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Dreaming and the brain: Toward a cognitive neuroscience of conscious states

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 September 2001

J. Allan Hobson
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, MA 02115 allan_hobson@hms.harvard.eduedward_schott@hms.harvard.edurobert_stickgold@hms.harvard.edu http://home.earthlink.net/~sleeplab
Edward F. Pace-Schott
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, MA 02115 allan_hobson@hms.harvard.eduedward_schott@hms.harvard.edurobert_stickgold@hms.harvard.edu http://home.earthlink.net/~sleeplab
Robert Stickgold
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, MA 02115 allan_hobson@hms.harvard.eduedward_schott@hms.harvard.edurobert_stickgold@hms.harvard.edu http://home.earthlink.net/~sleeplab

Abstract

Sleep researchers in different disciplines disagree about how fully dreaming can be explained in terms of brain physiology. Debate has focused on whether REM sleep dreaming is qualitatively different from nonREM (NREM) sleep and waking. A review of psychophysiological studies shows clear quantitative differences between REM and NREM mentation and between REM and waking mentation. Recent neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies also differentiate REM, NREM, and waking in features with phenomenological implications. Both evidence and theory suggest that there are isomorphisms between the phenomenology and the physiology of dreams. We present a three-dimensional model with specific examples from normally and abnormally changing conscious states.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Cambridge University Press

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