Questions about the scientific basis of the imagery and sensations that are experienced primarily during rapid eye movement sleep and occasionally during other stages as well.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

23
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the current “accepted” science behind dream interpretation?

I'm doing some casual reading about dream interpretation (meaning I'm reading the wikipedia entry) and the article mentions that there are several ways of thinking about dreams from a psychological ...
16
votes
3answers
382 views

Do only humans spend a lot of time daydreaming (or having “stimulus-independent thoughts”)?

A paper Killingsworth et al., A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind, Science 12 November 2010: 932 (or a free pdf) starts with the following statement: Unlike other animals, human beings spend a ...
13
votes
1answer
333 views

Does dream recall disturb the processes of memory consolidation?

Psychology in the time of Freud was occupied with dreams. Relaying these to one's analyst was an important part of treatment. Fast-forward to less than 100 years later, and we know so much about the ...
12
votes
3answers
211 views

Can we be conscious of our dreams?

During the day time, we are conscious of our surroundings and the brain does its work. During sleep, we are not conscious. We have dreams. But the brain continues to function. After we awake ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Can we smell in dreams?

I'm interested in whether people can smell in their dreams. Do people really experience smell in their dreams? For example, if I dream of smelling a flower, will I feel the smell, too? Is there any ...
9
votes
1answer
983 views

How do the blind dream?

Lately, a friend of mine has been telling me that he's been having recurring dreams involving a certain rabbi, who died around a hundred years ago. Since there's been some controversy surrounding the ...
9
votes
0answers
208 views

Does dream recall interfere with “reverse learning”? (Crick and Mitchison's theory of REM sleep)

I've recently became aware of the idea of "reverse learning" that might happen during REM sleep - the brain's attempt to eliminate pathological attractors that might appear in neural networks. The ...
8
votes
1answer
672 views

What is the scientific term for unexpected, spontaneous dream recall?

I'm interested if there's a term for spontaneous dream recall. I will try to define the phenomenon I'm talking about. Over 10 years ago, I started to notice that I can spontaneously recall dreams, ...
8
votes
1answer
113 views

Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?

Right after you wake up from a dream, you seem to be able to remember most if not all of the details. Then, over time, these details fade and often disappear. Is this a form of regression? Why is ...
7
votes
2answers
101 views

What happens in the brain when conscious awareness is changed during dreaming onset?

I've long been interested in dreaming and there's a peculiar phenomenon of the very start of the dreaming process. Different people experience it differently, but even for the same person there's ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Do lucid dream eyemasks work?

There seems to be a few eyemasks available that claim to help the wearer achieve lucid dreaming. For example: The NovaDreamer lucid dream mask works by detecting Rapid Eye Movement (REM) while ...
7
votes
1answer
334 views

Do characters in a dream have their own separate thoughts or identity?

I am very curious as to if any research has been done in this area, or if such a question even can be researched given the current tools and methods available to cognitive scientists. When one dreams, ...
7
votes
1answer
124 views

Are topics experienced later in the day more likely to be present in dreams?

Is there any evidence suggesting that thoughts or experiences from late in the day are more likely to be dreamed about the following night compared with similar experiences earlier in the day?
7
votes
0answers
151 views

Does data support Domhoff's neurocognitive theory of dreams?

Background: A friend described consistent feelings and themes during a dream. It is my understanding that the contents of our dreams are our subconscious/unconscious/preconscious processing stimuli ...
7
votes
1answer
170 views

Can lucid dreaming detract from the recuperative effect of REM sleep?

Imagine you mastered lucid dreaming, so you have a lucid dream every night. You might want to use this phase to do creative work or problem solving. Would this have a negative influence on the ...
6
votes
3answers
193 views

What causes dreamers to accept dreams as reality?

I have long had interest in dreaming, and one of the defining features of ordinary dreams is that the dreamer either accepts the dream as "real life", or does not question the surroundings. Compare ...
5
votes
2answers
200 views

Are closed eye movements related to the content of dreams or the imagination?

During rem sleep there are observed eye movements, which seem like they would correlate with the person visualizing their dreams. Do their eye movements actually try to follow what they're dreaming ...
5
votes
1answer
138 views

How is light processed by the human brain when awake and in dreams?

I've recently seen this great video: How your brain tells you where you are. The video discusses how certain cells within the brain fire based on proximity to objects. There are great examples of ...
4
votes
1answer
327 views

Dreams and sleep phases, and duration of dreams

Supposedly, people mainly dream during REM sleep, and dreams last up to 20 minutes (see for example the first paragraphs of the Wikipedia article on Dreams). My subjective experience differs: No ...
4
votes
2answers
103 views

How long do dreams last?

What is the relationship between time perceived in a dream and time in the external world? Is time running in dreams always faster than the time running in the real world? Is it ratio of real time ...
3
votes
2answers
174 views

Can ESP and out-of-body phenomena be understood as a form of dreaming or hallucination?

Currently reading about psychedelic experiences, and it is noted in Wikipedia that: Level 4 psychedelic experience Strong hallucinations, i.e. objects morphing into other objects. ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

12 percent of our dreams are in black and white?

Pavan Teja says on Psychtronics: Did you know that ... 12 percent of our dreams are in black and white? Is this true?
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Do humans only dream of things they have actually witnessed/seen?

Is it necessary for humans to have dreams that only contain things they have witnessed/seen in their consciousness?
3
votes
1answer
212 views

Possibility of using the effects of sleep to induce a virtual environment?

I'm not sure what this guy is trying to say, or why his question got closed, but I think I can build upon it and form a solid question. When the brain enters REM Sleep, all sensory input to reality is ...
3
votes
0answers
43 views

Why is it so difficult to recall dreams?

You see a dream and wake up during or after it and you remember the dream. Why is it so difficult to remember the dream in the morning, unless you write it down directly when woke up in the night?
3
votes
0answers
37 views

Do more creative people have more unusual dreams?

Title says it all: Do more creative people have more unusual dreams?
3
votes
0answers
44 views

Why is it so problematic to read in a dream?

Many activities are possible in dreams, but reading (and related tasks) is not one of them. In an dream with awareness, trying to read a label or enter a phone number can be very frustrating and can ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

What brain regions are activated when a dream is remembered?

Some people remember dreams, others don't. The same person can wake up with dream recall one day and without on other days. I know that the association between REM sleep and dreaming was initially ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

Is there difference between a memory of a dream and memory of waking experience?

I'm very interested in dreaming and have pretty good dream recall. This makes me able to recall and distinguish hundreds of experience within my memory and label them as "dreams". I'm trying to ...
3
votes
0answers
83 views

Why do we dream of unattainable wishes being satisfied in dreams? [closed]

We want many things that we might never achieve or attain in real life. Often we dream, that we have these things. What is the psychological function of this type of dream? How does the satisfaction ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

What is actually going on in your brain during a night terror?

I used to have really bad night terrors back in the day, where I would think I was floating and I would wake up and actually my vision would be very fuzzy - so I just want to know.. What is actually ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Is there a place where I can find inconsistent images?

I would like to find some images in which there are logical inconsistencies. I want to use them for practicing my attention towards those kinds of logical errors (so that I could more easily spot them ...
2
votes
1answer
238 views

Is acrophobia connected to falling in dreams?

I'm interested in the link between phobias and related nightmares. Specifically, is acrophobia (i.e., irrational fear of heights) connected to falling in dreams?
2
votes
3answers
100 views

Why dreams can be surprising?

If we all agree that dreams are created by our own minds, then how could some dreams surprise us, since, after all, all the things that could happen in a dream are made up by us, and should be utterly ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Where to find historical dream activity data?

Is it just me, or are we dreaming less? Maybe it's the computer screens in our face all day. Maybe that's just what happens when we get older. I'm wondering if there's a resource of some kind to ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

How to better remember your dreams?

Often times, I wake up with an amazing, yet fleeting glimpse of a dream I had. I would like to recollect those events I had in my dream, and try to adopt ways to better remember those dreams. There ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Why are dreams about failing exams so common?

Why so many people have a dream in which they are just about to take a mandatory school exam and they're totally unprepared, or they've missed it because show up in the wrong day, or the exam is on ...
2
votes
0answers
304 views

Is it true that drinking water before bed causes dreams to be more vivid?

Pavan Teja says on Psychtronics: Drink a lot of water. The more water you drink before bed, the more vivid your dreams. Is this true? Is this because I'm more alert not to, you know, and ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Does dream recall alter the dreaming process?

I've encountered the following phenomenon : within a single night of starting a dream journal again, my dreams became more numerous, recall improved and I'm waking up after each sleep cycle except the ...
1
vote
1answer
209 views

Why do we see unknown people and places in dreams?

People often see unknown things, places, and people in their dreams. How is it possible to have such perceptions in our dreams that go beyond our actual experiences and memories?
1
vote
2answers
95 views

How can I dream things that are impossible?

I remember having dreams whose contents were physically impossible, to the point that when I thought about them afterwards, I couldn't reconcile them with reality in a meaningful way, although when I ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

The mathematics of dreams, or better, the dreaming of mathematics

I know that the meaning of dreams is a controversial topic and I do not think that they have a specific meaning, although I am certain, by experience, that dreams are deeply connected with what ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

What are the key features of dreams that trigger dream recall in the waking state?

There are various ways of writing down dreams upon awakening in one's dream journal. I've seen long, detailed descriptions that read like novels and take a page or two. Then there are terse notes of ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Why past events reappear in dreams after a certain delay?

I know that Freud in his "Interpretation of dreams" provides a number of examples of events influencing dreams several days to several months after the event has occurred. For example, a person sees a ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Is there an easy way to tell whether I woke up during REM or non-REM sleep?

I wake up during the night. Is there an easy way to tell whether I've woken up during REM or non-REM sleep? One way could be to look up the time, calculate how long I've slept and then take into ...
1
vote
0answers
13 views

Is brain more active when you do something in dream or wake up?

If brain activity is measured using EEG, is the brain more active when sleeping and dreaming of doing something or doing the same thing when wake up? Of course, if you do exercise (eg. running) when ...
1
vote
0answers
98 views

Do highly creative people dream more and/or differently than ordinary people?

Everybody dreams, and I'm trying to understand if there is a cause and effect relationship between ability to dream and recall dreams and creativity as an adult. I would define the kind of ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

If stimulus triggers dopamine release, can dopamine release trigger memory recall of stimulus?

Modern science of sleep is starting to lean towards a viewpoint that dopamine has an important function in dreaming, and that dopaminergic pathways - mesolimbic and mesocortical are activated during ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Can dreams be memorised?

Would it be possible to activate the human memory and "access" it by means of encouraging certain hormones, to assist a sleeping body to memorize dreams and later (meaning minutes, days, months or ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

What evolutionary process(es) are thought to have enabled humans to experience dreams?

As some theories suggest, most, if not all, biological features in organisms exist due to environmental factors that trigger the organism's eventual adaptation to these factors for survival purposes. ...