Dreams and dreaming
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Dreams and dreaming. Dreams basics. We all dream, at least if we are healthy, though some never remember And even they can be taught The amygdala (emotion) often active REM can take place without dreaming We don’t need REM to dream, but such dreams are usually much more mundane.

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Dreams basics

  • We all dream, at least if we are healthy, though some never remember

  • And even they can be taught

  • The amygdala (emotion) often active

  • REM can take place without dreaming

  • We don’t need REM to dream, but such dreams are usually much more mundane

Rem dreams
Rem dreams

  • Often quite bizarre

  • Full of visual imagery, sounds and intense emotion

  • Prompted by brain structures associated with motivation, emotion, and reward and then spun through our potent visual association areas

  • No access to reflective thought or reality

What if anything do they mean
What, if anything, do they mean?

  • Do they foretell the future?

  • Do they reflect wishes unfulfilled?

  • Can they diagnose illnesses?

  • Do they have any adaptive value?

  • Should we ever be ashamed of our dreams?

Common dreams
Common dreams

  • They often relate to current concerns

  • They often involve things that could go wrong

  • Frequent themes:


    being chased

    naked in public


Perspectives on dreaming
Perspectives on dreaming

  • Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)

  • Struck by how often clients described them

  • Viewed them as indispensable to understanding personality – “The royal road to the unconscious.”

More freud
More Freud

  • Analyzed his own

  • Viewed them as symbolic, with two levels of meaning

  • Manifest content – their apparent meaning

  • Latent meaning – their hidden, real meaning

  • We censor our real desires

  • Carl Jung viewed as a progression

Carlos castenada
Carlos castenada

  • 70’s sensation

  • A shaman’s apprentice?

  • His best selling books focused attention on the conscious manipulation of the dream state, done to gain personal power

  • Better known as lucid dreaming

  • Fact or fiction?

  • As for Carlos,…..

Dreams and creativity
Dreams and creativity

  • Some believe that dreams can help us solve difficult problems

  • Focus on this puzzle before you fall asleep:

    The letters o t t f f form the start of an infinite series. Find a simple rule for determining all successive letters. According to this rule what would the next two letters be?

Activation synthesis theory
Activation- synthesis theory

  • Dreams arise when the pons sends random signals to the cerebral cortex during REM sleep

  • The cerebral cortex than tries to tie these together into some sort of a coherent tale by comparing these neuronal firings with stored memories

Neurocognitive theory
Neurocognitive theory

  • Dreams are a type of thinking that happens under special conditions

  • Three factors:

    cortical activity

    little sensory stimulation

    loss of control over thinking

  • This combination leads to a situation where emotions and imagination run wild

Neurocog ii
Neurocog ii

  • Systematic studies reveal that people usually dream about things they are concerned about

  • Cognitive maturity facilitates dreaming

  • Finally, this theory claims that dreams lack any adaptive value, they are just a curious by-product of our cognitive capabilities

Dream diaries
Dream diaries

  • To best remember dreams:

    Every night tell yourself that you will remember your dreams

    Keep your diary right by your bed

    Write them down immediately

    Tell someone else

    Keep track of life events

    Record your interpretations

A dream before dying
A dream before dying

  • Many have noted the profound dreams people often experience shortly before death

  • Rev. Patricia Bulkey, a chaplain for a hospice, has collected a number of these

  • Her work has noted common themes:

    going on journeys

    reunions with deceased loved ones

Before dying ii
Before dying ii

  • Strangely, although the dreams often point to the inevitability and finality of death, they usually soothe

  • Part of family lore

  • Sometimes they warn of unfinished business

  • Lincoln, Yung