Nature of Dreams

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  • Created by: Kathryn
  • Created on: 11-03-14 17:49
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  • Nature of Dreams
    • Intro - Context
      • Dreams are mental activities that occur during sleep.
      • Psycho - Offer an explanation for meaning of dreams.
      • Neuro - regard dreams a byproduct of neuro biological processes.
      • Dreaming mainly occurs during REM sleep,
      • Only remember 5% of dreams, part of hind brain is inactive during REM sleep which is vital in making memories
    • Reverse Learning theory (Crick & Mitchinson)
      • Parasitic info takes up storage space in cortex. Brain deletes unwanted info and dream is an accidental byproduct
      • EVIDENCE all mammals have REM sleep apart form the dolphin, has a large cortex to accommodate useless info to
      • EVIDENCE Goertzel - humans take in 100 billion billion bits of info in a lifetime but can only store 100 thousand billion bits
      • EVALUATION + explains why we only remember the minority of dreams
      • EVALUATION - Animal reseach, cant extrapolate   - cant generalize due to different anatomy/phisiology
    • Activation Synthesis Theory (Hobson & McCarley)
      • Evidence from EEG measurements that cerebal cortex is active during REM sleep. Impulses do not reach motor cortex, paralysed during REM sleep
        • Only muscles that are allowed to express themselves are eyes, this is why REM sleep is accompanied by rapid eye movement.
      • Hobson and McCarley suggested during REM, the brainstem generates random signals that essentially indistinguishable from extrernal stimuli.
        • Its during the synthesis part of this process that dreams are created. Brain tries to make sense of electrical signals (activation) .
          • Synthesis portion of model proposes that bizarre nature of dreams is due to mixing electrical signals from brainstem with stored images in memory. Coherant output with no inherent meaning.
            • May have meaning for the indivudual since it is derived from dreamers memories
              • Activation synthesis assumes dreams are as meaningful as they can begiven the fact they are generated by random nervous impulses
      • EVIDENCE Hobson investigated brains of cats in REM, neurons fired randomly involved in balance, posture etc
      • EVALUATION + explains how dreams dont involve smell or taste as these areas are not activated by ACH
      • EVALUATION - Dreams are not always bizarre and it does not explain lucid dreams or recurring dreams
    • Freuds psychoanalytic theory
      • Freud proposed the uncoscious mind expresses itself through dreams, 'royal road to the uncoscious'
      • Id associated with irrational, instict-conscious thought called primary process though.
        • Unnaceptable in conscoius world so is regulateed in dreams (repressed)
          • If we do not dream could lead to insanity
      • WISH FULFILLMENT, can not be satisfied in coscious mind, dreams protect sleeper (primary process thought)
      • Content of dreams can be expressed symbolically. Latent turned to manifest. Dreamwork.
        • Dream work uses processes such as condensation and symbolism.
      • EVALUATION FALSIFICATION. do not have a way oh demonstrating that freuds interpretation of a dream. Freud argues rejection of his theory is repression.
      • EVALUATION ARE DREAMS WISH FULFILLMENT? is difficult to see how nightmares are wish fullfilment. Freud regards this as 'sensible warning'
        • Freud suggested ration (ego) part of mind wasnt active during REM
          • SUPPORT Solms using PET scans showed areas to do with rational thought are inactive during REM while limibc areas are active.
          • AGAINST Braun  pointed out if rational area is inactive during REM, how do we explain process of turning latent to manifest content? high level of processing.
  • Only remember 5% of dreams, part of hind brain is inactive during REM sleep which is vital in making memories


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