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Dreams are extraordinary experiences – like hallucinations, they might be indistinguishable from veridical experiences except they DO NOT usually survive neurophysiological REALITY-TESTS: “CORRESPONDENCE” and “COHERENCE”. Chagall, Jacobs Ladder (1973). HOW IS BELIEF ESTABLISHED?.

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Dreams are extraordinary experiences – like hallucinations, they might be indistinguishable from veridical experiences except they DO NOT usually survive neurophysiological REALITY-TESTS: “CORRESPONDENCE” and “COHERENCE”

Chagall, Jacobs Ladder (1973)


How is belief established
HOW IS BELIEF ESTABLISHED? hallucinations, they might be indistinguishable from veridical experiences except they DO NOT usually survive neurophysiological REALITY-TESTS:

  • Empiricism and Reality-Testing

    • data-based, induction-driven

    • Right hemisphere

    • Determines if PERCEPTS CORRESPOND to reality

  • Rationalism and Story-Telling

    • theory-based, deduction-driven

    • Left hemisphere

    • Determines if PERCEPTS COHERE with each other

Truth and Reality


LEFT HEMISPHERE hallucinations, they might be indistinguishable from veridical experiences except they DO NOT usually survive neurophysiological REALITY-TESTS:

Coherence: creates a consistent belief system – works to “save appearances”

(Ramachandran 1998)

Probabilistic reasoning

(Osherson et al 1998)

Abstract object recognition

(Marsolek 1999)

Activated by familiar percepts

(Goldberg 2001)

RIGHT HEMISPHERE

Correspondence: “skeptical,” tests reality and if damaged, confabulation runs rampant

(Ramachandran 1998)

Deductive reasoning

(Osherson et al 1998)

Specific object recognition

(Marsolek 1999)

Activated by unfamiliar percepts

(Goldberg 2001)


Information transfer between neurons
INFORMATION TRANSFER BETWEEN NEURONS hallucinations, they might be indistinguishable from veridical experiences except they DO NOT usually survive neurophysiological REALITY-TESTS:

God in the Brain 2011


LIKE all perceptions, dreams involve the flow of information through the brain

Massive numbers of pathways –strings of neurons signaling each other-- , often competing for metabolic resources, utilize groups of neurons organized –sometimes highly specialized-- for extracting or integrating information from the external world in coordination with information already in store

We are born creating connections ... From the beginning we experience how the phenomena of the world fit together: their causal relationships ... and represent that in our brain.


SYNAPSE: through the brain

Neurotransmitters must be

  • manufactured in the cell

  • Released into the gap,

  • Survive in and traverse the gap

  • Be received in another cell that can “read” them;

  • activate the receiving cell


Information transfer between neurons1
INFORMATION TRANSFER BETWEEN NEURONS through the brain

God in the Brain 2011


Pathways in the brain
Pathways in the Brain through the brain

God in the Brain 2011


REFLEX through the brain

In the reflex, only two or three neurons might be involved in the chain of cause and effect: -- it is fast and thus more protective

BUT, “collateral neurons” will inform the “higher” centers only a few milliseconds later AND this may provide an opportunity for additional, more complex responses (yelling out may be highly adaptive) OR SUPPRESSING other responses (suppress expletives if the children are listening … not drop the hot pan-handle if it would sprash oil around).


Evidence that dreams begin in the brain
Evidence that through the brainDreams begin in the brain

parietal lobe injury: dreaming may cease,

midfrontal fracture: possible inability to "visualize",

surgical cingulectomy: vivid dreaming while awake,

temporal lobe lesions (as well as drugs such as Librium)can cause vivid dreaming.


Truth and reality
Truth and Reality through the brain

  • Exactness is not the truth (Matisse)

  • "Art is a lie I use to tell the truth" (Picasso)

  • The truth is more important than the facts (Frank Lloyd Wright)

  • “These things never happened, but are always” (Sallust)

  • "Is there anything truer than truth? Yes, Legend." (Kazantzakis)


Rem and dreaming
REM and dreaming through the brain

Four kinds of neurons are represented:

MRF: midbrain reticular neurons project tonic & phasic signals to thalamus

PGO: peribrachial region convey phasic activation to geniculate and cortex

PRF: pontine reticular formation convey phasic activation to oculomotor neurons and spinal cord (eye movements, twitches,

BRF: bulbar reticular formation neurons; blocks sensory input and motor output at spinal level

JA Hobson, The Dreaming Brain, 1988


Rem and dreaming1
REM and dreaming through the brain

Systems model:

Cessation of aminergic inhibition of reticular formation ACTIVATES forebrain while INHIBITING motor and sensory systems.

The system that blocks motor commands also activates forebrain

JA Hobson, The Dreaming Brain, 1988


Models of meaning
Models of meaning through the brain

Unconscious wishes and recent experience instigate dream

Chaotic data integrated but in absence external reference information

JA Hobson, The Dreaming Brain 1988


Jacob s ladder
Jacob’s Ladder through the brain

In Jacob’s dream, the angels ascending and descending the ladder symbolize the ease with which dreamers can move between levels of reality

The dream ladder bridges from one world to another

From the Lambeth Bible, 12th c England


Jacob’s Ladder through the brain

Connections: between heaven and earth? Between higher and lower neurophysiological functions: “creativity” ?


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