Definitions of dreaming are not required to map formal features of mental activity onto brain measures. While dreaming occurs during all stages of sleep, intense dreaming is largely confined to REM. Forebrain structures and many neurotransmitters can contribute to sleep and dreaming without negating brainstem and aminergic-cholinergic control mechanisms. Reductionism is essential to science and AIM has considerable heuristic value. Recent findings support sleep's role in learning and memory. Emerging technologies may address long-standing issues in sleep and dream research.
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