1) Who dreams and how often do they dream? Everyone dreams We dream many times each night and dreams last longer as the sleep session progresses During an average night’s sleep about 2 hours are spent dreaming. Most dreams occur during REM sleep; however, some dreams do occur at sleep onset and during NREM sleep as well.
2) What do dreams mean? Different psychologists have proposed different theories on the meaning of dreams throughout time. Sigmund Freud Carl Yung J. Allan Hobson AnttiRevonsuo
Sigmund Freud Freud was the first to try to explain the meaning of dreams in 1900. dreams = symbolic fulfillment of unconscious sexual wishes dreams may be interpreted in 2 ways: 1- manifest content:dreams are a series of weird images and actions that are loosely connected 2- latent content: dream’s true meaningmay be interpreted to indicate the dreamer’s unconscious wishes
Carl Yung Yung proposed that dreams signify distant human memories stored in the brain but lost to conscious awareness.
Problem with these theories? Both psychologists relied too closely on their patients’ memory of their dreams after they had awoken What improvement has been made? Now we wake patients in the middle of dreaming and question them immediately.
J. Allan Hobson“Dreams as meaningless brain activity” Activation- synthesis hypothesis • Activation: during dreaming, neurons in many areas of the cerebral cortex are activated by neurons in the brainstem. • The cortex then generates random images, actions, and emotions • These events are not truly random as they are drawn from personal memories stored in the brain • Dream events are thus fragmented, bizarre and have no true meaning
J. Allan Hobson“Dreams as meaningless brain activity” Synthesis: • PET imaging shows that the frontal cortex is less activewhen dreaming than when awake • Recall, the frontal cortex is ‘decision making’ center of the brain • upon waking dreamers have a hard time remembering and linking dream events so they attempt to create a story line for fragmented, meaningless images.
Brain areas that are active during dreaming • Areas that regulate: • Attention • Motivation • Emotion • Memory formation • Arousal • Visual processing
Brain areas that are inactive during dreaming: • Regions that regulate: • Intelligence • Conscious thought • Higher-order reasoning • These processes are all controlled by the frontal cortex
AnttiRevonsuo“Dreams as a Coping Strategy” • Recurrent dreams and nightmares usually begin in childhood, when a person is most vulnerable • Dreams often focused on threatening images • This leads to enhanced coping strategies in dealing with threatening life events • Dream content incorporates the current emotional problems of the dreamer • This leads to improvements in and adjustments to life problems.
Journal Entry #5: Answer the following questions 1) Who dreams and how often do they dream? 2) What do dreams mean? - 4 psychologists views on the meaning of dreams: • Freud • Jung • Hobson • Revonsuo 3) What brain areas are active during dreaming? 4) What brain areas are inactive during dreaming?