Monday, November 16, 2009

Dreams as brain tuneups

Benedict Carey reviews the latest dream model suggested by Alan Hobson, whose work has stressed the more biological aspects of dreams and downplayed the idea that dreams have great psychological, psychoanalytic or Jungian archetypal significance. In general his models have suggested dreams to be confabulations generated in response to bottom up signals from the limbic system getting some regenerative exercise. His latest model suggests that REM sleep may constitute a protoconscious state, providing a virtual reality model of the world that is of functional use to the development and maintenance of waking consciousness. The main function of rapid-eye-movement sleep, or REM, when most dreaming occurs, is physiological. The brain is warming its circuits, anticipating the sights and sounds and emotions of waking.

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