The dream-lag effect refers to there being, after the frequent incorporation of memory elements from the previous day into dreams , a lower incorporation of memory elements from 2 to 4 days before the dream, but then an increased incorporation of memory elements from 5 to 7 days before the dream. Participants kept a daily diary and a dream diary for 14 days and then rated the level of matching between every dream report and every daily diary record. Baseline matching (...) was assessed by comparing all dream reports to all diary records for days that occurred after the dream. A significant dream-lag effect for the 5–7 day period, compared to baseline and compared to the 2–4 day period, was found. This may indicate a memory processing function for sleep, which the dream content may reflect. Participants’ and three independent judges’ mean ratings also confirmed a significant day-residue effect. (shrink)
Self-produced tactile stimulation usually feels less tickly—is perceptually attenuated—relative to the same stimulation produced externally. This is not true, however, for individuals with schizophrenia. Here, we investigate whether the lack of attenuation to self-produced stimuli seen in schizophrenia also occurs for normal participants following REM dreams. Fourteen participants were stimulated on their left palm with a tactile stimulation device which allowed the same stimulus to be generated by the participant or by the experimenter. The level of self-tickling attenuation did not (...) differ between REM and non-REM sleep awakening conditions, where presence or absence of an accompanying dream was not controlled for. However, for the female participants, when awakening occurred from an REM sleep dream, self-stimulation ratings were higher than for external stimulation, whereas ratings after NREM sleep unaccompanied by a dream were lower for self-stimulation than for external stimulation. These results indicate deficits in self-monitoring and a confusion between self- and externally generated stimulation accompany REM dream formation. (shrink)
In general, dreams are a novel but realistic simulation of waking social life, with a mixture of characters, motivations, scenarios, and positive and negative emotions. We propose that the sharing of dreams has an empathic effect on the dreamer and on significant others who hear and engage with the telling of the dream. Study 1 tests three correlations that are predicted by the theory of dream sharing and empathy: that trait empathy will be correlated with frequency of telling dreams to (...) others, with frequency of listening to others’ dreams, and with trait attitude towards dreams (for which higher scores indicate positive attitude). 160 participants completed online the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire and the Mannheim Dream Questionnaire. Pearson partial correlations were conducted, with age and sex partialled out. Trait empathy was found to be significantly associated with the frequency of listening to the dreams of others, frequency of telling one’s own dreams to others, and attitude towards dreams. Study 2 tests the effects of discussing dreams on state empathy, using an adapted version of the Shen (2010) state empathy scale, for 27 pairs of dream sharers and discussers. Dream discussion followed the stages of the Ullman (1996) dream appreciation technique. State empathy of the dream discusser towards the dream sharer was found to increase significantly as a result of the dream discussion, with a medium effect size, whereas the dream sharer had a small decrease in empathy towards the discusser. A proposed mechanism for these associations and effects is taken from the robust findings in the literature that engagement with literary fiction can induce empathy towards others. We suggest that the dream acts as a piece of fiction that can be explored by the dreamer together with other people, and can thus induce empathy about the life circumstances of the dreamer. We discuss the speculation that the story-like characteristics of adult human dreams may have been selected for in human evolution, including in sexual selection, as part of the selection for emotional intelligence, empathy, and social bonding. (shrink)
Solms shows the cortical basis for why dreams reflect waking concerns and goals, but with deficient volition. I argue the latter relates to Hobson et al.'s process I as well as M. A memory function for REM sleep is possible, but may be irrelevant to dream characteristics, which, contrary to Revonsuo, mirror the range of waking emotions, positive and negative. [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Solms; Revonsuo; Vertes & Eastman].
It is frequently assumed that dreaming can be likened to such waking cognitive activities as imagination, analogical reasoning, and creativity, and that these models can then be used to explain instances of problem solving during dreams. This paper emphasizes instead the lack of reflexivity and intentionality within dreams, which undermines their characterization as analogs of the waking world, and opposes claims that dreams can complement and aid waking world problem solving. The importance of reflexivity in imagination, in analogical reasoning and (...) in creativity means that dreaming, being usually single-minded, cannot be subsumed into these categories. Freud’s hypothesis that dreams result from the translation of latent thoughts into manifest content is taken to support this idea of cognitive deficiency during dreaming. Dream content, however, can still represent and reflect the dreamer’s waking concerns. (shrink)