Decoding Dreams in New Research

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

sleeping, dreaming (Toni Blay/flickr)

When you dream, what do you dream about? It doesn’t matter if you can’t answer that question — or don’t want to. Science is on the road to answering it for you.

In a new study recently published in "Science," researchers at Brown University were able to describe the images sleeping dreamers saw by reading MRI scans of their brain activity. Though this work is still in the earliest stages, it could lead the way to better understanding not just what we dream about, but also why we dream at all.

Masako Tamaki, research associate in Brown University’s Department of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences, is a part of that new study.

Guests:

Masako Tamaki

Produced by:

Cassie Jones and Mythili Rao

Comments [1]

Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

On one hand, when we ask people,"What are your dreams?" We mean "dreams in the sense of "what are your 'real' hopes and desires for the future. We are asking a very concrete question about a lofty idea...We aren't asking people if they have nocturnal emissions, are we?

Yet, our actual dreams that we have when we are sleeping are cryptic answers to our psyche...Dreams are our answers broken up into a puzzle. Why? Because "we can't handle the truth," at least not all at once. Dreams allow us time to figure out life, or give us the option to not figure it out.

Maybe, I'm just daydreaming here.

Apr. 09 2013 12:09 PM

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