Dreams in the News

Genes that regulate how much we dream   Medical Express - August 28, 2018
Sleep is known to re-energize animals and consolidate their memories. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a mysterious stage of sleep in which animals dream, is known to play an important role in maintaining a healthy mental and physical life, but the molecular mechanisms behind this state are poorly understood. Now, an international research team led by researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan has identified a pair of genes that regulate how much REM and non-REM sleep an animal experiences.

Why the Body in Your Dreams May Not Match the Real You   Live Science - November 4, 2016
The "you" that stars in your dreams is a stripped-down version of your waking self, new research suggests. Researchers found that a person's dream self is like a "mini-me" that doesn't change based on what's going on with the body in the real world, according to the findings. The study helps explain why people who are born with paralysis or deafness often dream of a body that doesn't have those conditions, and even why people can do fantastical things like fly or breathe underwater in dreams.

Dreaming brain rhythms lock in memories   BBC - May 12, 2016
Disrupting brain activity in sleeping mice, specifically during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase, can stop the animals remembering things they learned that day, a study suggests. It is the clearest evidence to date that REM sleep is critical for memory. By switching off certain brain cells, the researchers silenced a particular, rhythmic type of brain function - without waking the mice. If they did this during REM sleep, the mice failed subsequent memory tests.

Your consciousness experiences in many places simultaneously. Dreams never stop. You simply focus in another grid - in which - like everything else experienced - you are the observer.

7 Scientific Theories About Why We Dream At Night   Huffington Post - December 14, 2015

Why Your Eyes Dart Around When Dreaming   Live Science - August 12, 2015

Brain recordings revealed that every time the dreamers moved their eyes, neurons in the medial temporal lobe of the brain showed a burst in activity. The vivid, bizarre images that infuse dreams are formed when people make the darting, rapid eye movements characteristic of a certain stage of sleep, new research suggests.The findings confirm a long-held scientific hypothesis that such rapid eye movements during sleep reflect a person viewing their dream-world in the same way that they would take in a scene when awake. Because the same types of visual activity are under a person's conscious control when the individual is awake, the dream-state brain-cell firing shows very clearly that dreaming is a form of consciousness. You might call it an altered state of consciousness, an alternative state of consciousness.

Eye movements 'change scenes' during dreams   BBC - August 12, 2015
For the first time, scientists have recorded from individual brain cells during the dreaming phase of sleep. After each rapid eye movement (REM) they recorded bursts of activity that match what happens when we are awake and we see - or imagine - a new image. They suggest that these well-known flickering movements accompany a "change of scene" in our dreams.

This Is What Your Dreams Really Mean   Huffington Post - August 6, 2015

If you dream about being pregnant...
If you dream about your teeth falling out...
If you dream about death...
If you have a recurrent nightmare...
If you dream about having an affair...
If you dream about animals...
If you dream about school or work...
If you dream about wild adventures...
If you dream about food...

4 More Scientific Discoveries Made in Dreams   Epoch Times - June 11, 2015
1. Neuroscience Is Born - Dr. Otto Loewi - Father of neuroscience"
2. A Cosmetic Recipe That Made History - Madame C. J. Walker was the first African-American millionair in America
3. A Strange Fish - Louis Agassiz - Fish Fossil
4. Indian Village Boy's Visions Make Him a Famed Mathematician - Srinivasa Ramanujan

Observing the Damaged Brain for Clues About Dreaming   Huffington Post - June 7, 2015
Thanks to advanced and digital technologies, a close study of the dreaming brain is possible. Dream researchers use neural-imaging tools range from EEG to PET scan to MRI to observe the brain's activity while dreaming. In addition to observing healthy brain activity, scientists also use cases of brain injury and illness as a way to learn about the brain mechanics of dreaming.

Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking - awareness of dreaming   PhysOrg - January 24, 2015
In lucid dreamers, the prefrontal cortex enabling self-reflection is bigger in comparison to other people. Lucid dreamers are aware of dreaming while dreaming. Sometimes, they can even play an active role in their dreams. Most of them, however, have this experience only several times a year and just very few almost every night. Internet forums and blogs are full of instructions and tips on lucid dreaming. Possibly, lucid dreaming is closely related to the human capability of self-reflection - the so-called metacognition. Lucid dreamers are aware of dreaming while dreaming. Sometimes, they can even play an active role in their dreams. Most of them, however, have this experience only several times a year and just very few almost every night. Internet forums and blogs are full of instructions and tips on lucid dreaming. Possibly, lucid dreaming is closely related to the human capability of self-reflection - the so-called metacognition.

Awake within a dream: Lucid dreamers show greater insight in waking life   Science Daily - August 13, 2014
People who are aware they are asleep when they are dreaming have better than average problem-solving abilities, new research has discovered. Experts say that those who experience lucid dreaming -- a phenomenon where someone who is asleep can recognize that they are dreaming -- can solve problems in the waking world better than those who remain unaware of the dream until they wake up. past the overwhelming reality of their dream state, and recognize that they are dreaming.

What People Choose to Dream About: Sex and Flying   Live Science - July 11, 2014
Trying to fly and having sex are the two most popular activities that lucid dreamers - people who are aware that they are dreaming, and can control their dreams to a certain extent - aim to do in their dreams, according to a new study. The researchers surveyed about 570 people who said they've experienced lucid dreaming, and asked them what they've dreamt about, and whether they just observed their dreams unfolding or they actively aimed to change the dream. The researchers also asked the participants which activities they decided - when they were awake - to try to do in their dreams. About 350 of the participants provided examples of the actions they planned in wakefulness to accomplish in their lucid dreams. Most often, participants wanted to try things that are impossible in waking life, such as flying, doing magic, breathing under water, talking with animals, being someone else and time travel.

Brain Zaps Can Trigger Lucid Dreams   Live Science - May 12, 2014
In lucid dreams, people are aware of the fact that they are dreaming, and can control their dream plot. Lucid dreams, in which people are aware of and can control their dreams, are rare. But now scientists have found they can induce this weird state of mind in people by zapping their brains with a specific frequency of electricity. The results showed that when the inexperienced dreamers were zapped with a current of 40 Hertz, 77 percent of the time these participants reported having what were described as lucid dreams.

The mysteries of 'lucid' dreaming   The Guardian - April 28, 2014
One of our most mysterious and intriguing states of consciousness is the dream. We lose consciousness when we enter the deep waters of sleep, only to regain it as we emerge into a series of uncanny private realities. These air pockets of inner experience have been difficult for psychologists to study scientifically and, as a result, researchers have mostly resorted to measuring brain activity as the sleeper lies passive. But interest has recently returned to a technique that allows real-time communication from within the dream world.

Why Some Remember Dreams, Others Don't   Live Science - August 14, 2013
People who tend to remember their dreams also respond more strongly than others to hearing their name when they're awake, new research suggests. Everyone dreams during sleep, but not everyone recalls the mental escapade the next day, and scientists aren't sure why some people remember more than others. To find out, researchers used electroencephalography to record the electrical activity in the brains of 36 people while the participants listened to background tunes, and occasionally heard their own first name. The brain measurements were taken during wakefulness and sleep. Half of the participants were called high recallers, because they reported remembering their dreams almost every day, whereas the other half, low recallers, said they only remembered their dreams once or twice a month.

  Scientists 'read dreams' using brain scans   BBC - April 5, 2013
Scientists have found a way to "read" dreams, a study suggests. Researchers in Japan used MRI scans to reveal the images that people were seeing as they entered into an early stage of sleep.

Computers can 'see' people's dreams   MSNBC - April 4, 2013
A computer can predict what you're dreaming about based on brain wave activity, new research suggests. By measuring people's brain activity during waking moments, researchers were able to pick out the signatures of specific dream imagery - such as keys or a bed - while the dreamer was asleep. The findings, which were published today (April 4) in the journal Science, could also help scientists understand what goes on in the brain when people have nightmares. Exactly why people dream is a mystery. Whereas the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud may have thought dreams were about wish fulfillment, others believe dreams are irrelevant byproducts of the sleep cycle. And yet another theory holds that dreams allow the mind to continue working on puzzles faced during the day. In general, most people believe their dreams have meaning.

Dreams Do Discriminate: Racial Makeup Mimics Real Life   Live Science - December 16, 2011
Here's a new version of the old question "Do you dream in color?" What color are the people in your dreams? A new study finds that the racial makeup of dreams tends to match up with the proportion of different races people run into in their daily lives. A person's own race matters as well, said study researcher Steve Hoekstra, a psychologist at Kansas Wesleyan University. "If you are, say, a black student at a predominately white school in a predominately white community, yes, you dream more about whites than do other black people in other communities," Hoekstra told LiveScience. "But you also dream more about blacks than most people do in your same community."

Why Do We Dream? To Ease Painful Memories, Study Hints   National Geographic - November 30, 2011
REM sleep acts like "overnight therapy," expert suggests. Dreaming may act like a type of overnight therapy, taking the edge off painful memories, a new study says. In a recent experiment, brain scans of people who viewed emotionally provocative pictures and then went to sleep showed that the part of the brain that handles emotions powered down during rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep - the stage in which dreams occur. What's more, the subjects reported that the images had less of an emotional charge the morning after. This suggests that REM sleep may help us work through difficult events in our lives, the researchers say.

Why We Dream: Real Reasons Revealed   Live Science - June 27, 2010
The slumbering mind might not seem like an apt tool for any critical thinking, but humans can actually solve problems while asleep, researchers say. Not only that, but one purpose for dreaming itself may be to help us find solutions to puzzles that plague us during waking hours. Dreams are highly visual and often illogical in nature, which makes them ripe for the type of "out-of-the-box" thinking that some problem-solving requires, said Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist at Harvard University. Barrett's theory on dreaming, which she discussed at the Association for Psychological Science meeting here last month, boils down to this: Dreaming is really just thinking, but in a slightly different state from when our eyes are open. [Why we dream is just one mystery of the mind.]

Study shows that adults have dreamlike thoughts during sleepwalking and sleep terrors episodes   PhysOrg - December 1, 2009
A study in the Dec.1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that short, unpleasant, dreamlike mental activity occurs during sleepwalking and sleep terrors episodes, suggesting that people with these sleep disorders may be acting out dreamlike thoughts.

Waking up memories while you sleep   PhysOrg - November 19, 2009
They were in a deep sleep, yet sounds, such as a teakettle whistle and a cat's meow, somehow penetrated their slumber. The 25 sounds presented during the nap were reminders of earlier spatial learning, though the Northwestern University research participants were unaware of the sounds as they slept. The research strongly suggests that we don't shut down our minds during deep sleep.

Sweet dreams are made of geomagnetic activity   New Scientist - April 1, 2009
Looking for an explanation for recurring nightmares of leaving the house without your trousers on or losing your teeth? New research suggests you can blame the Earth's magnetic field, rather than a repressed childhood. Darren Lipnicki, a psychologist formerly at the Center for Space Medicine in Berlin, Germany, found a correlation between the bizarreness of his dreams, recorded over eight years, and extremes in local geomagnetic activity. Other studies have tied low geomagnetic activity to increases in the production of the melatonin, a potent hormone that helps set the body's circadian clock. So, based on anecdotal evidence that melatonin supplements used as a sleeping aid can cause off-kilter dreams, Lipnicki wondered whether local magnetic fields could induce the same effects.

What Do Dreams Mean? Whatever Your Bias Says   New York Times - March 10, 2009
Suppose last night you had two dreams. In one, God appears and commands you to take a year off and travel the world. In the other, God commands you to take a year off to go work in a leper colony.

Why Dreams Are So Difficult To Remember: Precise Communication Discovered Across Brain Areas During Sleep   Science Daily - March 10, 2009
By listening in on the chatter between neurons in various parts of the brain, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have taken steps toward fully understanding just how memories are formed, transferred, and ultimately stored in the brain--and how that process varies throughout the various stages of sleep. Their findings may someday even help scientists understand why dreams are so difficult to remember.

When Dreaming Is Believing: Dreams Affect People's Judgment, Behavior   Science Daily - February 25, 2009
While science tries to understand the stuff dreams are made of, humans, from cultures all over the world, continue to believe that dreams contain important hidden truths, according to newly published research.

Dreams Imaged, Scientists Claim    Live Science - December 12, 2008
Japanese researchers say they've imaged thoughts and dreams and displayed them on a computer screen.

New Machine Interprets Dreams Live Science - February 22, 2008
Sleep Waking is an unusual art work that combines recorded brainwave activity and REM sleep with robot behaviors. The Sleep Waking robot plays back your dreams, or, if you will, presents an interpretive dance of your dreams.

The (Brain) Stuff Of Which Dreams Are Made Science Daily - September 13, 2004
A grand tradition in the study of the brain is to wait for disaster to strike. The functional map of the brain--identifying which areas underlie movement, different senses or emotions, memory, and so on--has largely been filled in by observing which functions were eliminated or changed with injuries or strokes to focal areas of the brain.

Japan invents the gadget to help create your dreams BBC - January 14, 2004
A Japanese company has invented a product which, it says, allows owners to create their own dreams. Prospective dreamers are asked to look at a photo of what they would like to dream about and then record a story line into the Yumemi Kobo, or "dream workshop". The machine uses the voice recording, along with lights, music and smells, to help them direct their own dreams during periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, Takara Co said.