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Home > Anti-aging Research > Dreams


News & Research:

  • Why Do We Dream? A New Theory on How It Protects Our Brains - Time, 12/29/20 - "the brain preserves the territory of the visual cortex by keeping it active at night. In our “defensive activation theory,” dream sleep exists to keep neurons in the visual cortex active, thereby combating a takeover by the neighboring senses. In this view, dreams are primarily visual precisely because this is the only sense that is disadvantaged by darkness. Thus, only the visual cortex is vulnerable in a way that warrants internally-generated activity to preserve its territory ... We suggest that dream sleep exists, at least in part, to prevent the other senses from taking over the brain’s visual cortex when it goes unused. Dreams are the counterbalance against too much flexibility. Thus, although dreams have long been the subject of song and story, they may be better understood as the strange lovechild of brain plasticity and the rotation of the planet"
  • What Physicians Need to Know About Dreams and Dreaming - Medscape, 10/19/12
  • To learn better, take a nap (and don't forget to dream) - Science Daily, 4/22/10 - "What's got us really excited, is that after nearly 100 years of debate about the function of dreams, this study tells us that dreams are the brain's way of processing, integrating and really understanding new information ... Dreams are a clear indication that the sleeping brain is working on memories at multiple levels, including ways that will directly improve performance"
  • Dreams Can Solve Problems - WebMD, 12/23/04
  • Patients' Dreams May Reveal Psychotherapy Progress - Doctor's Guide, 7/4/04
  • Creative People Remember More Dreams - WebMD, 6/27/03
  • Dreams May Hold Key to Beating dream - WebMD, 1/18/02
  • Freudian Slip: Do Dreams Have a Role in Psychiatry? - WebMD, 3/12/01 - "But dreams can be used, he contends, to help a patient understand that the conflicting emotions he is currently experiencing are complicated by older, unrecognized emotions that are still meaningful, but just beyond his conscious grasp, a bit like a word at the tip of the tongue that just won't come to mind ... dream interpretation won't cure a psychiatric disorder the way that penicillin will cure a bacterial infection. But dreams may be signposts along the road that can point the way to improvement ... Stickgold likens the process of dreaming to doing a search on the world wide web: "If you do a web search and go down the list of items, the first two or three are usually spot on, more or less what you were looking for," he says. "Then there are four or five where you say, 'That's not what I was looking for, but I know why those came up.' And if you keep going down there are about 50 where you want to say, 'I didn't ask for these at all; I don't know where they came from.' The brain is just sort of futzing and doing some [formula] to try to find things that fit together, and maybe it works and maybe it doesn't." ... "The trick with using dreams in psychiatry, from my perspective, is that you have to not get lost in theory and not get lost in over-interpretation,""
  • Study shows why your dreams are so weird - CNN, 10/13/00
  • What Dreams May Come Come Not From Waking Memory - WebMD, 10/12/00
  • How the brain turns realityinto dreams - MSNBC, 10/12/00