7 Astonishing Insights From Psychological Science

Friday, 15 August 2014 0 comments

Why dreams are remembered or forgotten, where dreams are controlled in the brain, what they mean and more.

Psychological_science

1. Why the brain remembers dreams

Some people recall all kinds of dreams, others hardly anything. Why the big difference?
Part of the reason that some people recall more of their dreams is that they wake up more in the night, even if only for short periods.

2. The dream control centre

Whether you remember dreams, then, depends on whether you are a light or heavy sleeper.
A brain imaging study has found those who recall more of their dreams have higher activity in the medial prefrontal cortex.

3. Daydreamers are also night-dreamers

The overlap between waking and dreaming states was at the heart of the Matrix films.
Sci-fi aside, though, the film asked: when we’re awake, are we really awake or is this just another dream?

…all heady philosophical stuff of course, but actually this has some neurobiological truth.

4. Some people cannot dream

Some say that they don’t have dreams, but in all likelihood they do, it’s just that they don’t remember their dreams because they are heavy sleepers.

5. Myth: dreaming only occurs in REM sleep

Since the 1950s it’s been thought that dreaming is only associated with the so-called ‘Rapid Eye Movement’ portions of sleep, which make up around 20-25% of total sleep-time.

6. What do dreams mean?

At least I personally don’t believe dreams mean anything in the sense that most people understand this question.

But I’m in the minority, as demonstrated by a study which found that 56% of Americans endorse the Freudian view of dreams, in that they reveal deep psychological truths about the self.

7. Recording a lucid dream

Recording what happens in the brain during a particular dream is hard.

You can put people inside brain scanners while they’re asleep and then ask them afterwards what they dreamed about, but the problem is they don’t know when they dreamed it.
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