Why do we have realistic dreams?

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  • #26
Evo
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Ok honestrosewater, here we go.

"There are two basic forms of sleep: slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. (REM sleep is sometimes called "paradoxical sleep.") Infants spend about 50% of their sleep time in SWS and 50% in REM sleep. Adults spend about 20% of their sleep time in REM and 80% in SWS sleep. Elderly people spend less than 15% of their sleep time in REM sleep."

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/sleep.html

The next explains dreaming during SWS and it's connection to memory.

Rats dream about their tasks during slow wave sleep

"In work that may shed light on how humans form memories, MIT researchers report in the Dec. 19 issue of Neuron that rats dream about their activities during slow wave sleep as well as during REM sleep.

Slow wave sleep, also referred to as non-REM sleep, makes up a large fraction of the normal sleep cycle and occurs earlier than REM sleep."


http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2002/dreams.html

"Although REM sleep is the phase from which dreams may be most reliably elicited, REM sleep is not necessary for dreaming. In almost all later studies, the frequency of non-REM dream recall is higher than in the earliest studies; in some studies as high as 70%. Many dream reports are elicited on awakenings from non-REM phases that occur before the first REM phase of the night, indicating that these dream reports do not represent recall from REM periods earlier in the night. In fact, dream reports have also been elicited from subjects at the onset of sleep and from subjects lying quietly awake in a darkened room. Although reports of non-REM dreams tend to be shorter, less vivid, less emotional, and more coherent than reports of REM dreams, there are no qualitative differences between REM and non-REM reports of the same length. Thus, a major difference between REM and non-REM dreams is that the former tend to be longer. "

http://www.npi.ucla.edu/sleepresearch/SleepDream/sleep_dreams.htm [Broken]

Do you want more? You shouldn't take this so personally, this happens to be common knowledge. Dreams occur during SWS sleep and research shows that SWS is the time when most memory functions occur.
 
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  • #27
honestrosewater
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Evo said:
Do you want more? You shouldn't take this so personally,
I didn't mean to come off as being offended. Nor did I mean that you had to provide any evidence; I would have looked it up for myself, but thank you. I only meant to say that I wasn't intentionally leaving anything out or misrepresenting my knowledge. I thought your claim that research tends to support the memory-dreaming connection was misleading, and I haven't yet seen anything that makes me think otherwise. I hope my saying so doesn't offend you.
 
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  • #28
Thanks for the warm welcome guys!

Muon12, I understand your sentiment regarding dreams that seem to be completely "new" and bear no relation to anything you thought you knew. I would imagine these occur because even though you're asleep, your mind is still aware of what it's dreaming - thus perhaps it can integrate what you dreamt about two minutes previously into it's next segment of memory consolidation? Like an on-running feedback loop of sorts, whereby one random synaptic firing causes a runaway cascade of thoughts and new ideas - you can imagine new things when you're awake; possibly even more easily when asleep!

I hope that's clear enough to convey what I'm thinking.
 
  • #29
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Yesterday morning I had lectures, so I decided to get up early. I set my alarm and slept. I dreamt of flying in mud and walking on my hairs and finally I dreamt of an earthquake. I could hear a very loud siren in my dreams, which, I thought was a warning about the coming earthquake. So I came out of my house (in my dream) and started rushing towards the veternary hospital of my area. I found the main switch of the siren and put it off. But the siren continued. I suddenly got some idea and i fumbled in my pocket to find a key. I took out the key and tried to switch the siren off again and then, I realised, that it was just a dream and that the siren, was actually, the alarm. I got up and stopped the alarm. I didn't miss the lecture.

Today, I wondered, how did that happen.

How, did the brain know the alarm was going to start before it actually started? How did it accomadate everything so neatly in the dream story? I mean, how did it think about the earthquake, for god's sake?

Then I realised, that the sequence of incidences inside my brain was NOT this :-
1. It realised that the alarm was going to start before it actually started
2. It accomodated this incidence in its story.

But what actually happened, was this :-
1. The brain continued its normal story without knowing anything about the alarm.
2. The alarm started in the physical world.
3. The ears sent this signal to the brain.
4. The brain realised that it had gone all messed up.
5. Then it did an intelligent thing. It knows that our experience of time is governed by the brain itself. So it introduced the 'earthquake' incidence and stored it before the sensing-of-the-alarm-by-the-ears-incidence in the 'sequence of events' database in our body.So basically, the brain thought of introducing the earthquake after the actual alarm started, but made us believe that it occured before the alarm.
 
  • #30
Evo
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honestrosewater said:
I thought your claim that research tends to support the memory-dreaming connection was misleading, and I haven't yet seen anything that makes me think otherwise. I hope my saying so doesn't offend you.
Not at all, it's not my personal research that shows the connection. :wink:
 
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  • #31
bayan said:
Hi there.



I have heard that If you can truly use your brain (anything more than 40% of it's ability) you can predict the future, does the brain become more inteligent during sleep time?


well.. just so you know, we do use 100% of our brain! You can ask any neurologist how much of our brain capasity do we use! I promise you he will say 100% (pending you are in good health).
 
  • #32
I don't quite see how dreaming has much to do with memory either really. Most of the time I don't remember my dreams and even when I do very little of it corisponds to actual memories. In fact most of the time if I dream of being in a location that I know such as at work or some other similar sort of place that I know well my dream of the place looks nothing like it actually does in real life. Very often even I will dream of certain people and they will look nothing like they do in real life. So is there supposed to be a connection between your dream experience and your memories?
 
  • #33
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TheStatutoryApe said:
So is there supposed to be a connection between your dream experience and your memories?
No. Don't mistake the underlying brain functions that have to do with memory storage to what you are dreaming. They are completely unrelated.
 
  • #34
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lordinfamous said:
bayan said:
Hi there.



I have heard that If you can truly use your brain (anything more than 40% of it's ability) you can predict the future, does the brain become more inteligent during sleep time?


well.. just so you know, we do use 100% of our brain! You can ask any neurologist how much of our brain capasity do we use! I promise you he will say 100% (pending you are in good health).
That is incorrect, we never use 100% of our brain capacity. Were you making a joke? Sorry, maybe I missed it.
 
  • #35
JesseM
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Evo said:
That is incorrect, we never use 100% of our brain capacity. Were you making a joke? Sorry, maybe I missed it.
We never use 100% of the brain at a single time, but every part of the brain is active some of the time...when people say "we only use X% of our brain" to imply that we'd have amazing powers if only we could use more, I think they're suggesting that there are unused parts of the brain that we never tap into, which isn't true.
 
  • #36
I remember now having had an interesting dream experience.
I dreamt that I was traveling with a theatre troupe. One of the actors that I was friends with and I both had a crush on the same actress. She came up to me and asked me to play Othello with her. I went to look for the board game then realized that there was likely a double entendre of some sort there.
I've never been involved in theatre and have neither seen nor read Othello. I asked an ex of mine who has been involved in theatre if she knew of any theatre slang like "playing Othello". She told me that there is one that generally means someone is playing the jealous lover.
At first I had thought it odd enough that such a thing would crop up in a dream of mine and then even more strange that it turns out to be something from the real world that I have never been exposed to. I've been interested in the idea of the collective unconscious. I'm not saying this was a product of it neccisarily. I just thought it was interesting.
 
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