The threat simulation theory of the evolutionary function of dreaming: Evidence from dreams of traumatized children
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Consciousness and Cognition 14 (1):188-218 (2005)
The threat simulation theory of dreaming states that dream consciousness is essentially an ancient biological defence mechanism, evolutionarily selected for its capacity to repeatedly simulate threatening events. Threat simulation during dreaming rehearses the cognitive mechanisms required for efficient threat perception and threat avoidance, leading to increased probability of reproductive success during human evolution. One hypothesis drawn from TST is that real threatening events encountered by the individual during wakefulness should lead to an increased activation of the system, a threat simulation response, and therefore, to an increased frequency and severity of threatening events in dreams. Consequently, children who live in an environment in which their physical and psychological well-being is constantly threatened should have a highly activated dream production and threat simulation system, whereas children living in a safe environment that is relatively free of such threat cues should have a weakly activated system. We tested this hypothesis by analysing the content of dream reports from severely traumatized and less traumatized Kurdish children and ordinary, non-traumatized Finnish children. Our results give support for most of the predictions drawn from TST. The severely traumatized children reported a significantly greater number of dreams and their dreams included a higher number of threatening dream events. The dream threats of traumatized children were also more severe in nature than the threats of less traumatized or non-traumatized children
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Martin Desseilles, Thien Thanh Dang-Vu, Virginie Sterpenich & Sophie Schwartz (2011). Cognitive and Emotional Processes During Dreaming: A Neuroimaging View. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):998-1008.
Katja Valli, Thea Strandholm, Lauri Sillanmäki & Antti Revonsuo (2008). Dreams Are More Negative Than Real Life: Implications for the Function of Dreaming. Cognition and Emotion 22 (5):833-861.
Susan Malcolm-Smith, Sheri Koopowitz, Eleni Pantelis & Mark Solms (2012). Approach/Avoidance in Dreams. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (1):408-412.
Similar books and articles
Antti Revonsuo (2000). The Reinterpretation of Dreams: An Evolutionary Hypothesis of the Function of Dreaming. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):877-901.
J. A. Cheyne (2000). Play, Dreams, and Simulation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):918-919.
Antti Revonsuo & Katja Valli (2000). Dreaming and Consciousness: Testing the Threat Simulation Theory of the Function of Dreaming. Psyche 6 (8).
Antonio Zadra, Sophie Desjardins & Éric Marcotte (2006). Evolutionary Function of Dreams: A Test of the Threat Simulation Theory in Recurrent Dreams. Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2):450-463.
Anne Germain, Tore A. Nielsen, Antonio Zadra & Jacques Montplaisir (2000). The Prevalence of Typical Dream Themes Challenges the Specificity of the Threat Simulation Theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):940-941.
Antti Revonsuo (2000). Did Ancestral Humans Dream for Their Lives? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):1063-1082.
Katja Valli & Antti Revonsuo (2006). Recurrent Dreams: Recurring Threat Simulations? Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2):464-469.
A. Zadra & D. C. Donderi (2000). Threat Perceptions and Avoidance in Recurrent Dreams. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):1017-1018.
Sophie Desjardins & Antonio Zadra (2006). Is the Threat Simulation Theory Threatened by Recurrent Dreams? Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2):470-474.
Todd K. Shackelford & Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford (2000). Threat Simulation, Dreams, and Domain-Specificity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):1004-1004.
Owen J. Flanagan (2000). Dreaming Souls: Sleep, Dreams, and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind. Oxford University Press.
Keith Gunderson (2000). The Dramaturgy of Dreams in Pleistocene Minds and Our Own. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):946-947.
Rita B. Ardito (2000). Dreaming as an Active Construction of Meaning. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):907-908.
Milton Kramer (2000). Dreaming has Content and Meaning Not Just Form. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):959-961.
Added to index2010-08-24
Total downloads14 ( #126,232 of 1,413,344 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #67,207 of 1,413,344 )
How can I increase my downloads?