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Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams

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  1. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams The relation of eye movements during sleep to dream activity: An objective method for the study of dreaming Journal of Experimental Psychology 53 pp339 - 46 psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  2. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams introduction • long standing point of interest • tradition of dreams as prediction • tradition of dreams as subconscious mind • D&K => breakthrough re frequency & length of dreams • also relationship of dreams to health psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  3. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams the study: starting points • D&K noticed rapid eye movement (REM) • apparent connection with dreaming • 3 Qs • 1 does dream recall correlate to REM? • 2 is there a correlation between REM duration and estimates of dream length • 3 is REM connected to content of dreams? psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  4. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams the study: subjects • 9 adults: 7M 2F • 5 studied intensively • 4 minimal data to confirm data on 5 psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  5. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams the study: procedure • S report to lab before bedtime • asked to eat normally BUT avoid caffeine / alcohol on day of study • 2 electrodes near eye (record muscle activity) • 2 or 3 others record brain activity • electroencephalograph (EEG) psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  6. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams the study: procedure • woken at various times to test dream recall • bell woke S - they recorded dream recall on tape [why?] • (to avoid experimenter effects) • waking times: • 2x random; • 1x at whim of experimenter (!); • 1x 3xREM + 3xnREM; • 1x random (told only during REM) psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  7. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams the study: procedure • 'dream' only counted if recall clear • return to sleep <5 mins • 9 S studied over 61 nights: 351 awakenings (av 5.7 per night) • Subjects awakened as soon as four predominant pattern of movement had persisted for at least 1 minute psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  8. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams results: REM patterns • all subjects showed REM every night • REM had regular pattern • pattern varied per individual • av gap 90 mins - norm 70-104 mins • duration of REM 3 - 50 mins psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  9. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams results: REM–EEG patterns • REM correlates to EEG patterns • REM EEG - low voltage fast pattern results: REM–dream reports • reports of dreams correlates strongly to REM sleep • few dreams reported in non-REM sleep psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  10. psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  11. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams results: deep sleep - dream reports • in deep sleep (indicated by EEG) Ss reported confusion • reported thinking that they had been dreaming … • but could not describe dreams • often reported strong emotions psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  12. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams results: dream duration – REM estimates • woken 5 or 15 mins in REM and asked to estimate duration of dream • strong correlation between estimates and REM times • i.e. most subjects could usually estimate times accurately psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  13. psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  14. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams results: eye movement - dream content • a) vertical eye movement > operating a hoist • b) Horizontal > throwing tomatoes • c) Both vertical & horizontal > talking to people close to them (friends) • d) Very little or no movement > staring at fixed objects. psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  15. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams discussion: the study • well controlled lab experiment • small sample • (may be less important because study of physiological condition rather than psychological) • breakthrough in dream research • close correlation REM - dreams • nature of relationship remains unclear psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  16. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams discussion: later studies • Goodenough et al • self reported hi/lo dreamers • hi dreamers - many REM-dream links • lo dreamers - much lower REM-dream link rates •  highly variable psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  17. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams discussion • Dement and Wolpert • tried to influence dreams • sprayed water, flashed lights, played tones • some influence on a few subjects • people blind from birth and newborns show REM psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  18. Dement and Kleitman (1957) REM and dreams discussion: variations in D&K’s results • the following tables indicate variations between subjects • they use data on the 5 main subjects • variations do not fatally undermine D&K’s study, but should serve to show that we need to be cautious about generalisations! psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  19. DN PM KC IR WD psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  20. psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter

  21. psychlotron.org.uk Mark Souter