Dream research: Integration of physiological and psychological models

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):1001-1003 (2000)
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All five target articles are of high quality and very stimulating for the field. Several factors such as dream report length and NREM/REM differences, may be affected by the waking process (transition from sleep to wakefulness) and the recall process. It is helpful to distinguish between a model for REM sleep regulation and a physiological model for dreaming. A third model accounting for cognitive activity (thought-like dreaming) can also be of value. The postulated adaptive function of dreaming in avoidance learning does not seem very plausible because the two major basic assumptions (specificity of dream content and benefit of negative dreams) are not clearly supported by modern dream research: The critique of studies investigating memory consolidation in REM sleep is justified. Future studies integrating the knowledge of memory processes and sleep research will shed more light on the role of sleep, especially REM sleep in memory consolidation. [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Revonsuo; Solms; Vertes & Eastman].



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