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Dreaming:A Very Short Introduction

May 18, 2013 on 10:33 am | In Dream Types | 2 Comments

DREAMING, a Very Short Introduction

DREAMING, a Very Short Introduction

What is dreaming, and what causes it? Why are dreams so strange and why are they so hard to remember? Replacing dream mystique with modern dream science, in Dreaming, a Very Short Introduction, J. Allan Hobson provides a new and increasingly complete picture of how dreaming is created by the brain. Focusing on dreaming to explain the mechanisms of sleep, this book explores how the new science of dreaming is affecting theories in psychoanalysis, and how it is helping our understanding of the causes of mental illness.

J. Allan Hobson investigates his own dreams to illustrate and explain some of the fascinating discoveries of modern sleep science, while challenging some of the traditionally accepted theories about the meaning of dreams. He reveals how dreaming maintains and develops the mind, why we go crazy in our dreams in order to avoid doing so when we are awake, and why sleep is not just good for health but essential for life.

What is dreaming, and what causes it? Why are dreams so strange and why are they so hard to remember? Replacing dream mystique with modern dream science, J. Allan Hobson provides a new and increasingly complete picture of how dreaming is created by the brain.

Focusing on dreaming to explain the mechanisms of sleep, this book explores how the new science of dreaming is affecting theories in psychoanalysis, and how it is helping our understanding of the causes of mental illness.

J. Allan Hobson investigates his own dreams to illustrate and explain some of the fascinating discoveries of modern sleep science, while challenging some of the traditionally accepted theories about the meaning of dreams. He reveals how dreaming maintains and develops the mind, why we go crazy in our dreams in order to avoid doing so when we are awake, and why sleep is not just good for health but essential for life.

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  1. Best book on dreaming and sleep This is one of the better books I’ve read on Dreaming. The details of the neurobiology of sleep was a wonderful surprise, and makes much more sense of dreaming. I’ve read a lot of books on dreaming, all of which were filled with psychological guesses, speculation, and they just never made sense to me. This book presents excellent arguments and studies for the biological aspects of sleep, and the logic that consciousness is a brain function. This books takes a look from a better perspective, IMHO, sticking to the biology of sleep, and the reality of what we are of aware of and not during dreaming, and the lack of memory thereafter. Great book!

    Comment by Dana Nourie — May 18, 2013 #

  2. Book of Dreams We all dream, even if we are not aware of it seems like we had stopped dreaming many years ago. The act of dreaming is an integral part of human sleep, and dreams have always been a source of endless fascination and speculation. People in various cultures and time periods have devoted time and effort to the interpretation of dreams, and many such interpretations have had a significant impact on culture, religion, and even the course of history. One of the early promises of psychology was the claim that it was finally able to put many such interpretive claims to a rigorous test, and psychologist to this day are beset by request from the lay public for the explanation of their own dreams.In “Dreaming – A Very Short Introduction” we are treated to the best modern scientific exploration of dreams – their nature, their causes, and whether or not they hold any special meaning. It is a very detailed book that covers most of the last hundred years of research on dreams, including the two major scientific and conceptual breakthroughs. The first breakthrough was the realization that the brain is still fairly active when we dream, albeit in the ways that are qualitatively different from those of an awake person. The other insight is more recent and it has brought to the end any hope of a systematic interpretation of dreams: dreams, by and large, don’t hold any special meaning. Most dreaming activity is a pretty random activation of various cognitive regions of the brain, and even though we still don’t know what purpose those activities may hold we are now highly certain that they don’t hold any special message for us. The study of dreaming is still very fascinating for the simple reason that it sheds a lot of light on our understanding of the way that brain works, and this book is a useful survey of the recent advances in neuropsychology.Unfortunately after reading this book I was uncertain about its main messages and lessons. This is perhaps due to the fact that the author doesn’t seem to be able to make up his mind about whether he is writing a survey book of a particular research field, a presentation of his own opinions and insights, or an informal discussion of personal dreams and anecdotes that are relevant to the subject. The writing tends to be pretty glum, and the author doesn’t engage in the usual upbeat tone of voice that conveys much excitement about his own research field. This book is filled with a lot of information, but not necessarily with a lot of insight. It is still a worthwhile read, but I’d recommend that you also consider .

    Comment by Dr. Bojan Tunguz — May 18, 2013 #

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