The threat simulation theory of the evolutionary function of dreaming: Evidence from dreams of traumatized children

Consciousness and Cognition 14 (1):188-218 (2005)

Abstract
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)
DOI 10.1016/s1053-8100(03)00019-9
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 48,902
External links

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

Consciousness, Dreams and Virtual Realities.Antti Revonsuo - 1995 - Philosophical Psychology 8 (1):35-58.
Continuity Between Waking Activities and Dream Activities.M. Schredl - 2003 - Consciousness and Cognition 12 (2):298-308.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Recurrent Dreams: Recurring Threat Simulations?Katja Valli & Antti Revonsuo - 2006 - Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2):464-469.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Play, Dreams, and Simulation.J. A. Cheyne - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):918-919.
Dreaming and Consciousness: Testing the Threat Simulation Theory of the Function of Dreaming.Antti Revonsuo & Katja Valli - 2000 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 6.
Did Ancestral Humans Dream for Their Lives?Antti Revonsuo - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):1063-1082.
Recurrent Dreams: Recurring Threat Simulations?Katja Valli & Antti Revonsuo - 2006 - Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2):464-469.
Threat Perceptions and Avoidance in Recurrent Dreams.A. Zadra & D. C. Donderi - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):1017-1018.
The Dramaturgy of Dreams in Pleistocene Minds and Our Own.Keith Gunderson - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):946-947.
Dreaming as an Active Construction of Meaning.Rita B. Ardito - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):907-908.
Dreaming has Content and Meaning Not Just Form.Milton Kramer - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):959-961.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-08-24

Total views
57 ( #159,286 of 2,309,728 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #66,086 of 2,309,728 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature