Dreaming : Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams
Human Sciences Press, Inc., New York City

Volume 3, Number 3, September 1993


Self-Organization Theory of Dreaming
David Kahn and J. Allan Hobson
Page 151
Available online

The Relationship Between Dream Bizarreness and Imagination: Artifact or Essence?
H. Hunt, K. Ruzycki-Hunt, D. Pariak, and K. Belicki
Page 179

Seven Dreams in a Case of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Adult Homophobia
Gregory Charles Bogart
Page 201

The Drama of History and Prophecy: Shakespeare's Use of
Dream in 2 Henry VI

Carol Schreier Rupprecht
Page 211

Kahn, David; Hobson, J. Allan.
Self-organization theory of dreaming.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 3(3) 151-178, Sep 1993.


Our general hypothesis is that the brain self-organizes neuronal signals whose cognitive correlates produce discontinuities and incongruities in an on-going narrative. This could go on in any sleep-wake state but, according to our theory, it is qualitatively distinctive in REM sleep/dreaming. To demonstrate the origins of this idea, we review the cognitive psychology of dreaming and the neurophysiology of rapid eye movement sleep in terms of the self-organization concept. We also review mathematical models of self-organization for their relevance to dreaming. We then go on to test our hypothesis in a preliminary way at the level of neurophysiology. Bifurcation parameters were chosen to be the relative amounts of cholinergic and aminergic neurotransmitters, the burst frequency of pontogeniculoocipital (PGO) waves (producing noise-induced transitions), and an electrical activation parameter. A class of mathematical models universally applicable to self-organizing systems near the system's bifurcation points was found to model the neurophysiology in a formal manner isomorphic to distinctive and global cognitive features of dreaming.

Key Words: self organization; REM; dreaming; bizarreness; PGO bursts.

Available online


Hunt, H.; Ruzycki-Hunt, K.; Pariak, D.; Belicki, K.
The relationship between dream bizarreness and imagination: Artifact or essence?
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 3(3) 179-199, Sep 1993.


Three exploratory studies offer a conceptual and methodological critique of recent approaches that interpret dream bizarreness as an artifact of dream report length and so regard previous correlations of bizarreness with measures of waking imagination as an artifact of report length and verbal intelligence. Study I demonstrates that describing a bizarre pictorial stimulus will entail the use of more words than a mundane stimulus, so that it seems more plausible to conclude that bizarreness causes length and not the other way around. Study II develops a more appropriate way of distinguishing words describing or consequent upon bizarreness from words describing mundane parts of the dream, with statistical differences between these two measures in three dream samples attesting to the information lost in previous studies controlling bizarreness for total report length. Study III replicated this effect with a sample of dreams from humanities majors and shows that measures of nonverbal imaginativeness (imaginative absorption, physiognomic cue test) are much stronger in predicting bizarreness, and both report length measures, than a measure of verbal ability (College Vocabulary Test). It is concluded that controlling measures of dream bizarreness for report length may be a methodological error that falsely dilutes a defining dimension of dreaming.

Key Words: dreaming; bizarreness; word length; imagination.


Bogart, Gregory Charles.
Seven dreams in a case of childhood sexual abuse and adult homophobia.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 3(3) 201-210, Sep 1993.


This case study presents a series of dreams that assisted an adult male psychotherapy client in resolution of emotional and interpersonal difficulties stemming from an incident of childhood sexual abuse. The dreams uncovered previously hidden memories and feelings, addressed the client's homophobic fears, encouraged the client to disclose the abuse to his parents, and helped the client understand the impact of the childhood assault on his self-esteem and intimate relationships. The capacity of dreams to catalyze positive therapeutic change is affirmed and demonstrated.

Key Words: dreams; sexual abuse; homophobia.


Rupprecht, Carol Schreier.
The drama of history and prophecy: Shakespeare's use of dream in 2 Henry VI.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 3(3) 211-227, Sep 1993.


Dreams are more prominent in Shakespeare's history plays, whether drawn from British or Roman sources, than anywhere else in his work. While the significance of dreams in Shakespearean drama has been widely acknowledged, dream dominance in the history plays has received little commentary. One of the earliest and least known of these plays, 2 Henry VI, shows the necessity of using the historical source texts and sixteenth century treatises on dreams for any analysis of Shakespearean oneirics. This approach reveals the important transitional role of Shakespeare in the history of dream theory and the literary representation of dreams and also raises questions about appropriate methods for the retrospective application of twentieth century psychological theories to texts of earlier times.

Key Words: dream; history; prophecy; Shakespeare; Cardano; Nashe.

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