Deirdre Barrett describes dreaming as simply "thinking in different biochemical state" and believes people continue to work on all the same problems—personal and objective—in that state. Finnish psychologist Antti Revonsuo posits that dreams have evolved for "threat simulation" exclusively. According to the Threat Simulation Theory he proposes, during much of human evolution physical and interpersonal threats were serious, giving reproductive advantage to those who survived them.
Therefore, dreaming evolved to replicate these threats and continually practice dealing with them. In support of this theory, Revonsuo shows that contemporary dreams comprise much more threatening events than people meet in daily non-dream life, and the dreamer usually engages appropriately with them.
According to Tsoukalas the biology of dreaming is related to the reactive patterns elicited by predatorial encounters especially the tonic immobility reflex , a fact that lends support to evolutionary theories claiming that dreams specialize in threat avoidance or emotional processing. There are many other hypotheses about the function of dreams, including: . From the s to , Calvin S. Hall collected more than 50, dream reports at Western Reserve University.
In Hall and Van De Castle published The Content Analysis of Dreams , in which they outlined a coding system to study 1, dream reports from college students. The visual nature of dreams is generally highly phantasmagoric; that is, different locations and objects continuously blend into each other. Some dreams may even tell elaborate stories wherein the dreamer enters entirely new, complex worlds and awakes with ideas, thoughts and feelings never experienced prior to the dream. People who are blind from birth do not have visual dreams.
Their dream contents are related to other senses like auditory , touch , smell and taste , whichever are present since birth. In the Hall study, the most common emotion experienced in dreams was anxiety.
Other emotions included abandonment , anger , fear , joy , and happiness. Negative emotions were much more common than positive ones. These are colloquially known as wet dreams. A small minority of people say that they dream only in black and white. There is evidence that certain medical conditions normally only neurological conditions can impact dreams. For instance, some people with synesthesia have never reported entirely black-and-white dreaming, and often have a difficult time imagining the idea of dreaming in only black and white.
Dream interpretation can be a result of subjective ideas and experiences. One study  found that most people believe that "their dreams reveal meaningful hidden truths". This Freudian view of dreaming was believed by the largely non-scientific public significantly more than theories of dreaming that attribute dream content to memory consolidation, problem-solving, or random brain activity. In the paper, Morewedge and Norton also found that people attribute more importance to dream content than to similar thought content that occurs while they are awake.
In one study, Americans were more likely to report that they would miss their flight if they dreamt of their plane crashing than if they thought of their plane crashing the night before flying while awake , and that they would be as likely to miss their flight if they dreamt of their plane crashing the night before their flight as if there was an actual plane crash on the route they intended to take.
Participants in their studies were more likely to perceive dreams to be meaningful when the content of dreams was in accordance with their beliefs and desires while awake. People were more likely to view a positive dream about a friend to be meaningful than a positive dream about someone they disliked, for example, and were more likely to view a negative dream about a person they disliked as meaningful than a negative dream about a person they liked.
Therapy for recurring nightmares often associated with posttraumatic stress disorder can include imagining alternative scenarios that could begin at each step of the dream. During the night, many external stimuli may bombard the senses, but the brain often interprets the stimulus and makes it a part of a dream to ensure continued sleep.
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The mind can, however, awaken an individual if they are in danger or if trained to respond to certain sounds, such as a baby crying. The term "dream incorporation" is also used in research examining the degree to which preceding daytime events become elements of dreams. Recent studies suggest that events in the day immediately preceding, and those about a week before, have the most influence.
According to surveys, it is common for people to feel their dreams are predicting subsequent life events.
In one experiment, subjects were asked to write down their dreams in a diary. This prevented the selective memory effect, and the dreams no longer seemed accurate about the future. This diary described events from the person's life, as well as some predictive dreams and some non-predictive dreams. When subjects were asked to recall the dreams they had read, they remembered more of the successful predictions than unsuccessful ones. Lucid dreaming is the conscious perception of one's state while dreaming. In this state the dreamer may often have some degree of control over their own actions within the dream or even the characters and the environment of the dream.
Dream control has been reported to improve with practiced deliberate lucid dreaming, but the ability to control aspects of the dream is not necessary for a dream to qualify as "lucid" — a lucid dream is any dream during which the dreamer knows they are dreaming. Oneironaut is a term sometimes used for those who lucidly dream. In , psychologist Keith Hearne successfully recorded a communication from a dreamer experiencing a lucid dream. On April 12, , after agreeing to move his eyes left and right upon becoming lucid, the subject and Hearne's co-author on the resulting article, Alan Worsley, successfully carried out this task.
Communication between two dreamers has also been documented. The processes involved included EEG monitoring, ocular signaling, incorporation of reality in the form of red light stimuli and a coordinating website. The website tracked when both dreamers were dreaming and sent the stimulus to one of the dreamers where it was incorporated into the dream. This dreamer, upon becoming lucid, signaled with eye movements; this was detected by the website whereupon the stimulus was sent to the second dreamer, invoking incorporation into this dream.
Dreams of absent-minded transgression DAMT are dreams wherein the dreamer absentmindedly performs an action that he or she has been trying to stop one classic example is of a quitting smoker having dreams of lighting a cigarette. Subjects who have had DAMT have reported waking with intense feelings of guilt. One study found a positive association between having these dreams and successfully stopping the behavior. The recollection of dreams is extremely unreliable, though it is a skill that can be trained.
Dreams can usually be recalled if a person is awakened while dreaming. Often, a dream may be recalled upon viewing or hearing a random trigger or stimulus. The salience hypothesis proposes that dream content that is salient, that is, novel, intense, or unusual, is more easily remembered. There is considerable evidence that vivid, intense, or unusual dream content is more frequently recalled. For some people, sensations from the previous night's dreams are sometimes spontaneously experienced in falling asleep.
However they are usually too slight and fleeting to allow dream recall. Certain brain chemicals necessary for converting short-term memories into long-term ones are suppressed during REM sleep. Unless a dream is particularly vivid and if one wakes during or immediately after it, the content of the dream is not remembered. Using technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI and electromyography EMG , researchers have been able to record basic dream imagery,  dream speech activity  and dream motor behavior such as walking and hand movements.
In line with the salience hypothesis, there is considerable evidence that people who have more vivid, intense or unusual dreams show better recall. There is evidence that continuity of consciousness is related to recall. Specifically, people who have vivid and unusual experiences during the day tend to have more memorable dream content and hence better dream recall. People who score high on measures of personality traits associated with creativity, imagination, and fantasy, such as openness to experience , daydreaming , fantasy proneness , absorption , and hypnotic susceptibility , tend to show more frequent dream recall.
That is, people who report more bizarre experiences during the day, such as people high in schizotypy psychosis proneness have more frequent dream recall and also report more frequent nightmares. A daydream is a visionary fantasy , especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake. Research by Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett has found that people who experience vivid dream-like mental images reserve the word for these, whereas many other people refer to milder imagery, realistic future planning, review of past memories or just "spacing out"—i.
While daydreaming has long been derided as a lazy, non-productive pastime, it is now commonly acknowledged that daydreaming can be constructive in some contexts. Similarly, research scientists , mathematicians and physicists have developed new ideas by daydreaming about their subject areas. A hallucination, in the broadest sense of the word, is a perception in the absence of a stimulus. In a stricter sense, hallucinations are perceptions in a conscious and awake state, in the absence of external stimuli, and have qualities of real perception, in that they are vivid, substantial, and located in external objective space.
The latter definition distinguishes hallucinations from the related phenomena of dreaming, which does not involve wakefulness.
A nightmare is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong negative emotional response from the mind, typically fear or horror , but also despair , anxiety and great sadness. The dream may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror. Sufferers usually awaken in a state of distress and may be unable to return to sleep for a prolonged period of time. A night terror, also known as a sleep terror or pavor nocturnus , is a parasomnia disorder that predominantly affects children, causing feelings of terror or dread.
Night terrors should not be confused with nightmares , which are bad dreams that cause the feeling of horror or fear. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Dream disambiguation.
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March Archived from the original on May 12, Retrieved May 10, Archived PDF from the original on December 9, The Journal of Psychology. The Daily Telegraph. Now read the dream again, using the key words and unlock a much richer meaning. Daytime suggests enough light or energy to see with clarity. It was nighttime and I was inside a house where everything was being moved out.
The stuff was old junk. I was very determined to give them away and move out! There is an awareness and clarity emerging from the unconscious and a focus on making changes and moving forward in this dream. The feeling of determination suggests strength and courage as well. Unlock the deeper meaning using the key words to read the dream.
I saw two robins on the ground near me. One was fluffing its feathers and the other one hopped near me. Being with the birds was wonderful. The birds being close to the dreamer leave no doubt who the message was intended for. Read the dream using the key words and unlock the meaning! Two can symbolize a marriage of opposites, and therefore, healing. Robin: Bird Robin represents new beginnings and springtime; a time for growth; inspired by the possibilities. I saw flower pots with purple petunias outside on the front porch of a house. The flowers were as vines, growing upwards on a pillar.
They were so lovely and my favorite flowers. Something spiritually and creatively new is growing — a beautiful dream message. Again, read the dream using the key words.
Porch: Front Extended part of self; enjoyment; relaxation; front also represents your persona — if the porch is open then it suggests your outgoing nature and welcoming attitude. Someone was following me, so I started walking faster. Looking over my shoulder, all I could see was a dark, shadowy person and it was getting closer.
I panicked and ran! A positive side of the shadow can represent a gift — a potential for wholeness once fears have been brought into the light and faced. Facing a fear dissolves it, and removes the burden of anxiety from our consciousness. To get insight, before we go to sleep at night, write down or speak an intention of having the dream again and this time we will stop and face our pursuer and ask for understanding.
Remember, we are the creators of our dreams! Some books have more extensive information than others.