David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):919-922 (2000)
Information processing theories of memory and skills can be reformulated in terms of how categories are physically and temporally related, a process called conceptual coordination. Dreaming can then be understood as a story-understanding process in which two mechanisms found in everyday comprehension are missing: conceiving sequences (chunking categories in time as a higher-order categorization) and coordinating across modalities (e.g., relating the sound of a word and the image of its meaning). On this basis, we can readily identify isomorphisms between dream phenomenology and neurophysiology, and explain the function of dreaming as facilitating future coordination of sequential, cross-modal categorization (i.e., REM sleep lowers activation thresholds, “unlearning”). [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Solms; Revonsuo; Vertes & Eastman].
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