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Purpose of dreams

  1. Sep 3, 2004 #1

    hypnagogue

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    In doing some reading lately I came upon an article that may be enlightening on the subject of the purpose of dreaming, which came up in another thread in this forum recently. The following is an excerpt of that piece, chapter 8 of Stephen LaBerge's book Lucid Dreaming. The full chapter can be found online here.

     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2004 #2
    It probably has to do with keeping the brain mentally prepared.
     
  4. Sep 5, 2004 #3

    Moonbear

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    Hypnagogue, I'm going to have to delve into this more before I can give a proper answer, but a few things jump out at me as fishy, or at least outdated. I think there's some recent evidence that dreams can occur without REM sleep, but need to verify this. I also don't think it's accurate that babies are dreaming during all that sleep, especially newborns, but how would we ask them anyway?
     
  5. Sep 5, 2004 #4

    Moonbear

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    Here's one article to start with, while I'm still looking and reading.

     
  6. Sep 8, 2004 #5

    hypnagogue

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    The article is a bit outdated now that I look (1985 or so). As far as I know, however, the information is more or less accurate.

    I'd be very interested to hear about dreaming occuring in the absence of REM sleep-- I've never heard of such a thing. The working assumption seems to be that REM sleep is more or less synonymous with dreaming. It's difficult to ascertain in cases where sleepers report no dreams, but there is always the possibility that they have had dreams and just can't remember them. Probably the best way to solve this issue would be to isolate the neural correlates of dreaming in people who remember their dreams and then look for the presence or absence of these correlates in people who don't remember their dreams.
     
  7. Sep 8, 2004 #6
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2004
  8. Sep 8, 2004 #7

    Moonbear

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    Sorry, I'm going to have to keep this short. I am currently swamped with work (this is what I get for taking a few days off to relax over a long holiday weekend). Just taking a quick break right now.

    Anyway, I did locate some current articles that show dreams, indeed, can occur in stage 2 non-REM sleep. This was determined by waking subjects in a sleep lab during different stages of sleep and asking them if they recalled dreams. Interestingly, there seem to be some hypotheses being tossed around that the type of dream may vary depending on whether it occurs in REM or NREM sleep. For example, in REM sleep, dreams are more of the type that seem like weird hallucinations, whereas in NREM sleep, dreams are more about ordinary events. This seems to be a reasonably new idea (likely due to the relatively recent confirmation that dreams occur during NREM sleep), so I don't know how well it will hold up.

    Remind me to dig up the references. I have them here, somewhere, buried in the clutter of PDFs that has exploded on my desktop in the past few days.

    I also happened to like that other article I already mentioned above. I keep swearing to people that I don't dream that often, and now I have scientific proof that I could be right! Then again, they usually reply to my declaration of not dreaming that I am supposed to sleep to dream. :biggrin:
     
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