Home BiologyCompelling Theories About the Dreaming Brain
BiologyBy Trista -

The brain thinks, makes memories, and solves problems. It observes new information and then processes that information by determining what is essential, what’s not, and what’s connected to something you already know. Our brains require offline time for processing and learning new things. It occurs while we sleep. Dreaming plays a role in that process. Dreams are composed of information received during the day before the dream and then combined with previously stored data.

While it is not precisely clear how dreams form, there are many theories to the dreaming mind. For example, one brain region, the sensory cortex, is responsible for higher-level thinking, might stimulate the brain stem. Others suggest that REM sleep triggers sensory cortex. The dreaming brain can build stories that are better than a brain that is awake. Read on to find out more about several theories about the dreaming mind. 

Compelling Theories About the Dreaming Brain
Many scientists and researchers have long studied the brain to determine what occurs when a person dreams. Studies have been able to identify theories about REM sleep, the dreams of people born blind, and why some dreams are so odd. Shutterstock

23. Dreams are stories and images that our minds create while we sleep. 

Dreams are a universal human experience best described as a state of consciousness characterized by sensory, cognitive, and emotional occurrences during sleep. The dreamer has limited control over the content of their dreams, visual images, or activation of their memory. However, there is no cognitive state that has been as extensively studied and yet as frequently misunderstood as dreaming. Two common approaches to dream analysis include neuroscientific and psychoanalytic. There are significant differences between the two.

Neuroscientists are specifically interested in the structures involved in dream production, dream organization, and dream narrative. However, psychoanalysis focuses on the meaning behind the dreams and then placing them in the context of the dreamer’s relationships. Reported dreams tend to be full of emotional and extremely vivid experiences that contain themes, dream figures, and even objects that correspond closely to waking life. Those elements, when combined, create a sense of reality out of seemingly nothing. Ultimately, it is producing an experience that has a lifelike timeframe and connections. 

Compelling Theories About the Dreaming Brain