“The Matrix is a computer-generated dreamworld built to keep us under control” Morpheus, early in The Matrix. “ In dreaming, you are not only out of control, you don’t even know it…I was completely duped again and again the minute my pons, my amygdala, my perihippocampal cortex, my anterior cingulate, my visual association and parietal opercular cortices were revved up and my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was muffled” ” J. Allan Hobson, The Dream Drugstore, p.64 The Matrix is an exercise (...) in ambivalence, and at the very heart of that ambivalence lies the Dream. In our dreams, we are not in control. Real dreaming, unlike many popular philosophers’ fictions, is an altered state, closely related to the states induced by chemical manipulations such as the use of (certain) medical or recreational drugs. The dreaming brain is not like the wakeful brain. Normal sensory input is blocked, attentional capacities are impaired or lost, memory is distorted, reasoning and logic are weakened, narratives run wild, self-reflection is dampened or destroyed, emotion and instinct are hyperstimulated, and forms of ‘top-down’ willed control and decision-making diluted and easily overwhelmed. (shrink)
Zhuangzi’s Butterfly Dream story can be read as a skeptical response to the Cartesian Cogito, ergo sum solution, for it presents I exist as fundamentally unprovable, on the grounds that the notion about “I” that it is guaranteed to refer to something existing, which Descartes seems to assume, is unwarranted. The modern anti-skepticism of Hilary Putnam employs a different strategy, which seeks to derive the existence of the world not from some “indubitable” truth such as the existence of myself (...) , but from the meaning of some particular assertion I make. In this paper, I argue, however, that Putnam’s argument fails to deliver on the promise of showing the self-refuting nature of the skeptical hypothesis, as it relies on a double use of “I”, a fallacy of equivocation, reflecting an unsolved tension between the argument’s general premise, which is rather Zhuangzian in spirit, and his unwitting adoption of that unwarranted notion about “I”. I try to show further that the skepticism in Zhuangzi’s Butterfly Dream not only can be used to refute the proofs of the existence of the empirical I , but also is effective against accounts concerning the existence of the transcendental I. (shrink)
Little sociological attention is directed to dreams and dreaming, and none at all is directed to how people tell one another about dreams. Ordinary settings in which dreams are told mimic the conditions of “breaching” experiments and should produce anomie, but dream telling proceeds without trouble. Foundational orientations of ordinary dream talk assimilate into professional dream studies, where dream narratives are “data” and the analysis of narratives is “dream analysis.” That such practices proceed without trouble (...) poses some interesting problems for sociology in terms of how anyone experiences “constraint” in the telling and hearing of dreams. (shrink)
During sleep, humans experience the offline images and sensations that we call dreams, which are typically emotional and lacking in rational judgment of their bizarreness. However, during lucid dreaming (LD), subjects know that they are dreaming, and may control oneiric content. Dreaming and LD features have been studied in North Americans, Europeans and Asians, but not among Brazilians, the largest population in Latin America. Here we investigated dreams and LD characteristics in a Brazilian sample (n=3,427; median age=25 years) through an (...) online survey. The subjects reported recalling dreams at least once a week (76%). Dreams typically depicted actions (93%), known people (92%), sounds/voices (78%), and colored images (76%). The oneiric content was associated with plans for the upcoming days (37%), memories of the previous day (13%), or unrelated to the dreamer (30%). Nightmares usually depicted anxiety/fear (65%), being stalked (48%), or other unpleasant sensations (47%). These data corroborate Freudian notion of day residue, and suggest that dreams are simulations of life situations that are related to our psychobiological integrity. Regarding LD, we observed that 77% of the subjects experienced LD at least once in life (44% up to 10 episodes ever), and for 48% LD subjectively lasted less than 1 minute. LD frequency correlated weakly with dream recall frequency (r=0.20, p<0.01), and LD control was rare (29%). LD occurrence was facilitated when subjects did not need to wake up early (38%), a situation that increases REMS duration, or when subjects were under stress (30%), which increases REMS transitions into waking. These results indicate that LD is a relatively ubiquitous but not frequent state, being unstable, difficult to control, and facilitated by increases in REMS duration and transitions to wake state. Together with LD incidence in USA, Europe and Asia, our data from Latin America strengthen the notion that LD is a general phenomenon of the human species. (shrink)
Are dreams subjective experiences during sleep? Is it like something to dream, or is it only like something to remember dreams after awakening? Specifically, can dream reports be trusted to reveal what it is like to dream, and should they count as evidence for saying that dreams are conscious experiences at all? The goal of this article is to investigate the relationship between dreaming, dream reporting and subjective experience during sleep. I discuss different variants of philosophical (...) skepticism about dream reporting and argue that they all fail. Consequently, skeptical doubts about the trustworthiness of dream reports are misguided, and for systematic reasons. I suggest an alternative, anti-skeptical account of the trustworthiness of dream reports. On this view, dream reports, when gathered under ideal reporting conditions and according to the principle of temporal proximity, are trustworthy (or transparent) with respect to conscious experience during sleep. The transparency assumption has the status of a methodologically necessary default assumption and is theoretically justified because it provides the best explanation of dream reporting. At the same time, it inherits important insights from the discussed variants of skepticism about dream reporting, suggesting that the careful consideration of these skeptical arguments ultimately leads to a positive account of why and under which conditions dream reports can and should be trusted. In this way, moderate distrust can be fruitfully combined with anti-skepticism about dream reporting. Several perspectives for future dream research and for the comparative study of dreaming and waking experience are suggested. (shrink)
Freud's account of dreams can be understood via interpretive patterns that span language and action, enabling an extension of common sense psychology that is potentially cogent, cumulative, and radical.
Economic progress in the United States has been attributed to the successful combination of two social structures — capitalism as an economic system and democracy as a political system. At the heart of this interaction is a particular work ethic in which hard work is considered the path to both immediate and future rewards. This article examines the evolution of work ethic in the United States, as well as the returns experienced through various adaptations in the country's history. From this (...) grounding, the information is structured into a proposal that key messages contained in the current, accepted work ethic are subject to distortions that may contribute to unethical decision making. These distortions result from two potentials: (1) efforts to reconcile the work ethic with contradictory messages and (2) exaggerations of the work ethic that become dysfunctional. The intent is to provide a framework that may explain to organizational leaders how people with the same basic work ethic can behave differently in terms of ethical work. Along with this understanding comes the potential to offset possible distortions and to encourage more ethical behavior. (shrink)
This paper attempts to recast Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream within the larger normative context of the 'Inner Chapters' and early Daoism in terms of its moral significance, particularly in the way that it prescribes how a Daoist should live through the 'significant symbol' of the butterfly. This normative reading of the passage will be contrasted with two recent interpretations of the passage - one by Robert Allinson and the other by Harold Roth - that tend to focus more on the (...) epistemological and mystical concerns of the text. As will be argued, the undue emphasis on the epistemological and mystical significance of the passage not only comes to grief when considered in light of philosophical and textual concerns but also obscures the moral dimensions of the passage that are more congruent with the 'Inner Chapters' as a whole. (shrink)
Studies in cognitive psychology showed that personality (openness to experience, thin boundaries, absorption), creativity, nocturnal awakenings, and attitude toward dreams are significantly related to dream recall frequency (DRF). These results suggest the possibility of neurophysiological trait differences between subjects with high and low DRF. To test this hypothesis we compared sleep characteristics and alpha reactivity to sounds in subjects with high and low DRF using polysomnographic recordings and electroencephalography (EEG). We acquired EEG from 21 channels in 36 healthy subjects (...) while they were presented with a passive auditory oddball paradigm (frequent standard tones, rare deviant tones and very rare first names) during wakefulness and sleep (intensity, 50 dB above the subject’s hearing level). Subjects were selected as High-recallers (HR, DRF = 4.4 ± 1.1 dream recalls per week) and Low-recallers (LR, DRF = 0.25 ± 0.1) using a questionnaire and an interview on sleep and dream habits. Despite the disturbing setup, the subjects’ quality of sleep was generally preserved. First names induced a more sustained decrease in alpha activity in HR than in LR at Pz (1000-1200ms) during wakefulness, but no group difference was found in REM sleep. The current dominant hypothesis proposes that alpha rhythms would be involved in the active inhibition of the brain regions not involved in the ongoing brain operation. According to this hypothesis, a more sustained alpha decrease in HR would reflect a longer release of inhibition, suggesting a deeper processing of complex sounds than in LR during wakefulness. A possibility to explain the absence of group difference during sleep is that increase in alpha power in HR may have resulted in awakenings. Our results support this hypothesis since HR experienced more intra sleep wakefulness than LR (30 ± 4 vs 14 ± 4 min). As a whole our results support the hypothesis of neurophysiological trait differences in high and low-recallers. (shrink)
Several theories claim that dreaming is a random by-product of REM sleep physiology and that it does not serve any natural function. Phenomenal dream content, however, is not as disorganized as such views imply. The form and content of dreams is not random but organized and selective: during dreaming, the brain constructs a complex model of the world in which certain types of elements, when compared to waking life, are underrepresented whereas others are over represented. Furthermore, dream content (...) is consistently and powerfully modulated by certain types of waking experiences. On the basis of this evidence, I put forward the hypothesis that the biological function of dreaming is to simulate threatening events, and to rehearse threat perception and threat avoidance. To evaluate this hypothesis, we need to consider the original evolutionary context of dreaming and the possible traces it has left in the dream content of the present human population. In the ancestral environment human life was short and full of threats. Any behavioral advantage in dealing with highly dangerous events would have increased the probability of reproductive success. A dream-production mechanism that tends to select threatening waking events and simulate them over and over again in various combinations would have been valuable for the development and maintenance of threat-avoidance skills. Empirical evidence from normative dream content, children's dreams, recurrent dreams, nightmares, post traumatic dreams, and the dreams of hunter-gatherers indicates that our dream-production mechanisms are in fact specialized in the simulation of threatening events, and thus provides support to the threat simulation hypothesis of the function of dreaming. Key Words: dream content; dream function; evolution of consciousness; evolutionary psychology; fear; implicit learning; nightmares; rehearsal; REM; sleep; threat perception. (shrink)
Recently, Ernest Sosa (2007) has proposed two novel solutions to the problem of dream skepticism. In the present paper, I argue that Sosa’s first solution falls prey to what I will refer to as the conditionality problem, i.e., the problem of only establishing a conditional—in this case, if x, then I am awake, x being a placeholder for a condition incompatible with dreaming—in a context where it also needs to be established that we can know that the antecedent holds, (...) and as such can infer the consequent, i.e., I am awake. Sosa’s second solution, in terms of so-called reflective knowledge, is shown to land him in the dilemma of either facing yet another conditionality problem, or violating an internalist constraint that he explicitly grants the skeptic with respect to what kind of factors can be legitimately invoked in our account of how we may know the relevant antecedent. For these reasons, I conclude that Sosa has not solved the problem of dream skepticism. (shrink)
In this paper I develop the thesis that dreams are essential to an understanding of waking consciousness. In the first part I argue in opposition to the philosophers Malcolm and Dennett that empirical evidence now shows dreams to be real conscious experiences. In the second part, three questions concerning consciousness research are addressed. (1) How do we isolate the system to be explained (consciousness) from other systems? (2) How do we describe the system thus isolated? (3) How do we reveal (...) the mechanisms on which this system is based? I suggest that empirical dream research combined with other empirical approaches can help us to sketch answers to all of these questions. I argue that the subjective form of dreams reveals the subjective, macro-level form of consciousness in general and that both dreams and the everyday phenomenal world may be thought of as constructed “virtual realities”. A major task for empirical consciousness research is to find out the mechanisms which bind this experienced world into a coherent whole. (shrink)
This paper follows the tradition of treating Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream episode as presenting a version of skepticism. However, unlike the prevalent interpretations within that tradition, it attempts to show that the skepticism conveyed in the episode is more radical than it has been conceived, such that the episode can be read as a skeptical response to Descartes' refutation of skepticism based on the _Cogito, ergo sum_ proof. The paper explains how the lack of commitment in Zhuangzi to the dubious (...) assumption about 'I' that it necessarily refers to something existing to which Descartes seems to uncritically adhere allows Zhuangzi to doubt what for Descartes is absolutely indubitable: _I exist_. (shrink)
Recent neuropsychological data indicating that an absence of dreaming follows lesions of frontal subcortical white matter have been interpreted by Solms as supportive of Freud's wish-fulfillment, disguise-censorship dream theory. The purpose of this commentary is to call attention to Solms's commitment to Freud and to challenge and contrast his specific arguments with the simpler and more complete tenets of the activation-synthesis hypothesis. [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Solms].
The most challenging objections to the Threat Simulation Theory (TST) of the function of dreaming include such issues as whether the competing Random Activation Theory can explain dreaming, whether TST can accommodate the apparently dysfunctional nature of post-traumatic nightmares, whether dreams are too bizarre and disorganized to constitute proper simulations, and whether dream recall is too biased to reveal the true nature of dreams. I show how these and many other objections can be accommodated by TST, and how several (...) lines of new supporting evidence are provided by the commentators. Accordingly TST offers a promising new approach to the function of dreaming, covering a wide range of evidence and theoretically integrating psychological and biological levels of explanation. (shrink)
This paper focuses on an underappreciated issue that dreams raise for moral evaluation: is immorality possible in dreams? The evaluatiotial internalist is committed to answering ‘yes.’ This is because the internalist account of moral evaluation holds that the moral quality of a person's actions, what a person does, her agency in any given case is completely determined by factors that are internal to that agency, such as the person's motives and/or intentions. Actual production of either good or bad effects is (...) completely irrelevant to the moral evaluation of that agency. Since agency can be expressed in a dream, the internalist is committed to dream immorality. Some may take this as a reductio of evaluational internalism, but whether or not this is the case the issue reveals what such a theory is committed to. In this paper I explore the significance of dreams to morality, and argue that the absurdity of dream immorality supports an account of moral evaluation with an externalist component, rather than a purely internalist account of moral evaluation. (shrink)
The evolutionary theory of threat simulation during dreaming indicates that themes appropriate to ancestral survival concerns (threats) should be disproportionately represented in dreams. Our studies of typical dream themes in students and sleep-disordered patients indicate that threatening dreams involving chase and pursuit are indeed among the three most prevalent themes, thus supporting Revonsuo's theory. However, many of the most prevalent themes are of positive, not negative, events (e.g., sex, flying) and of current, not ancestral, threat scenarios (e.g., schoolwork). Moreover, (...) many clearly ancestral themes (e.g., snakes, earthquakes) are not prevalent at all in dreams. Thus, these findings challenge the specificity of the threat simulation theory. [Revonsuo]. (shrink)
Dream interpretation is a common practice in psychotherapy. In the research presented in this article, each participant saw a clinician who interpreted a recent dream report to be a sign that the participant had had a mildly traumatic experience before age 3 years, such as being lost for an extended time or feeling abandoned by his or her parents. This dream intervention caused a majority of participants to become more confident that they had had such an experience, (...) even though they had previously denied it. These findings have implications for the use of dream material in clinical settings. In particular, the findings point to the possibility that dream interpretation may have unexpected side effects if it leads to beliefs about the past that may, in fact, be false. (shrink)
All five target articles are of high quality and very stimulating for the field. Several factors such as dream report length and NREM/REM differences, may be affected by the waking process (transition from sleep to wakefulness) and the recall process. It is helpful to distinguish between a model for REM sleep regulation and a physiological model for dreaming. A third model accounting for cognitive activity (thought-like dreaming) can also be of value. The postulated adaptive function of dreaming in avoidance (...) learning does not seem very plausible because the two major basic assumptions (specificity of dream content and benefit of negative dreams) are not clearly supported by modern dream research: The critique of studies investigating memory consolidation in REM sleep is justified. Future studies integrating the knowledge of memory processes and sleep research will shed more light on the role of sleep, especially REM sleep in memory consolidation. [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Revonsuo; Solms; Vertes & Eastman]. (shrink)
Guo Xiang's (252-312) reading of the famous "Butterfly Dream" passage from the Zhuangzi differs significantly from modern readings, particularly those that follow the Giles translation. Guo Xiang's view is based on the assumption that the character of Zhuang Zhou has no recollection of his dream after awakening and therefore does not entertain doubts about what or who he really is. This leads to a specific understanding of the allegorical and philosophical meaning of the text that stands in contradistinction (...) to most modern interpretations. A translation of the Butterfly passage and commentary are appended. (shrink)
Socrates' dream puts in generalized form the difficulty that plato saw in the mathematician's procedure of hypothesis, I.E., Of positing undemonstrated first principles ("prota") or elements ("stoicheia") as starting-Points of demonstration. If the elements are unknown, How can what is constructed from them be known?--A difficulty to which plato had earlier called attention in the 'republic' (510cd, 533cd.) this interpretation accords with the mathematical setting and personages of the dialogue, And explains why the explicit refutation of theaetetus' third proposal, (...) That knowledge be defined as true belief accompanied by a logos, Is so perfunctory and unconvincing. Furthermore, The dilemma thus brought to light is reflected in 'posterior analytics' (book i, Chap. 3), Which was presumably written during aristotle's residence in the academy in association with plato and the other mathematicians gathered around him. (shrink)
As highlighted by Solms, and to a lesser extent by Hobson et al. and Nielsen, dreaming and REM sleep can be dissociated. Meanwhile Vertes & Eastman and Revonsuo provide distinct views on the functions of REM sleep and dreaming. A resolution of such divergent views may clarify the fundamental nature of these processes. As dream commentators have long noted, with Revonsuo taking the lead among the present authors, emotionality is a central and consistent aspect of REM dreams. A deeper (...) consideration of emotions in REM dreams may serve as the conceptual salve to help heal the emerging rifts in this field of inquiry. [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Revonsuo; Solms; Vertes & Eastman]. (shrink)
This essay discusses Walter Benjamin's development of 'dream' as a model for understanding 19th- and 20th-century urban culture. Following Bergson and surrealist poetics, Benjamin used 'dream' in the 1920s as an heuristic analogy for investigating child hood memories, kitsch art and literature; during the early 1930s, he also developed it into an historiographic concept for studying 19th- century Parisian culture. Benjamin's interpretative use of the dream cuts across Ricoeur's distinction between the hermeneutics of 'recol lection' and the (...) hermeneutics of 'suspicion'. The political dream analyst seeks to discharge the 'fatal powers' of the ideological dream, while at the same time fostering the experience of waking in which dream elements may recollectively be grasped. Benjamin extends this dialectic of dreaming, interpreting and waking to the relation between historical epochs and the tasks of the materialist historian. Puzzling out the recent past's dreamlike rebuses may serve in the task of a present historical awakening. Key Words: Walter Benjamin city dream hermeneutics surrealism. (shrink)
Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream shows ethical conflicts to be resolved relationally. Quarreling lovers divide Duke Theseus's Athenian court in advance of his own nuptial celebration, forcing the Duke to decide moral questions based on their ethical consequences. King Oberon's conflicted fairy world meddles in human affairs, adding to the ethical confusion. Athenian workmen vie for roles in a court performance that becomes both a theatrical travesty and a triumph of relational ethics owing to Bottom, the character most within (...) relation itself. Paradoxically, the “dream” elevates relating per se to self-consciousness. Hegel's dialectical, Jean-Luc Nancy's transfiguring, and Martin Buber's relational perspectives take up Shakespeare's premise of treating ontology and ethics as facets of the same movement. Just as the play enacts Hegel's assertion that all (inevitable) alienation must be overcome, so it also shows Nancy's and Buber's symbolic consecration of ethical being as mutuality. (shrink)
Drawing on the Second Discourse and the Social Contract and Notes from Underground and “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man,” this essay examines the striking similarities and fundamental differences between Dostoevskij’s and Rousseau’s treatment of the problem of individual vs. society and their notions of ideal social relations. The essay investigates Rousseau’s attempt to absorb morality into politics and “to concretize” Diderot’s universal moral man into citizen. It also suggests that Dostoevskij takes Rousseau’s attempt at concretization a step further (...) by exposing humanist conceptions of man and society in general as fiction and creating a model of ideal society that absorbs morality, not into politics (as does Rousseau’s model), but into the sanctity of the Word. (shrink)
There are numerous traces of Nietzsche's influence in Wang Guowei's "On the Dream of the Red Chamber" even though there is not a single mention of Nietzsche's name in that seminal essay. Nietzschean thought looms large where Wang openly disagrees with or quietly departs from the views of Schopenhauer and, to a lesser extent, those of Kant and Aristotle. His questioning of Schopenhauer's "no-life-ism" harks back to Nietzsche's challenge to Schopenhauer's life-negating ethics. His portrayal of Bao Yu reveals three (...) distinctive character traits of the Nietzschean overman. In particular, the praise of Bao Yu's rebellious character reveals Wang's preference for the iconoclastic Nietzschean overman over the passive Schopenhauerian saint. A strong influence of Nietzsche's views of tragedy may also be observed in Wang's discussion of the tragic form. His modification of Aristotle's catharsis seems to have been made in the spirit of Nietzsche's criticism of its "pathological discharge." His stress on the ultimate salvational function of the Dream strongly reminds us of what Nietzsche has said about the life-saving role of the Dionysian tragedy in the Birth. Finally, in his conditional endorsement of "live-life-ism" we can see a thinly disguised repudiation of the extreme Darwinian tendency he mistakenly reads into Nietzsche's works. It should not be surprising that there are so many echoes of Nietzschean thought in "On the Dream." While writing this essay Wang was deeply occupied with the study of Nietzsche's aesthetic and ethical theories through comparisons with Schopenhauer's. If this influence of Nietzsche can be established on the basis of the evidence given above, there is then a need to reassess Nietzschean thought as a catalyst more important than hitherto thought for the rethinking of traditional Chinese literary and cultural traditions--a broad twentieth-century critical and intellectual trend initiated by none other than Wang's "On the Dream.". (shrink)
Definitions of dreaming are not required to map formal features of mental activity onto brain measures. While dreaming occurs during all stages of sleep, intense dreaming is largely confined to REM. Forebrain structures and many neurotransmitters can contribute to sleep and dreaming without negating brainstem and aminergic-cholinergic control mechanisms. Reductionism is essential to science and AIM has considerable heuristic value. Recent findings support sleep's role in learning and memory. Emerging technologies may address long-standing issues in sleep and dream research.
Revonsuo's evolutionary theory of dream function is extremely interesting. However, although threat avoidance theory is well grounded in experimental data, it does not take other significant dream research data into account. The theory can be integrated into a more general hypothesis which takes these data into consideration. [Revonsuo].
In his De Natura et Origine Animae, an answer to a work by Vincentius Victor, Augustine was drawn into attempting to answer some questions about what kind of reality dream-bodies, dream-worlds and dream-pains have. In this paper I concentrate on Augustine's attempts to show that none of Victor's arguments for the corporeality of the soul are any good, and that Victor's inflated claims about the extent of the soul's self-knowledge are the result of mistaking self-awareness for self-knowledge. (...) Augustine takes the position that the feelings we have in dreams and the feelings of the dead, although they are real feelings, are not always the feelings they seem to be. This position is consistent with Augustine's later works, though it departs from his understanding of these issues in his earliest works. (shrink)
Dreams were a topic of study even in ancient times, and they are a special spiritual phenomenon. Generations of literati have defined the meaning of dreams in their own way, while Zhu Xi was perhaps the most outstanding one among them. He made profound explanations of dreams from aspects such as the relationship between dreams and the principles li and qi , the relationship between dreams and the state of the heart, and the relationship (...) between dreams and an individual’s moral improvement. He summarized previous generations’ understanding of dreams and infused a new dimension from the School of Principles, pointing out a direction for individuals’ moral cultivation and spiritual pursuit. Zhu Xi also examined the opinions of Zhang Zai, Cheng Yi, Hu Hong and other thinkers on Confucius not dreaming of Duke Zhou in his later years, revealing differences between thinkers in the School of Principles. An analysis of Zhu Xi’s thoughts on dreams will provide deeper insight into the research on the School of Principles. (shrink)
Two meta-analyses of pharmacological research are presented, demonstrating that psychoactive drugs have consistent effects on EEG and sleep outside of their effects on REM sleep, and demonstrating that drugs other than those affecting sleep neurotransmitter systems and REM sleep can also alter reported nightmare occurrence. These data suggest that the neurobiology data terrain outside activation-synthesis may include sleep and dream electrophysiology, cognitive reports of dreaming, effects of alterations in consciousness on dreaming, immunology and host defense, and clinical therapies for (...) sleep disorders. (shrink)
The coefficients of internal consistency and retest reliability had been rarely investigated within the methodology of dream content analysis. Analyzing a dream series of elderly, healthy persons obtained from weekly telephone interviews, the internal consistency of a series of 20 dreams and retests after 4 or 22 weeks, respectively, had been computed. The findings indicate that dream recall and dream length are quite stable, but dream characteristics such as bizarreness and emotional tone underlie large intraindividual (...) fluctuations. In order to obtain reliable measures for these variables which will be important for correlational studies, including waking-life trait measures, one has to obtain as many dreams as possible (about 20) in a very short time period. Further research is needed to extend the present findings to diary dreams and laboratory dreams. (shrink)
The “problem” of dreaming in NREM sleep continues to challenge models that propose a causal relationship between REM mechanisms and the psychological features of dreaming. I suggest that, ultimately, efforts to identify correspondences among multiple levels of analysis will be more productive for dream theory than attempts to reduce dreaming to any one level of analysis. [Hobson et al. ; Nielsen].
The target articles on sleep and dreaming are discussed in terms of the concept of search activity integrating different types of behavior, body resistance, REM sleep/dream functions, and the brain catecholamine system. REM sleep may be functionally sufficient or insufficient, depending on the dream scenario, the latter being more important than the physiological manifestation of REM sleep. REM sleep contributes to memory consolidation in the indirect way. [Nielsen; Revonsuo; Solms; Vertes & Eastman].
Dreaming in patients with schizophrenia was and is of particular interest to researchers and clinicians due to the phenomenological similarities between the dreaming state and schizophrenic daytime symptomatology such as bizarre thoughts or hallucinations. Extensive literature reviews have shown that dream studies in the field of psychopathology often do not fulfill common scientific criteria. The present paper focuses on the methodological issues like sampling methods, the dream collection method, and dream content analysis that are crucial with regard (...) to the validity of the findings. It is also suggested that the so-called dimensional approach (linking severity of daytime symptoms directly to specific dream characteristics) will be very helpful for identifying which psychopathological symptoms of schizophrenia are most closely linked to dream content. (shrink)
Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theories of consciousness maintain that the kind of awareness necessary for phenomenal consciousness depends on the cognitive accessibility that underlies reporting. -/- There is empirical evidence strongly suggesting that the cognitive accessibility that underlies the ability to report visual experiences depends on the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). This area, however, is highly deactivated during the conscious experiences we have during sleep: dreams. HOT theories are jeopardized, as I will argue. I will briefly present HOT (...) theories in the first section. Section 2 offers empirical evidence to the effect that the cognitive accessibility that underlies the ability to report depends on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: dlPFC is the neural correlate of HOTs. Section 3 shows the evidence we have of the deactivation of this brain area during dreams and, in section 4, I present my argument. Finally, I consider and rejoin two possible replies that my opponent can offer: the possibility of an alternative neural correlate of HOTs during dreams and the denial that we have phenomenally conscious experiences during sleep. (shrink)
The consummate Soto Zen master, Dogen (1200?1253), expressed himself in creative ways that reflected fundamental insights of Chan/Zen Buddhism while responding to the needs of his time and place, i.e., Kamakura era Japan. His early training in Tendai and Rinzai Zen lent rigor and force to his Soto Zen experiences and expressions. This paper explores Dogen's new light on causality and morality purity, vis-à-vis Song dynasty Chan approaches by examining (1) his comments, early (1244) and late (ca. 1252), on the (...) Fox Koan, and (2) his discussions about Dream and ?veridical? experience. By showing the inexorability of causality, Dogen revealed the need for moral purity in achieving enlightenment qua freedom. Even in the vertigo of emptiness, the purified Soto Zen Buddhist adept discerns and effects equilibrium and, by extension, fairness, in experience, practice and affairs, as ongoing endeavors, as skilful means to impact and transform, not just Buddhist adepts, but one's world. (shrink)