While saddened by the loss of Dr. Michel Jouvet, the SRS is grateful for his life and work as a sleep and circadian research pioneer. In the late 1950s he discovered that muscle activity is inhibited during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in cats, a state which he called “paradoxical sleep.” His seminal contributions to the field earned him the SRS Distinguished Scientist Award in 1990 and a special Founder Award in 2003. Dr. Patrick Fuller notes, “Jouvet’s seminal experimental work in cats uncovered the anatomic location of brainstem REM atonia-generator circuitry. This works still inspires as we now know that the homologous circuitry exists in the human brainstem, and damage to the region results in the human parasomnia REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). ”
He was a brilliant scientist who will be missed dearly.