Send to

Choose Destination
Conscious Cogn. 2013 Sep;22(3):975-86. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2013.06.005. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Relationships between non-pathological dream-enactment and mirror behaviors.

Author information

Dept. Psychiatry, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada; Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada. Electronic address:


Dream-enacting behaviors (DEBs) are behavioral expressions of forceful dream images often occurring during sleep-to-wakefulness transitions. We propose that DEBs reflect brain activity underlying social cognition, in particular, motor-affective resonance generated by the mirror neuron system. We developed a Mirror Behavior Questionnaire (MBQ) to assess some dimensions of mirror behaviors and investigated relationships between MBQ scores and DEBs in a large of university undergraduate cohort. MBQ scores were normally distributed and described by a four-factor structure (Empathy/Emotional Contagion, Behavioral Imitation, Sleepiness/Anger Contagion, Motor Skill Imitation). DEB scores correlated positively with MBQ total and factor scores even with social desirability, somnambulism and somniloquy controlled. Emotion-specific DEB items correlated with corresponding emotion-specific MBQ items, especially crying and smiling. Results provide preliminary evidence for cross-state relationships between propensities for dream-enacting and mirror behaviors--especially behaviors involving motor-affective resonance--and our suggestion that motor-affective resonance mediates dream-enactment imagery during sleep and emotional empathy during waking.


DEBS; DEBs; Dream-enacting behaviors; Dreaming; EEG; EMG; Empathy; IFG; MBQ; MRI; Mentalizing network; Mirror Behavior Questionnaire; Mirror behaviors; Mirror neuron system; Motor-affective resonance; RBD; REM; REM sleep behavior disorder; SDS; Sex differences; ToM; dream-enacting behavior scale; dream-enacting behaviors; electroencephalogram; electromyogram; inferior frontal gyrus; magnetic resonance imaging; rapid eye movement; social desirability scale; theory-of-mind

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center