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.

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26
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7answers
4k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
305 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
565 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
378 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
497 views

Why do we always wake up at the climax of our dreams, even when it is an alarm that wakes us?

I know that it probably has something to do with the fact that our dreams didn't really end at the same time our alarm clock rang, our brains just make us think so for some reason.
14
votes
0answers
294 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
252 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
9k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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, ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
395 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
507 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, ...
9
votes
3answers
242 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
149 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
244 views

Why do we wake up when we die in our dreams?

A lot of people had some experience with dying in their dreams. They all confirm they remember the whole story until the precise moment of death and it is the death itself what woke them up - not ...
8
votes
3answers
242 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
150 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k 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
132 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
35 views

Are there any studies that suggest an evolutionary advantage of dreaming?

I've read the answers to this question. But I'd like to ask if, besides those suggested hypothesis, has anyone ever suggested that the advantage of sleeping could be to allow a profound state of rest ...
7
votes
0answers
318 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
212 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
2answers
248 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
169 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
87 views

Why do we talk unconsciously while sleeping [closed]

Somniloquy is very fascinating. It is unclear what are the causes, but most of the time it is not seen as a medical condition. "Sleep talking usually occurs by itself and is most often harmless. ...
6
votes
0answers
96 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

Are there studies on the effect of nicotine patches on dream vividness and dream recall?

Acetylcholine plays an important role during REM Sleep. I cite an answer to the question "Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?": Activity in the PFC during sleep may be ...
5
votes
1answer
89 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? EDIT The 12% even split up between young and old. From "Do we only dream ...
5
votes
1answer
504 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
110 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?
5
votes
0answers
77 views

Why is it so difficult to recall dreams? [duplicate]

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?
5
votes
0answers
68 views

Why is it so problematic to read in a dream? [closed]

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
210 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Do dreams repeat/continue? Or is it just a perception that a dream repeated?

During lucid dreaming, we sometimes feel that it is a repetition of (or in someway related to) a previous dream, but when we wake up, we can't recollect the first instance of such a dream. Why is this ...
4
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
480 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
21 views

Does testosterone level cause more sexual dream content?

I have long been interested in dreaming, including how dream content can shed some light on brain chemistry. I did a search on the subject of testosterone levels altering dream content and see some ...
4
votes
0answers
85 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
120 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

Why do we wake up from sleep (from a dream) as soon as we figure out reality?

In a dream why do we wake up when we figure out that its not real. I mean even in a lucid dream we are lost to some extent and as soon as we stop accepting the situation we tend to awaken?
3
votes
3answers
107 views

Why does even the most rational brain forget logic in a dream?

Scenario 1) Now we all know gravity is real. Yet when we dream that we are flying we forget/or are oblivious to the entire concept of gravity as if you have never experienced gravity. Scenario 2) ...
3
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
59 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Does individual understanding or perception, determine dream lucidity?

Does dream lucidity come with understanding the mechanisms of the world, age, or something else?
3
votes
1answer
288 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
308 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?