Dreams and the Brain. On the topic of dreams and the brain is a quote from William Dement a pioneering sleep researcher: “We experience a dream as real because it is real…the miracle is how, without any help from the sense organs, the brain replicates in the dream all the sensory information that creates the world we live in when we are awake.”
Phenomenology of dreams and their relation to brain activity. The level and nature of our conscious experience varies dramatically in sleep. During slow wave sleep (SWS) early in the night, consciousness can nearly vanish despite persistent neural activity in the thalamocortical system.
Dreams can occur anytime during sleep.But most vivid dreams occur during deep, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when the brain is most active.Some experts say we dream at least four to six times ...
Lower Brain Causes REM sleep. The oldest part of the brain, shared by all vertebrates, is the brain stem. In 1977, Allan Hobson and R McCarley discovered that electrochemical pulses from the brain stem create the stage of sleep in which most dreams occur.
The whole brain is active during dreams, from the brain stem to the cortex. Most dreams occur during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This is part of the sleep-wake cycle and is controlled by the reticular activating system whose circuits run from the brain stem through the thalamus to the cortex.
This is also the stage where the dreams we actually remember tend to take place. REM sleep is very important, and the brain will often deploy “safety measures” to ensure it isn’t disrupted. For example, the sound of an alarm clock or phone may be incorporated into the dream and transformed into something else.
Eugen Tarnow developed his long-term memory excitation theory in 2003, arguing that dreams are just the brain’s internal excitations of long-term memories. This theory holds that such excitations are going on all the time, even during our waking hours, but the “reality checking” of the brain’s executive function (which takes place in the prefrontal cortex, and which is known to be ...
Dreaming had long been thought to occur largely during rapid eye-movement (REM) sleep, a period of slumber involving fast brain activity similar to that when awake, but dreams have also been ...
During most dreams, the person dreaming is not aware that they are dreaming, no matter how absurd or eccentric the dream is. The reason for this may be that the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain responsible for logic and planning, exhibits decreased activity during dreams. This allows the dreamer to more actively interact with the ...
Lucid dreaming is a very interesting phenomenon that perhaps gives us a peek into the inner workings of the human brain. I have had about a dozen lucid dreams in my life that I can remember. Normally while dreaming we are not aware of the fact that we are dreaming. Our dreaming selves accept the reality of the dream. During a lucid dream we become aware that we are dreaming, but we do not wake up.