Dreaming : Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams
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Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams

March 2005 (Vol. 15, No. 1)

CONTENTS

Refocusing the Neurocognitive Approach to Dreams: A Critique of the Hobson Versus Solms Debate
G. William Domhoff
Page 3

In Bed With Mark Solms? What a Nightmare! A Reply to Domhoff (2005)
 
J. Allan Hobson
Page 21

A Reply to Hobson (2005)
G. William Domhoff
Page 30

Dream Imagery and Emotion
 
John Davidson, Sarah Lee-Archer, and Gretchen Sanders
Page 33

Theory of Mind in Dreaming: Awareness of Feelings and Thoughts of Others in Dreams.
 
David Kahn and Allan Hobson
Page 48

BOOK REVIEWS:

Cognitive Therapy and Dreams.
edited by R. I. Rosner, W. L. J. Lyddon, and A. Freeman.
Reviewed by Nicholas E. Brink
Page 58

The Mind at Night: The New Science of How and Why We Dream.
 
by Andrea Rock.
Reviewed by Michael Schredl
Page 63

 

ABSTRACTS


 

Refocusing the Neurocognitive Approach to Dreams: A Critique of the Hobson Versus Solms Debate
G. William Domhoff
 Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 15(1) 3-20, March 2005.

 This article examines the ongoing debate between activation-synthesis theorist J. Allan Hobson and psychoanalytic theorist Mark Solms about the nature of dreaming and dream content. After discussing their neurophysiological disagreements, it argues that they are more similar than different in some important ways, especially in talking about dreams in the same breath as psychosis and in drawing conclusions about dream content on the basis of their neurophysiological assumptions, without any reference to the systematic findings on the issue. Evidence from inside and outside the sleep laboratory on the coherent nature of most dreams is presented to demonstrate that neither theorist is on solid ground in his main assertions. Dreaming is usually a far more realistic and understandable enactment of interests and concerns than the 2 researchers assume. In addition, several of Hobson's and Solms's claims concerning the neural basis of dreaming are challenged on the basis of neurophysiological evidence.

KEY WORDS: dreams, dream content, neurocognitive activation-synthesis, Freud


In Bed With Mark Solms? What a Nightmare! A Reply to Domhoff (2005)
 
J. Allan Hobson
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams.
Vol 15(1) 21-29, March 2005.

Bill Domhoff (2005) has challenged the activation synthesis model of dreaming on the basis of a misreading of the neurobiological literature and an individualistic view of dream psychology. The author begins his reply by clarifying and emphasizing the formal approach to dream cognitions. Instead of focusing on the individual aspects of dreaming that interest Domhoff, activation synthesis strives to identify and measure the generic differences that characterize all dreams and that are likely to correlate with the neurobiological findings. He then goes on to point out that such formal features as the visuomotor imagery, the emotional intensification, and the defective cognition of dreams do correlate with the cellular and molecular neurobiological data from animal studies and with the brain imaging and lesion data from human studies. Individual differences may also exist but these are not relevant to the main task of sleep psychophysiology.

KEY WORDS: dream theory, Domhoff, Solms, activation synthesis


A Reply to Hobson (2005)
 
G. William Domhoff
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams.
Vol 15(1) 30-32, March 2005.

 J. A. Hobson's (2005) commentary merely repeats his past theoretical assertions. It asks questions that rest on the refuted hypothesis that real dreaming occurs only in REM sleep and that are already answered in the author's critique. Despite many studies, there is still no evidence that neurophysiological changes during REM are responsible for any unique formal features in dreams. As for the psychological consequences of the neuromodulatory environment during REM, there are no studies. Most important, Hobson overlooks a key point in regard to a new neurocognitive approach to dreams: The many parallels between dreaming and waking cognition raise the intriguing possibility that relatively small changes from waking to sleeping can account for the unique features of dreams, rendering his REM-based speculations irrelevant.

KEY WORDS: dreaming, dream content, neurocognitive, REM sleep


Dream Imagery and Emotion
John Davidson, Sarah Lee-Archer, and Gretchen Sanders
 Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 15(1) 33-47, March 2005.

 The relationship between prominent visual imagery and emotion within dreams was investigated in relation to E. Hartmann's (1996) contextualizing image (CI) theory and M. Seligman and A. Yellen's (1987) dual imagery theory. Fifty-nine students recorded dreams over a 2-week period and submitted 115 dreams for analysis. Participants recorded ratings of emotion type and emotion intensity in each scene. Prominent visual images were identified and scored for intensity and detail by independent judges. As hypothesized from Hartmann's theory, there was a significant positive relationship between CI intensity and emotion intensity in the CI scene, emotion intensity generally peaked in the CI scene, and dreams containing a CI had higher overall ratings of emotion intensity than non-CI dreams. The result for the correlation of detail of prominent imagery with emotion was inconclusive, with a low positive correlation across CI scenes. This raises the possibility that the CI is not a unitary construct.

KEY WORDS: dreams, dreaming, emotion, imagery, contextualizing imagery


Theory of Mind in Dreaming: Awareness of Feelings and Thoughts of Others in Dreams.
 
David Kahn and Allan Hobson Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams.
 
Vol 15(1) 48-57, March 2005.

 If the awareness of what others are thinking and the ability to attribute feelings to others characterizes both waking and dreaming consciousness, it suggests that a social species like man has a state-independent need for a theory of mind; that is, an ability to know that others have feelings. The authors performed 2 studies, the first of which consisted of 35 participants who submitted 320 dream reports containing more than 1,200 dream characters and the second consisted of 24 participants who submitted 151 dream reports with 543 dream events. Participants reported that as subjects in their own dreams they were aware that their dream characters had feelings and thoughts about them. This finding shows that awareness of what others are feeling is a robust aspect of consciousness that is maintained despite the changed chemistry and changed activation patterns of the brain's neuronal connections during dreaming.

KEY WORDS: dreaming, consciousness, theory of mind, social species, intentions of others

 

 


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