non-stormers on several MMPI measures of anxiety and ego-strength, and (f) dream reports are given more often on awakenings from storming than non-storming stage 3–4 sleep. The results are compared to other studies of storming, and the conclusion is made that storming is related to presleep variables and is not a simple byproduct of a release of cortical inhibitory mechanisms. If one function of storming is to reduce the amount of stage 3–4 sleep, this might have survival value in the presence of environmental threat.