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

Volume 5, Number 3, September 1995


Dreams and Feeling Realization
Don Kuiken
Page 129

Validity Established of DreamLight Cues for Eliciting Lucid Dreaming
Stephen LaBerge and Lynne Levitan
Page 159
Available online

A Content Analysis of Bizarre Elements in Dreams
Antti Revonsuo and Christina Salmivalli
Page 169

Dream Recall and Major Depression: A Preliminary Report
Roseanne Armitage, Aaron Rochlen, Thomas Fitch, Madhukar Trivedi, and A. John Rush
Page 189

Nightmares and Sleep Disturbance in Sexually Assaulted Women
Barry Krakow, Dan Tandberg, Marya Barey, and Lee Scriggins
Page 199


To Catch a Dream: Explorations of Dreaming by David Koulack
Reviewed by Ross Levin
Page 207

Kuiken, Don.
Dreams and feeling realization.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 5(3) 129-157, Sep 1995.


Among three different types of impactful dreams (transcendent dreams, anxiety dreams, and existential dreams), existential dreams most frequently prompt reports of deepened self-perception (Kuiken & Sikora, 1993). To understand this effect, it is useful to consider three separate aspects of dream experience, each mediated by a different component of dream psychobiology. First, in impactful dreams generally, narrative discontinuities mark mnemonic transformations that present progressively non-prototypic personal meanings. Second, in impactful dreams generally, a heightened sense of "reality" emerges from accentuation of the dreamer's felt engagement in vividly present dream situations. Third, in existential dreams particularly, the disruption of smooth engagement in dream actions initiates the realization of feelings that are tinged with sadness and that uproot superficiality. The interplay of these aspects of dream experience is required to understand how existential dreams deepen self-perception.

Key Words: aesthetic experience; dream function; phasic events; self-perception.


LaBerge, Stephen; Levitan, Lynne.
Validity established of DreamLight cues for eliciting lucid dreaming.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 5(3) 159-168, Sep 1995.


Lucid dreaming is a learnable, but difficult skill. Consequently, we have sought methods for helping dreamers to realize that they are dreaming by means of external cues applied during REM sleep, which if incorporated into dreams, can remind dreamers that they are dreaming. Here we report on an experiment testing the validity and effectiveness of a portable computerized biofeedback device (DreamLight®) designed to deliver light cues during REM sleep. The 14 subjects used DreamLights on 4 to 24 nights. They were unaware that the DreamLights were specially programmed to deliver cues only on alternate nights. Eleven subjects reported 32 lucid dreams, 22 from nights with light cues, 10 from nights without cues. All lucid dreams scored (by judges blind to DreamLight condition) as being "cued" by the DreamLight's stimuli occurred on nights when the DreamLight was actually delivering cues. Subjects reported seeing in their dreams what they believed to be DreamLight cues significantly more often on light cue nights (73 total) compared to nights without light cues (9). The conclusion is that cueing with sensory stimuli by the DreamLight appears to increase a subject's probability of having lucid dreams, and that most of the resulting lucid dreams are due to the specific effect of light cues rather than general "placebo" factors.

Key Words: lucid dreaming; DreamLight; REM sleep.

Available online

Revonsuo, Antti; Salmivalli, Christina.
A content analysis of bizarre elements in dreams.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 5(3) 169-187, Sep 1995.


A content analysis of bizarreness was carried out in order to separate different dream contents from each other and to report the occurrence of bizarreness across these contents. All expressions describing one of 14 contents (Self, Place, Time, Persons, Animals, Body Parts, Plants, Objects, Events, Actions, Language, Cognition, Emotions, Sensory Experiences) in 32 female students' home-based dream diaries were scored. Each element was categorized as "Non-bizarre" or "bizarre" (Incongruous, Vague, Discontinuous). The results show that bizarreness is not randomly distributed across different dream contents and that distinct types of bizarreness show a dissimilar pattern of distribution. Language and Cognition are the most and Self is the least Incongruous content. Place is high on both Discontinuity and Vagueness. We suggest that an adequate baseline for what is bizarre in dreams is the subject's personal waking reality, and for the proportion of bizarreness, the amount of comparable non-bizarre dream elements.

Key Words: dreaming; bizarreness; content analysis; consciousness.


Armitage, Roseanne; Rochlen, Aaron; Fitch, Thomas; Trivedi, Madhukar; Rush, John A.
Dream recall and major depression: A preliminary report.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 5(3) 189-198, Sep 1995.


Free-recall dream reports were collected from 82 outpatients with nonpsychotic major depression at baseline and following treatment with antidepressants. Dream recall rates were extremely low in depressed patients (<20%). Of the initial sample, only 21 patients recalled dreams at any phase of study. All subsequent analyses were based on the reduced sample (n = 21). Twenty-seven dreams were recalled from 135 nights by patients when symptomatic and medication free (baseline). A total of 32 dreams were collected over 174 nights on which 80% of patients were improved or remitted on antidepressant medications. Compared to baseline, antidepressant treatment was associated with a significantly lower dream recall rate. Exceptions were 4/13 patients treated with fluoxetine (Prozac™) who showed an increase in dream recall. Despite clinical response to antidepressants, dream content was very similar to the baseline, symptomatic, depressed state. Only a few content categories showed a significant change from baseline. The emotional content of dreams was unaffected by depressed state. These data suggest that both recall and dream content are significantly altered by antidepressant medication. Moreover, gender differences are evident in dream content, but not along dimensions of failure and negative events as previously suggested. It is possible that the lack of change in the emotional tone of dreams in treatment responders may reflect a continuing vulnerability to depression.

Key Words: dreaming; dream recall; depression; affective disorders; sleep.


Krakow, Barry; Tandberg, Dan; Barey, Marya; Scriggins, Lee.
Nightmares and sleep disturbance in sexually assaulted women.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 5(3) 199-206, Sep 1995.


A retrospective study was conducted on the charts of 598 women presenting to a rape crisis center. The review assessed nightmare frequency and the association between nightmares and disturbed sleep. Of the 598 women, 488 were rape victims (RAPE group = 82%) and 110 women were victims of non-rape sexual assault or abuse (NRSAA group = 18%). Raped women reported more nightmares than those with NRSAA. Twenty-six percent of women in the RAPE group reported "a lot" of nightmares compared to 21% in the NRSAA group (p = .014). Fifty-three percent of women in the RAPE group reported "some" nightmares compared to 45% in the NRSAA group (p = .007). Nightmares and changes in sleep habits showed a strong direct relationship (p = .0001), but were unrelated to RAPE or NRSAA types of assault. The relationship between nightmares, disturbed sleep and post-traumatic stress is discussed.

Key Words: nightmares; sleep; rape.

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