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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 Oct;1406(1):28-45. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13389. Epub 2017 Jun 15.

Dreaming: a gateway to the unconscious?

Author information

1
Wisconsin Public Radio, Madison, Wisconsin.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
3
Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.
4
University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Tucson, Arizona.

Abstract

Where do our dreams originate from, and what do they tell us? Is there a universal set of symbols that are common to all dreams, regardless of a person's ethnicity or culture? What does dreaming reveal about the unconscious? Why do some dreams remain etched in our memories, whereas others are almost instantly forgotten? Some scientists have adopted the position that dreams are little more than noise in the brain, without any substantive purpose or function. Yet, such a stance seemingly runs counter to the experience of many people who reflect upon and even analyze their dreams, often in search of clues to their daily lives or insights into their deeper selves. Similarly, in virtually all wisdom traditions, dreams are invoked as an important source of revelation or prophecy. Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, moderated a discussion that included psychologist Deirdre Barrett, dream researcher Kelly Bulkeley, and psychologist and sleep/dream medicine specialist Rubin Naiman; they examined dreams from a variety of perspectives to answer these questions.

KEYWORDS:

Freud; Jung; PTSD; REM sleep; big dreams; blind analysis; comparative religion; consciousness; continuity hypothesis; dreams; lucid dreams; manifesting; neuroscience; prefrontal cortex; synchronicity

PMID:
28618458
DOI:
10.1111/nyas.13389
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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