Content: 1/2 known to dreamer, 1/3 generic characters, 1/6 unknown.
Content: PET scans show emotional region of brain more active during REM sleep.
Content: gender differences - males dream of other males more than females dream of males.
Content: Found that for ppts going through separation or divorce, dream content correlated with how they coped whilst awake.
Content: culture differences. MexicanAmerican dreams were higher on emotions and good/bad fortune than AngloAmerican.
Duration: Dreams run in 'real time', some lasting over 30 minutes.
Dement + Kleitman (1957) (Duration)
Duration: Number of words used to describe the dream correlated with length of REM activity.
Dement + Kleitman (1957) (Kinds of dream)
Kinds of dream: 80% reported dreams when stopped during REM compared to 7% for NREM.
Hyponagogic and hypnopompic dreams are reduced versions of normal dreaming experienced when falling alseep/waking up.
Theories of dreaming
Crick + Mitchison (1983)
Reverse learning theory. Dreams are meaningless. The brain has a limited capacity and we dream to get rid of useless cognitive debris, which if remained can cause obsessive/paranoid behaviour.
Supports Reverse Learning Theory
Brain can only store 100 thousand billion 'bits' of information.
Freud's psychosocial theory of dreaming
Dreams are the fulfilment of wishes/desires of the id that could not be satisfied in the concious mind. Latent content = real meaning, manifest content = what we see. Process between the two = dreamwork.
Supports Freud, challenges reverse learning. Found that dreams activated by forebrain (meaning+motivation) rater than brainstem.
Challenges Freud. How is dreamwork possible if rational part of the brain is inactive? (as dreamwork would require high level processing)