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A recording of voltage changes resulting from shifts in position of the ocular globes, as each globe is a positive (anterior) and negative (posterior) dipole; along with the EEG and the EMG, one of the three basic variables used to score sleep stages and waking. Sleep recording in humans uses surface electrodes placed near the eyes to record the movement (incidence, direction, and velocity) of the eyeballs. Rapid eye movements in sleep form one part of the characteristics of the REM sleep state.

Definition reprinted with permission from Culebras, Antonio, Clinical Handbook of Sleep Disorders, Butterworth-Heinemann

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