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  1. #1 1984 
    Forum Freshman BitterSweet's Avatar
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    has anyone read that book? it has some quite interesting points.......
    i personally believe that psychological torture is worse than physical torture... and Winston does get tortured in this book.... but why his childhood memory so....harmful to him? and i was wondering...... Can dream reveal the truth/reality? When we're unconscious, can we recall things that you don't remember when you are conscious?
    sorry, this is somewhat confusing...


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    With regards to truths, dreams are quite revealing indeed. However, most of us do not perceive the truths dreams suggest because the literal nature of conscious perception henders our understanding. Dreams are how our unconscious mind interprets the mental and emotional effects of conscious experience that persist into sleep; i.e., the dreams are interpretations of mental influences and our efforts to understand them is an effort to translate the interpretations of our unconscious mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by BitterSweet
    When we're unconscious, can we recall things that you don't remember when you are conscious?
    Yes, our unconscious mind has greater access to our memories than our conscious mind because our unconscious is not constrained by the priorities imposed by the neural processes of the conscious mind. The conscious mind is constrained by the literal nature and consequences of physical/material experience. This constraint imposes priorities on the conscious mind that limits its focus to experiences of real and/or immediate consequence. Our unconscious mind, as suggested by dreaming state of brain function, is not subject to the consequences of physical/material experience and, therefore, does not share the limitations of the conscious mind. The priorities of the conscious mind blocks our access to certain memories, while our unconscious does not appear to have such priorities and subsequent blocks. Therefore, recalling forgotten experiences is possible through the unconscious. I hope this helps.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    With regards to truths, dreams are quite revealing indeed.
    Can you give an example?

    Quote Originally Posted by BitterSweet
    When we're unconscious, can we recall things that you don't remember when you are conscious?
    Yes, our unconscious mind has greater access to our memories than our conscious mind
    By unconscious do you mean dreaming or really unconscious?

    because our unconscious is not constrained by the priorities imposed by the neural processes of the conscious mind. The conscious mind is constrained by the literal nature and consequences of physical/material experience.
    Huh?

    This constraint imposes priorities on the conscious mind that limits its focus to experiences of real and/or immediate consequence.
    Only if you've been sent back in time to kill Sarah Conner.

    Our unconscious mind, as suggested by dreaming state of brain function, is not subject to the consequences of physical/material experience and, therefore, does not share the limitations of the conscious mind. The priorities of the conscious mind blocks our access to certain memories, while our unconscious does not appear to have such priorities and subsequent blocks. Therefore, recalling forgotten experiences is possible through the unconscious. I hope this helps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Can you give an example?
    The only example you would possibly accept would likely involve one of your own dreams. If you are willing to post one of your dreams—perhaps one you may already understand—I will use it as an example. If not, perhaps an explanation of how dreams convey truths would be acceptable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    By unconscious do you mean dreaming or really unconscious?
    Unconscious as a description of the active state of brain function suggested by dream sleep.
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    because our unconscious is not constrained by the priorities imposed by the neural processes of the conscious mind. The conscious mind is constrained by the literal nature and consequences of physical/material experience.

    Huh?
    If you had taken the time to review my prior discussions involving the neural processes associated with the conscious and unconscious mind, you would understand my comments here. Mind is a construct of brain function and brain function appears to construct two functionally distinct minds as suggested by the conscious and unconscious states of brain activation; i.e., the areas of activation in the conscious brain is quite distinct from those areas active in the unconscious brain suggested by dream sleep.
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    This constraint imposes priorities on the conscious mind that limits its focus to experiences of real and/or immediate consequence.

    Only if you've been sent back in time to kill Sarah Conner.
    Your puerile humor exposes your uninformed position and lack of insight relative to brain function. During the functional state of dream sleep, the area of our brain associated with priority assessments experiences a condition of low or diminished activation known as hypofrontality. This low activation is caused by deactivation, in the across-brain (metencephalon), of specific neural processes associated with the delivery of somatosensory afferents to the upper regions of our central nervous system. Effectively, our conscious brain adheres to sensorially defined and imposed priorities that do not apply to the active unconscious state of brain function because of its diminished connectivity to physical/material experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Our unconscious mind, as suggested by dreaming state of brain function, is not subject to the consequences of physical/material experience and, therefore, does not share the limitations of the conscious mind. The priorities of the conscious mind blocks our access to certain memories, while our unconscious does not appear to have such priorities and subsequent blocks. Therefore, recalling forgotten experiences is possible through the unconscious. I hope this helps.

    Please indicate how sure you are by holding your hands a certain level apart from each other.
    Oh, now I understand; you use sarcasm to mask your inadequate understanding of those topics and ideas that either make you uncomfortable or that conflict with some preconceived unstudied perspective you may hold. When, if ever, you are ready for a civil discussion about the nature of dreams and dreaming, I’d be happy to obliged.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Can you give an example?
    The only example you would possibly accept would likely involve one of your own dreams.
    If there is evidence that dreams are "revealing" as you put it and this applies to humans in general, then whether or not the example comes from one of my own dreams is irrelevant. It's been at least a couple months since I had any significant dream memories and I'm blanking on those. I'd prefer if you just give me an example yourself.

    If not, perhaps an explanation of how dreams convey truths would be acceptable?
    This wont mean much to me until I know what you mean by "convey truths" which is why I asked for an example.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    By unconscious do you mean dreaming or really unconscious?
    Unconscious as a description of the active state of brain function suggested by dream sleep.
    It's odd that you refer you refer to dreaming as unconscious since it seems to involve conscious awareness. That is not how most would use the word, I don't think, but it seems to be consistent with the OP's use, so okay.

    Moving on, you claim that we can access memories during dreaming that we aren't capable of accessing when awake. Are you basing this on any particular case studies, controlled experiments or personal experiences? I currently have no particular reason to agree or disagree with your claim, so I'd be curious to hear this.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    because our unconscious is not constrained by the priorities imposed by the neural processes of the conscious mind. The conscious mind is constrained by the literal nature and consequences of physical/material experience.

    Huh?
    If you had taken the time to review my prior discussions involving the neural processes associated with the conscious and unconscious mind, you would understand my comments here.
    Feel free to link or copy/paste the posts you think are relevant. Must I read through all of your 100+ posts before asking questions?

    Mind is a construct of brain function and brain function appears to construct two functionally distinct minds as suggested by the conscious and unconscious states of brain activation; i.e., the areas of activation in the conscious brain is quite distinct from those areas active in the unconscious brain suggested by dream sleep.
    I think they're a lot less distinct than you're implying. fMRI sleep studies have found that the areas of the brain associated with vision, hearing, motor function etc. are active during REM sleep for example. The main difference is pre-frontal cortex deactivation during dreaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Yes, our unconscious mind has greater access to our memories than our conscious mind because our unconscious is not constrained by the priorities imposed by the neural processes of the conscious mind. The conscious mind is constrained by the literal nature and consequences of physical/material experience. This constraint imposes priorities on the conscious mind that limits its focus to experiences of real and/or immediate consequence.
    Only if you've been sent back in time to kill Sarah Conner.
    Your puerile humor exposes your uninformed position and lack of insight relative to brain function.
    lol. I found much of your post frustratingly obtuse and your way of asserting controversial ideas as fact and then saying "I hope that helps" in response to the question of a potentially naive poster to be a little arrogant. Perhaps this exposes my uninformed position and lack of insight and perhaps you will show me the error of my ways. Either way, forgive my rather brazen dismissal if you will.

    Also I object to the statement that the conscious mind is limited to experiences of real and/or immediate consequences. Is fanciful imagination not possible? Or are you just saying there's less room for it?


    During the functional state of dream sleep, the area of our brain associated with priority assessments experiences a condition of low or diminished activation known as hypofrontality. This low activation is caused by deactivation, in the across-brain (metencephalon), of specific neural processes associated with the delivery of somatosensory afferents to the upper regions of our central nervous system.
    True.

    Effectively, our conscious brain adheres to sensorially defined and imposed priorities that do not apply to the active unconscious state of brain function because of its diminished connectivity to physical/material experience.
    Clearly our working memory is terrible when we dream and clearly our dreams are influenced by sensation-derived memories. Are you saying that diminished sensory input and and diminished active thinking free up other parts of the brain thus allowing for more access to memories?

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Our unconscious mind, as suggested by dreaming state of brain function, is not subject to the consequences of physical/material experience and, therefore, does not share the limitations of the conscious mind. The priorities of the conscious mind blocks our access to certain memories, while our unconscious does not appear to have such priorities and subsequent blocks. Therefore, recalling forgotten experiences is possible through the unconscious. I hope this helps.

    Please indicate how sure you are by holding your hands a certain level apart from each other.
    Oh, now I understand; you use sarcasm to mask your inadequate understanding of those topics and ideas that either make you uncomfortable or that conflict with some preconceived unstudied perspective you may hold.
    My apologies sir.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    If there is evidence that dreams are "revealing" as you put it and this applies to humans in general, then whether or not the example comes from one of my own dreams is irrelevant. It's been at least a couple months since I had any significant dream memories and I'm blanking on those. I'd prefer if you just give me an example yourself.
    Your initial comments suggested skepticism. I believe skeptics are more convinced by examples of which they have intimate knowledge and by evidence they can independently verify. With a personal dream example, the burden of whether my assessment was valid would have rested upon your intimate knowledge of yourself and your personal experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    If not, perhaps an explanation of how dreams convey truths would be acceptable?
    This wont mean much to me until I know what you mean by "convey truths" which is why I asked for an example.
    If you had asked the more direct question, “what you mean by ‘convey truths’", I probably would have offered an explanation of what I meant rather than the indirect response an example provides. If an explanation is what you are truly requesting, dreaming is how the unconscious mind interprets the residual neural effects of life experience whose resonant influences remain unabated by the sleep process. These interpretations of neural effects describe how the unconscious mind perceives the way it has been, is being, or will be influenced by some life experience. Our dreams convey truths by revealing what our unconscious mind truly believe it has experienced, is experiencing, or will experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Unconscious as a description of the active state of brain function suggested by dream sleep.
    It's odd that you refer you refer to dreaming as unconscious since it seems to involve conscious awareness. That is not how most would use the word, I don't think, but it seems to be consistent with the OP's use, so okay.
    I do not adhere to mainstream usages of psychological terms because many are, in my opinion, archaic. I use unconscious to describe the active state of brain function amid dream sleep. I use conscious to describe the waking state of brain function. The distinction between the two is defined by my study of brain function and the brain's connectivity to physical/material reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Moving on, you claim that we can access memories during dreaming that we aren't capable of accessing when awake. Are you basing this on any particular case studies, controlled experiments or personal experiences? I currently have no particular reason to agree or disagree with your claim, so I'd be curious to hear this.
    As verifiable evidence, my personal experiences would be insufficient. There are innumerable controlled experiments and case studies that suggest a strong association between dreaming and memory; however, my comments were not to suggest that memory defines the nature or purpose of dreams and dreaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    If you had taken the time to review my prior discussions involving the neural processes associated with the conscious and unconscious mind, you would understand my comments here.
    Feel free to link or copy/paste the posts you think are relevant. Must I read through all of your 100+ posts before asking questions?
    If you review my initial reply to your post, you will see that I have summarized my thoughts on this question as follows:

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    During the functional state of dream sleep, the area of our brain associated with priority assessments experiences a condition of low or diminished activation known as hypofrontality. This low activation is caused by deactivation, in the across-brain (metencephalon), of specific neural processes associated with the delivery of somatosensory afferents to the upper regions of our central nervous system. Effectively, our conscious brain adheres to sensorially defined and imposed priorities that do not apply to the active unconscious state of brain function because of its diminished connectivity to physical/material experience.
    Unless I’m mistaken, your subsequent reply suggests that you understood and agreed with some aspects of my perspective on the functional distinction between the dreaming and waking brain. That functional distinction is defined by our brain’s connectivity to physical/material reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    I think they're a lot less distinct than you're implying. fMRI sleep studies have found that the areas of the brain associated with vision, hearing, motor function etc. are active during REM sleep for example. The main difference is pre-frontal cortex deactivation during dreaming.
    I disagree; beyond the cessation of specific neurochemical productions essential to conscious arousal, cessation in the delivery of somatosensory afferents through the brainstem to the brain’s hierarchy is the main difference between the active states of the conscious and unconscious brain. Deactivation in the prefrontal cortex is merely a secondary effect of what occurs in the brainstem.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    lol. I found much of your post frustratingly obtuse and your way of asserting controversial ideas as fact and then saying "I hope that helps" in response to the question of a potentially naive poster to be a little arrogant. Perhaps this exposes my uninformed position and lack of insight and perhaps you will show me the error of my ways. Either way, forgive my rather brazen dismissal if you will.
    My apologies; how I express my abundant confidence in my perspective and the research I’ve evaluated may at times convey a tone of arrogance. It is not my intent to discipline but to present a perspective with evidence in hope that we might engage in a meaningful exchange of respective ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Also I object to the statement that the conscious mind is limited to experiences of real and/or immediate consequences. Is fanciful imagination not possible? Or are you just saying there's less room for it?
    The original question was about accessing childhood memory and my statement here was about what precludes the conscious mind from accessing certain memories. It is fair to say that what we remember most are experiences and influences of importance to our physical/material wellbeing. Of these experiences and influences, those that have the most immediate consequences remain uppermost in our mind. Our conscious mind is activated and maintained by neural activity in that segment of the brainstem associated with our mental connectivity to physical/material experience. Our prefrontal—arguably the mental seat of our priority assessment processes—is active because of our brain’s hierarchal connection to physical experience. The priority of physical/material experience—as set by prefrontal activation—focuses our thoughts and memories on events of recent, real, and/or immediate consequence. Amid dream sleep, our brain’s connectivity to physical/material experience is diminished by specific neural deactivations in the across-brain. As a result, prefrontal function diminishes and, consequently, the priorities that focus and limit conscious brain function lose their hold. In the absence of prefrontal mediation, the active brain amid dream sleep is not limited by the conscious concerns and priorities of the waking brain. Within the state of prefrontal deactivation amid dream sleep, the brain can produce a mind that exceed its waking limitations—including those limitations associated with childhood memories.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Clearly our working memory is terrible when we dream…
    Our ability to remember our dreams is limited because of the way our brain evolved memory. Our brain is predisposed to remember events and experiences of real physical/material consequence. Dreams do not bare the hallmarks of physical/material experience; therefore, our brain has difficulty forming memories of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    … and clearly our dreams are influenced by sensation-derived memories.
    I disagree; dreams are not necessarily derived by sensation memories. The memories we recall as dreams form during the arousal process as physical/material perception begins to reenter and engage brain function. As a result, sensations from the conscious world can intercede and become part of dream content.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Are you saying that diminished sensory input and and diminished active thinking free up other parts of the brain thus allowing for more access to memories?
    No, not exactly; what I’m suggesting is that the waking brain adheres to a well defined path mediated by our priorites; whereas, our dreaming brain has an open highway with many roads to chose. Our conscious mind functions within the box of literal physical/material reality; whereas, our unconscious mind is free of that limitation.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Our unconscious mind, as suggested by dreaming state of brain function, is not subject to the consequences of physical/material experience and, therefore, does not share the limitations of the conscious mind. The priorities of the conscious mind blocks our access to certain memories, while our unconscious does not appear to have such priorities and subsequent blocks. Therefore, recalling forgotten experiences is possible through the unconscious. I hope this helps.
    Please indicate how sure you are by holding your hands a certain level apart from each other.
    Oh, now I understand; you use sarcasm to mask your inadequate understanding of those topics and ideas that either make you uncomfortable or that conflict with some preconceived unstudied perspective you may hold.
    My apologies sir.
    Apologies accepted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Your initial comments suggested skepticism. I believe skeptics are more convinced by examples of which they have intimate knowledge and by evidence they can independently verify. With a personal dream example, the burden of whether my assessment was valid would have rested upon your intimate knowledge of yourself and your personal experiences.
    More often convinced, but very often falsely so. That is the trick of many pseudo-assessment techniques. For example if you write a good astrology profile and give it to a room of random people a high proportion of them will be surprised at how "accurate" it is. There have been experiments demonstrating this. Thus whether or not I am convinced will not and should not be the basis on whether I perceive your example of a truth as "correct" since I will only have a biased means of evaluating its accuracy to work with.

    I did manage to find an example from one of your interpretations on sleeps.com and I believe it illustrates my point:
    http://www.sleeps.com/forums/dream-i...tion/22767.htm
    Note that she is impressed how "accurate" the first two interpretations are, despite the fact that they are completely different.

    Also to the extent that the conscious mind evaluates the "truth" as "correct", it must already have some access to this knowledge to or it would not be able to make such an evaluation. If we could derive from dreams a model for arriving at truth about the self that are testable, but would not be immediately obvious by mere assessment, then this would be an interesting discovery.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Moving on, you claim that we can access memories during dreaming that we aren't capable of accessing when awake. Are you basing this on any particular case studies, controlled experiments or personal experiences? I currently have no particular reason to agree or disagree with your claim, so I'd be curious to hear this.
    As verifiable evidence, my personal experiences would be insufficient. There are innumerable controlled experiments and case studies that suggest a strong association between dreaming and memory; however, my comments were not to suggest that memory defines the nature or purpose of dreams and dreaming.
    But are there experiments and case studies that show we can access memories that we are/were unable to access when awake? "Repressed memories", childhood memories, etc? This is a difficult thing to prove, because it requires verifying that the memory is real, since memory can be highly constructive.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    I think they're a lot less distinct than you're implying. fMRI sleep studies have found that the areas of the brain associated with vision, hearing, motor function etc. are active during REM sleep for example. The main difference is pre-frontal cortex deactivation during dreaming.
    I disagree; beyond the cessation of specific neurochemical productions essential to conscious arousal, cessation in the delivery of somatosensory afferents through the brainstem to the brain’s hierarchy is the main difference between the active states of the conscious and unconscious brain. Deactivation in the prefrontal cortex is merely a secondary effect of what occurs in the brainstem.
    You referred specifically to the "areas of activation" being different, which is why I didn't mention the cessation certain neurotransmitters. This is distinct from from the areas of activation being different, as the same areas are active (except for much of the DL) but do not transmit certain chemicals (seratonin, norepinephrine...) that allow for motor behavior. Also motor behavior is produced from the prefrontal cortex which is the area that becomes deactivated, so this makes sense on its own--it would not be beneficial to be moving around while dreaming. As far as regional brain activities go it's only the prefrontal cortex that sees a significant change AFAIK.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Also I object to the statement that the conscious mind is limited to experiences of real and/or immediate consequences. Is fanciful imagination not possible? Or are you just saying there's less room for it?
    The original question was about accessing childhood memory and my statement here was about what precludes the conscious mind from accessing certain memories. It is fair to say that what we remember most are experiences and influences of importance to our physical/material wellbeing. Of these experiences and influences, those that have the most immediate consequences remain uppermost in our mind.
    That may be true as a general tendency (although certainly not as a hard rule), but your statement was far too sweeping in that case. Especially "The conscious mind is constrained by the literal nature and consequences of physical/material experience."

    Within the state of prefrontal deactivation amid dream sleep, the brain can produce a mind that exceed its waking limitations—including those limitations associated with childhood memories.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Clearly our working memory is terrible when we dream…
    Our ability to remember our dreams is limited because of the way our brain evolved memory.
    I'm not talking about our ability to remember dreams. I'm saying that when we are dreaming our working memory capacity is diminished. Working memory refers to the ability to store concepts, symbols or relationships in our mind temporarily for the purposes of manipulation, calculation or deduction. For example if I define that
    1. "All A are B"
    2. "C is D"
    3. "All D are A"
    Then to answer the question "Are all C A?" I must keep all three relational definitions in working memory. Since working memory is local to the prefrontal cortex which is deactivated during dreaming, our working memory and thus our rational ability is greatly diminished.

    I would be more inclined to say that our waking mind exceeds its dreaming limitations, but I'll allow at the mind when dreaming may "exceed" the waking mind in certain regards. Certainly dreaming itself is an impressive and intruiging capability of the mind.

    Our brain is predisposed to remember events and experiences of real physical/material consequence. Dreams do not bare the hallmarks of physical/material experience; therefore, our brain has difficulty forming memories of them.
    I dare say this appears to be wrong, although I'm not sure what you consider to be the "hallmark". We experience information about the outside world with our perceptual systems. The perceptual systems can be experienced through processing sensory information, but also through constructive imagination and dreaming. Studies show that the same brain areas are activated in both cases. Dreams are essentially a simulation of physical/material experience and our memory system, since it is often constructive, can in many cases not distinguish between memories of real "physical/material experience" and constructed memories of physical/material experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    … and clearly our dreams are influenced by sensation-derived memories.
    I disagree; dreams are not necessarily derived by sensation memories.
    I said "influenced by sensation derived memories". How could we dream of a little boy holding a fishbowl if we had never had visual sensations of little boys or fishbowls or something similar?

    The memories we recall as dreams form during the arousal process as physical/material perception begins to reenter and engage brain function. As a result, sensations from the conscious world can intercede and become part of dream content.
    The perceptual system is highly active during dreaming! I don't understand what you're saying, that our visual/auditory memories of dreams are constructed after we wake up?!

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Are you saying that diminished sensory input and and diminished active thinking free up other parts of the brain thus allowing for more access to memories?
    No, not exactly; what I’m suggesting is that the waking brain adheres to a well defined path mediated by our priorites; whereas, our dreaming brain has an open highway with many roads to chose. Our conscious mind functions within the box of literal physical/material reality; whereas, our unconscious mind is free of that limitation.
    Our waking brain does not adhere to a well defined path. If you defined the path of the waking mind you would be world famous and completely revolutionize cognitive science. If you mean that it potentially could be well defined with enough information then I don't see why this doesn't also apply to the sleeping brain.
    And again I must completely disagree with your strange statement that "Our conscious mind functions within the box of literal physical/material reality; whereas, our unconscious mind is free of that limitation." Either both are confined to the box or neither, depending on how you define the box.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    More often convinced, but very often falsely so. That is the trick of many pseudo-assessment techniques. For example if you write a good astrology profile and give it to a room of random people a high proportion of them will be surprised at how "accurate" it is. There have been experiments demonstrating this.
    True; I am aware of such examples and experiments.

    Thus whether or not I am convinced will not and should not be the basis on whether I perceive your example of a truth as "correct" since I will only have a biased means of evaluating its accuracy to work with.
    I’m not sure I understand what you’re suggesting here. Whether or not you find my example of a truth correct would always be biased by any means you independently choose to evaluate its accuracy. Your inability to accept your personals assessment of a truth suggests a lack of trust in your own judgment. My reliance on your intimate knowledge of your life experiences suggests my confidence in your judgment of whether my analysis of your dream is an accurate assessment of your experiences, which I couldn’t possibly know without intimate knowledge of your life. Remember, I asked that you choose a dream you already understood. If my analysis matched your understanding, this could be some evidence of whether my analysis techniques were accurate.

    I did manage to find an example from one of your interpretations on sleeps.com and I believe it illustrates my point:
    http://www.sleeps.com/forums/dream-i...tion/22767.htm
    Note that she is impressed how "accurate" the first two interpretations are, despite the fact that they are completely different.
    Yes, indeed she was impressed with both responses to her dream post. However, if you will note, my comments were merely a series of questions based on her dream’s content rather than an analysis or interpretation of that content. Therefore, as your comparative example of a response to my analysis of a dream, this isn’t a very good one. I’m sure that if you search that dream discussion site further, you’ll find some who were not as impressed with my comments about their dreams. The methods I employ at Dream Central isn’t as much about dream analysis as they are about inspiring visitors to think for themselves and find what they feel is relevant in their dreams.

    Also to the extent that the conscious mind evaluates the "truth" as "correct", it must already have some access to this knowledge to or it would not be able to make such an evaluation. If we could derive from dreams a model for arriving at truth about the self that are testable, but would not be immediately obvious by mere assessment, then this would be an interesting discovery.
    If I’m not mistaken, we are discussing whether the unconscious mind, via dream content, assesses truths rather than the “extent that the conscious mind evaluates the ‘truth’ as ‘correct’". Therefore, any tests we devise should be inclusive of the perception processes associated with the unconscious rather than conscious mind—the two are functionally distinct.

    If we were to construct a test model of how the unconscious mind assesses truth through dream content, we would have to demonstrate that dreams are meaningful and then establish criteria for assessing whether that meaning is truthful. There is general agreement that dreaming arises from activation in the brainstem amid sleep. The activation synthesis theory suggests that activation in the brainstem arouses the cognitive centers of the brain, which set about the process of interpreting the random neural activity arising from brainstem activation amid sleep. If dreams are how our wakeful brain amid sleep interprets the random neural activity it perceives, then its interpretations are indeed truthful because they suggests how the active unconscious brain perceives the random effects of its neural experiences amid dream sleep. This is akin to what we perceive and experience while awake; e.g., seeing a car on a street or hearing a discussion from another room would be an accurate assessments of those sensory perceptions were we to experience them in conscious reality. At the very least, dreams are accurate assessments of the random neural activity we perceive amid dream sleep.

    But are there experiments and case studies that show we can access memories that we are/were unable to access when awake? "Repressed memories", childhood memories, etc? This is a difficult thing to prove, because it requires verifying that the memory is real, since memory can be highly constructive.
    I’m sure you’re familiar with childhood traumas that emerge in adulthood as nightmares. In some cases, the dreamer was not aware of the source of those bad dreams until subsequent therapies revealed an association with childhood trauma. In one case I privately studied, the subject had recurring dreams of room intruders whenever she slept alone. Subsequently, she was able to recall being awaken with fright as a child when an intruder tried to enter her bedroom window. This occurrence was later corroborated by her other siblings. She had repressed her memory of this event until her dreams began to define her fear of sleeping alone.

    You referred specifically to the "areas of activation" being different, which is why I didn't mention the cessation certain neurotransmitters. This is distinct from from the areas of activation being different, as the same areas are active (except for much of the DL) but do not transmit certain chemicals (seratonin, norepinephrine...) that allow for motor behavior.
    My reference to "areas of activation" is indeed inclusive of the distinction in brainstem activations that establish and influence those waking functions that are distinct from how the brain functions amid dreaming sleep. Waking brain function is initiated and influenced by specific neural activity in the brainstem that does not occur during dream sleep. Brain activation amid dream sleep is inclusive of certain neural cessations in the brainstem because the brain would not experience normal dream sleep without such cessations. The brain becomes active amid the sleep process as a consequence of atonia, which results in the vestigial uptake of energy by the brain amid the sleep process. Dreaming begins at the onset of atonia, which is the state of muscular inelasticity that is suggestive of somatosensory cessation and its associated neurochemical cessations.


    Also motor behavior is produced from the prefrontal cortex which is the area that becomes deactivated, so this makes sense on its own--it would not be beneficial to be moving around while dreaming. As far as regional brain activities go it's only the prefrontal cortex that sees a significant change AFAIK.
    Incorrect; neither motor behavior nor fine motor control is “produced from the prefrontal cortex.” Actually, the premotor and primary motor cortices produce such behaviors and are frequently as functionally active amid dream sleep as they are during the waking state of brain function. Although our motor cortices are active amid dream sleep, we remain immobile as a consequence of atonia.

    That may be true as a general tendency (although certainly not as a hard rule), but your statement was far too sweeping in that case. Especially "The conscious mind is constrained by the literal nature and consequences of physical/material experience."
    Rather than “sweeping”, my statement was a concise explanation of the conscious mind’s limitations—in my opinion. I frequently express my thoughts concisely to engender interest in a more detail discussion as this exchange evinces.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Our ability to remember our dreams is limited because of the way our brain evolved memory.
    I'm not talking about our ability to remember dreams. I'm saying that when we are dreaming our working memory capacity is diminished. Working memory refers to the ability to store concepts, symbols or relationships in our mind temporarily for the purposes of manipulation, calculation or deduction. For example if I define that
    1. "All A are B"
    2. "C is D"
    3. "All D are A"
    Then to answer the question "Are all C A?" I must keep all three relational definitions in working memory. Since working memory is local to the prefrontal cortex which is deactivated during dreaming, our working memory and thus our rational ability is greatly diminished.
    I disagree; I’ve personally experienced numerous dreams where I was able to manipulate, calculate, and otherwise mentally retain data in a dream as I might in physical/material reality. In my view, all memory is working memory and the prefrontal merely mediates those perceptions worthy of extensive memory. Further still, hypofrontality is not necessarily suggestive of diminished rationality.

    In your statement regarding diminished rationality, I think you are equating the low prefrontal activation in dream sleep with a similar effect we find in cases of schizophrenia. If so, low prefrontal activation in the conscious brain results in a type of apathy that obfuscates the measure of attention essential to memory production. This perspective is supported by lobotomy study. Low prefrontal activation in dream sleep is merely evidence that the sleeping brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as consequential.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Our brain is predisposed to remember events and experiences of real physical/material consequence. Dreams do not bare the hallmarks of physical/material experience; therefore, our brain has difficulty forming memories of them.
    I dare say this appears to be wrong, although I'm not sure what you consider to be the "hallmark".
    By “hallmarks”, I mean the neurochemical markers from our sensory systems that inform our brain of real physical/material experiences. My statement is accurate because our dream experiences are not concurrent reflections of our actual behaviors amid our restful state in physical reality. For example, driving in a dream while resting in bed shows that in dreams we are not perceptive of the physical/material hallmarks or sensory sensations than inform our awareness of the real experience of being asleep in bed.

    We experience information about the outside world with our perceptual systems. The perceptual systems can be experienced through processing sensory information, but also through constructive imagination and dreaming. Studies show that the same brain areas are activated in both cases.
    I disagree; although functional studies of the dreaming brain suggests that it may be experiencing sensory information comparable to waking experience, these studies do not suggest that this sensory information is concurrently originating from the outside world through our perceptual systems. The distinction between dreams and waking experience is that dreams do not involve actual experiences of physical reality. Our dreaming brain is perceptive of this distinction as evidenced by hypofrontality.

    Dreams are essentially a simulation of physical/material experience and our memory system, since it is often constructive, can in many cases not distinguish between memories of real "physical/material experience" and constructed memories of physical/material experience.
    I disagree; rather than simulations, dreams are interpretations of the residual neural effects of life experience that remain resonant in brain structure during the sleep process. Instead of “constructed memories”, the use of physical/material references from our wakeful experience is how our waking mind characterizes or interprets the emerging memory of neural experiences amid the sleep process.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    The memories we recall as dreams form during the arousal process as physical/material perception begins to reenter and engage brain function. As a result, sensations from the conscious world can intercede and become part of dream content.

    The perceptual system is highly active during dreaming! I don't understand what you're saying, that our visual/auditory memories of dreams are constructed after we wake up?!
    Our perceptual systems are not active during dreaming; i.e., we do not generally incorporate what we could be actively seeing, hearing, or experiencing in waking reality during dreaming. Although the active areas of the brain amid dream sleep suggest perceptual experiences, those perceptions arise from within the brain rather than from the perceptual or active sensory systems (skin, eyes, mouth, ears, etc.) of the body. The memories we recall as dreams form during the arousal process as the brain reconnects with physical/material reality. This reconnection activates that area of the brain (prefrontal) associated with the attention our dream experiences require to form memories of them. Without the mediation our prefrontal provides during the arousal process, we would be without dream recall.

    Our waking brain does not adhere to a well defined path. If you defined the path of the waking mind you would be world famous and completely revolutionize cognitive science. If you mean that it potentially could be well defined with enough information then I don't see why this doesn't also apply to the sleeping brain.
    By well defined, I mean a path that is inexorably mediated by the parameters our prefrontal function sets.

    And again I must completely disagree with your strange statement that "Our conscious mind functions within the box of literal physical/material reality; whereas, our unconscious mind is free of that limitation." Either both are confined to the box or neither, depending on how you define the box.
    Our conscious mind is boxed by our prefrontal parameters; whereas, our unconscious experiences no such parameters and is, therefore, free of the conscious mind’s limitations.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    All this from a post about a George Orwell novel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Thus whether or not I am convinced will not and should not be the basis on whether I perceive your example of a truth as "correct" since I will only have a biased means of evaluating its accuracy to work with.
    I’m not sure I understand what you’re suggesting here. Whether or not you find my example of a truth correct would always be biased by any means you independently choose to evaluate its accuracy. Your inability to accept your personals assessment of a truth suggests a lack of trust in your own judgment.
    My point is that I was asking for an example of what sort of truth dreams could reveal, not to be convinced. Your basis for wanting the example to come from one of my dreams was that I would find it more convincing and that is an irrelevant criteria in my opinion.

    Remember, I asked that you choose a dream you already understood. If my analysis matched your understanding, this could be some evidence of whether my analysis techniques were accurate.
    True, but this misses an important component of the idea that dreams reveal truths. If I understand the dream, but it wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know, then it is not revealing a truth, merely rehashing it. So I would have to tell you a dream that I understand and that revealed a truth to me which I did not know before for this to work. I can't say I know of any such dreams.

    So again, I'd prefer an example from you. Remember that whether or not I find it convincing is irrelevant--I must know what you're talking about to properly assess your evidence/reasoning for it.
    If alternatively dreams simply reveal the beliefs/preferences/interpretations of the "unconscious mind", which I have no basis to call incorrect or correct, because I cannot unquestionably know this information, then how is it that I would measure your analysis as accurate or inaccurate? And how would this information benefit me?

    Yes, indeed she was impressed with both responses to her dream post. However, if you will note, my comments were merely a series of questions based on her dream’s content rather than an analysis or interpretation of that content. Therefore, as your comparative example of a response to my analysis of a dream, this isn’t a very good one.
    It shows that people are often easily impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be.

    If we were to construct a test model of how the unconscious mind assesses truth through dream content, we would have to demonstrate that dreams are meaningful and then establish criteria for assessing whether that meaning is truthful. There is general agreement that dreaming arises from activation in the brainstem amid sleep. The activation synthesis theory suggests that activation in the brainstem arouses the cognitive centers of the brain, which set about the process of interpreting the random neural activity arising from brainstem activation amid sleep. If dreams are how our wakeful brain amid sleep interprets the random neural activity it perceives, then its interpretations are indeed truthful because they suggests how the active unconscious brain perceives the random effects of its neural experiences amid dream sleep. This is akin to what we perceive and experience while awake; e.g., seeing a car on a street or hearing a discussion from another room would be an accurate assessments of those sensory perceptions were we to experience them in conscious reality. At the very least, dreams are accurate assessments of the random neural activity we perceive amid dream sleep.
    I see little reason for a lot of these assumptions. And what would be the point of "assessing random neural activity"? If the neural activity is random and dreams are accurate assessments of that neural activity then they should be completely incoherrant.

    But are there experiments and case studies that show we can access memories that we are/were unable to access when awake? "Repressed memories", childhood memories, etc? This is a difficult thing to prove, because it requires verifying that the memory is real, since memory can be highly constructive.
    I’m sure you’re familiar with childhood traumas that emerge in adulthood as nightmares. In some cases, the dreamer was not aware of the source of those bad dreams until subsequent therapies revealed an association with childhood trauma. In one case I privately studied, the subject had recurring dreams of room intruders whenever she slept alone. Subsequently, she was able to recall being awaken with fright as a child when an intruder tried to enter her bedroom window. This occurrence was later corroborated by her other siblings. She had repressed her memory of this event until her dreams began to define her fear of sleeping alone.
    Great I'm glad you have found this kind of evidence of your claim. Unfortunately I can't be swayed by it personally unless I see some documented cases (if you know of any please point me in the right direction if you would), but I'm glad you're basing your position on one empirical observation at least.

    Incorrect; neither motor behavior nor fine motor control is “produced from the prefrontal cortex.” Actually, the premotor and primary motor cortices produce such behaviors and are frequently as functionally active amid dream sleep as they are during the waking state of brain function. Although our motor cortices are active amid dream sleep, we remain immobile as a consequence of atonia.
    Yeah my mistake, I meant that the motor cortices are the primary output of the prefrontal cortex.

    I disagree; I’ve personally experienced numerous dreams where I was able to manipulate, calculate, and otherwise mentally retain data in a dream as I might in physical/material reality. In my view, all memory is working memory and the prefrontal merely mediates those perceptions worthy of extensive memory. Further still, hypofrontality is not necessarily suggestive of diminished rationality.
    This would make you a unique dreamer, I believe. Still I should correct myself in that working memory can't be localized to a specific area. It's just that the prefrontal cortex seems to be an important area for it, and PFC deactivation to diminish its capacity.

    All memory is not "working memory" as I defined it (which is standard).

    By “hallmarks”, I mean the neurochemical markers from our sensory systems that inform our brain of real physical/material experiences. My statement is accurate because our dream experiences are not concurrent reflections of our actual behaviors amid our restful state in physical reality. For example, driving in a dream while resting in bed shows that in dreams we are not perceptive of the physical/material hallmarks or sensory sensations than inform our awareness of the real experience of being asleep in bed.
    You are right that dream perception is not derived from sensory input occurring at that time (for the most part.. we aren't completely cut off from sensory information). It is still derived from past sensory input though. Furthermore, conscious experience/perception can also be derived from past sensory input. So by this definition of your terms, you are right that the dream-state is not limited in this regard, but wrong that the waking-state is limited in this regard.

    We experience information about the outside world with our perceptual systems. The perceptual systems can be experienced through processing sensory information, but also through constructive imagination and dreaming. Studies show that the same brain areas are activated in both cases.
    I disagree; although functional studies of the dreaming brain suggests that it may be experiencing sensory information comparable to waking experience, these studies do not suggest that this sensory information is concurrently originating from the outside world through our perceptual systems.
    You misunderstand. We experience information about the outside world through our perceptual systems, but I did not mean to imply that this means that everything we experience through our perceptual system originates from the outside world. My examples of imagination and dreaming were intended to convey this.

    Our perceptual systems are not active during dreaming;
    The visual cortex is not active during dreaming?

    i.e., we do not generally incorporate what we could be actively seeing, hearing, or experiencing in waking reality during dreaming. Although the active areas of the brain amid dream sleep suggest perceptual experiences, those perceptions arise from within the brain rather than from the perceptual or active sensory systems (skin, eyes, mouth, ears, etc.) of the body.
    The distinction between sensory and perceptual is key here. We perceive when dreaming, but for the most part do not sense.


    By well defined, I mean a path that is inexorably mediated by the parameters our prefrontal function sets.
    I disagree. Either both brain states are "well defined" in that they are mediated by the parameters of our cognitive processes or neither are in that no one would actually be able to define either given our current state of knowledge.

    Our conscious mind is boxed by our prefrontal parameters; whereas, our unconscious experiences no such parameters and is, therefore, free of the conscious mind’s limitations.
    Similarly the dreaming state could be argued to be more limited.
    -Less of the brain is functioning
    -Short term memory, semantic memory and working memory are diminished
    -Time perception and self reflection ability are diminished
    -We can only perceive constructively or reflectively whereas during our waking-state we can do all this in addition to perceiving current sensory information

    You could argue it either way. Both states are "limited" in different regards. The states are simply different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    My point is that I was asking for an example of what sort of truth dreams could reveal, not to be convinced. Your basis for wanting the example to come from one of my dreams was that I would find it more convincing and that is an irrelevant criteria in my opinion.
    Your initial question and the incredulous tone of your subsequent responses to my initial post did not suggest to me that “an example of what sort of truth dreams could reveal” is what you were asking. However, if an example is all you were requesting, you have already received it through these comments:

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I’m sure you’re familiar with childhood traumas that emerge in adulthood as nightmares. In some cases, the dreamer was not aware of the source of those bad dreams until subsequent therapies revealed an association with childhood trauma. In one case I privately studied, the subject had recurring dreams of room intruders whenever she slept alone. Subsequently, she was able to recall being awaken with fright as a child when an intruder tried to enter her bedroom window. This occurrence was later corroborated by her other siblings. She had repressed her memory of this event until her dreams began to define her fear of sleeping alone.
    As an “example” of the sort of truths dreams reveal, it suggests how dreams can define the true basis of some emotional or psychological conditions.

    True, but this misses an important component of the idea that dreams reveal truths. If I understand the dream, but it wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know, then it is not revealing a truth, merely rehashing it. So I would have to tell you a dream that I understand and that revealed a truth to me which I did not know before for this to work. I can't say I know of any such dreams… If alternatively dreams simply reveal the beliefs/preferences/interpretations of the "unconscious mind", which I have no basis to call incorrect or correct, because I cannot unquestionably know this information, then how is it that I would measure your analysis as accurate or inaccurate? And how would this information benefit me?
    Now I understand; you inferred from my initial comments that I was suggesting dreams provide revelatory truths we couldn’t possibly know prior to such dream experiences. If so, then let me be clear; dreams cannot and do not provide insight regarding what we do not already know or have not had access to knowing. The truths we perceive unconsciously, opposite of those we may consciously perceive, define my perspective regarding the revelatory nature of dreams. As experiences of the unconscious mind, dreams provide insights relative to our unconscious knowledge and perception of influence. In the case of the intruder dream example I’ve provided, one benefit of such focused insight is the possibility of improved mental health therapies through a clearer understanding of the psychological basis for aberrant behaviors.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Yes, indeed she was impressed with both responses to her dream post. However, if you will note, my comments were merely a series of questions based on her dream’s content rather than an analysis or interpretation of that content. Therefore, as your comparative example of a response to my analysis of a dream, this isn’t a very good one.

    It shows that people are often easily impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be.
    Perhaps my expectation of objectivity was a risk given your clearly decided position in such matters. Although I do not consider myself to be an authority on the "kind of thing" that shouldn't impress people, mental health phsycians and therapist have nearly a 100 year tradition involving “this kind of thing” and humanity has a respected history of “this kind of thing” enveloping some five thousand years of recorded history. People have been impressed by "this kind of thing" long before you or I were glimmers in our parents' eyes. One may suggest that such tradition and history is akin to astrology; however, I would argue that astrology and the like doesn't have the history of psychological and brain study to support its connection to the human condition.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote:

    If we were to construct a test model of how the unconscious mind assesses truth through dream content, we would have to demonstrate that dreams are meaningful and then establish criteria for assessing whether that meaning is truthful. There is general agreement that dreaming arises from activation in the brainstem amid sleep. The activation synthesis theory suggests that activation in the brainstem arouses the cognitive centers of the brain, which set about the process of interpreting the random neural activity arising from brainstem activation amid sleep. If dreams are how our wakeful brain amid sleep interprets the random neural activity it perceives, then its interpretations are indeed truthful because they suggests how the active unconscious brain perceives the random effects of its neural experiences amid dream sleep. This is akin to what we perceive and experience while awake; e.g., seeing a car on a street or hearing a discussion from another room would be an accurate assessments of those sensory perceptions were we to experience them in conscious reality. At the very least, dreams are accurate assessments of the random neural activity we perceive amid dream sleep.

    I see little reason for a lot of these assumptions.
    Review my comments; I made no assumptions. Your perspective here appears to be biased by an unfamiliarity with the associated neurological studies. As a primer, you may want to review this article: Hobson, J.A. and McCarley, R.W. The brain as a dream state generator: an activation-synthesis hypothesis of the dream process. Am J Psychiatry 1977; 134:1335-1348

    And what would be the point of "assessing random neural activity"? If the neural activity is random and dreams are accurate assessments of that neural activity then they should be completely incoherrant.
    I think unconsidered contra statements for the sake of supporting one’s position is counterproductive to our discussion. Random activities or occurrences may suggest incongruity but not incoherency. In the intruder dream example, there was enough coherency and congruity to assess a psychological basis for the dream. Whether coherent or not, dreams are an accurate assessment of what we consciously believe we mentally experienced during the sleep process.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I’m sure you’re familiar with childhood traumas that emerge in adulthood as nightmares. In some cases, the dreamer was not aware of the source of those bad dreams until subsequent therapies revealed an association with childhood trauma. In one case I privately studied, the subject had recurring dreams of room intruders whenever she slept alone. Subsequently, she was able to recall being awaken with fright as a child when an intruder tried to enter her bedroom window. This occurrence was later corroborated by her other siblings. She had repressed her memory of this event until her dreams began to define her fear of sleeping alone.
    Great I'm glad you have found this kind of evidence of your claim. Unfortunately I can't be swayed by it personally unless I see some documented cases (if you know of any please point me in the right direction if you would), but I'm glad you're basing your position on one empirical observation at least.
    My perception is that you can’t be swayed by any evidence or argument in this area because you have already decided your position. I hardly believe that a grad student interested in cognitive psychology doesn’t have access to such case studies. May I suggest a Google Scholar search addressing nightmares?
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Incorrect; neither motor behavior nor fine motor control is “produced from the prefrontal cortex.” Actually, the premotor and primary motor cortices produce such behaviors and are frequently as functionally active amid dream sleep as they are during the waking state of brain function. Although our motor cortices are active amid dream sleep, we remain immobile as a consequence of atonia.
    Yeah my mistake, I meant that the motor cortices are the primary output of the prefrontal cortex.
    Somewhat correct; although the dorsolateral prefrontal has output connections to the premotor cortex, the prefrontal’s primary connections are with the parietal and temporal lobe with additional connections to the somatosensory, gustatory, and pyriform cortices.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    I disagree; I’ve personally experienced numerous dreams where I was able to manipulate, calculate, and otherwise mentally retain data in a dream as I might in physical/material reality. In my view, all memory is working memory and the prefrontal merely mediates those perceptions worthy of extensive memory. Further still, hypofrontality is not necessarily suggestive of diminished rationality.

    This would make you a unique dreamer, I believe.
    There’s nothing unique in my dream abilities. Anyone who has had a thought within a dream—such as what might occur during a lucid dream—has the very same ability. Although you may encounter anecdotal descriptions such as mine, may I suggest a web search regarding lucid dreaming?

    Still I should correct myself in that working memory can't be localized to a specific area. It's just that the prefrontal cortex seems to be an important area for it, and PFC deactivation to diminish its capacity.
    I agree; prefrontal deactivation does diminish our ability to convert short-term memories to long-term but does not totally preclude that ability.

    All memory is not "working memory" as I defined it (which is standard).
    As I somewhat alluded to at the outset of our discussion, I do not adhere to mainstream or standard views or assessments. My views are based on my private study of the brain and its evolution. I consider most mainstream and standard notions about the brain and its various activities archaic and diametric to how the brain likely evolved.

    You are right that dream perception is not derived from sensory input occurring at that time (for the most part.. we aren't completely cut off from sensory information). It is still derived from past sensory input though. Furthermore, conscious experience/perception can also be derived from past sensory input. So by this definition of your terms, you are right that the dream-state is not limited in this regard, but wrong that the waking-state is limited in this regard.
    I disagree; the waking-state is indeed limited by the priorities waking experiences impose on the cognitive considerations of the waking mind. In the state of normal brain function, the waking mind can imagine flying without wings but would dare not decide to step off a skyscraper and attempt to fly. In this example, the decision of the conscious mind is limited by the physical/material consequences of its conscious directives. Whereas thoughts of flight during dreams and the faux but exhilarating sensorial experiences of doing so with little fear, illustrates how the unconscious mind is not limited by the physical/material consequences or parameters of the conscious mind. Oblivious to the considerations, parameters and consequences of physical/material reality, we engage behaviors within the context of a dream that we would not otherwise consciously engage.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I disagree; although functional studies of the dreaming brain suggests that it may be experiencing sensory information comparable to waking experience, these studies do not suggest that this sensory information is concurrently originating from the outside world through our perceptual systems.
    You misunderstand. We experience information about the outside world through our perceptual systems, but I did not mean to imply that this means that everything we experience through our perceptual system originates from the outside world. My examples of imagination and dreaming were intended to convey this.
    If I now understand correctly, you are equating the freedom of conscious imagination with the perceptual memories that arise from the unconscious experiences of the mind amid sleep. If so, dreams are not mental creations as is the whimsy we might create through conscious imagination; dreams are how our conscious mind, during the arousal process, translates or interprets the emerging memory of unconscious experience caused by spontaneous neural activations in the brainstem amid sleep. All the functional evidence suggests dreaming to be a type of consciousness or wakefulness in the brain amid the sleep process. When the brain arouses in this way, the evidence suggests that it does what it was evolved to do—that is to perceive, process, and respond to sensory information. The evidence (particular decerebrate study) suggests that such sensory data emerges from the brainstem rather than our bodily systems. Our brain's assessments of brainstem activations in sleep is not the same as its creation of mental imagery during our waking state.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Our perceptual systems are not active during dreaming;
    The visual cortex is not active during dreaming?
    The visual cortex is a perceptual processing center. The perceptual system through which we receive visual perceptions comprises the eyes, the optic nerve, and the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    By well defined, I mean a path that is inexorably mediated by the parameters our prefrontal function sets.
    I disagree. Either both brain states are "well defined" in that they are mediated by the parameters of our cognitive processes or neither are in that no one would actually be able to define either given our current state of knowledge.
    I think we both agree that there is sufficient evidence that the conscious and unconscious mind is a product of functionally distinct brain activations. We also agree that conscious brain function has a greater connectivity to physical/material sensory influences. My position is that this greater connectivity imposes limitations that do not apply to the unconscious mind because of its lesser connectivity to real physical/material experience. As evidence of this diminished connectivity, I’ve cited deactivations in the across-brain and hypofrontality. As an effect of these deactivations, I’ve cited the diminished contribution of prefrontal function to the cognitive processes of the unconscious brain amid dream sleep. In discussing the diminished contributions of the prefrontal, I’ve described the parameters its function places on conscious behaviors as a result of its mediation relative to the consequences of physical/material experience. I doubt whether anyone could more lucidly describe how prefrontal function keeps our conscious mind within well define parameters that do not apply to our unconscious mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Our conscious mind is boxed by our prefrontal parameters; whereas, our unconscious experiences no such parameters and is, therefore, free of the conscious mind’s limitations.

    Similarly the dreaming state could be argued to be more limited.
    -Less of the brain is functioning
    Incorrect; some studies have shown areas of the brain amid dream sleep to be at times more active than the conscious brain. Only the prefrontal seems to be not as active, which is only suggestive of its diminished mediation over the primary focus of the brain.

    -Short term memory, semantic memory and working memory are diminished
    There is no evidence of diminished memory within the dream state other than the effort required to convert the experience to long-term memory upon arousal from sleep.

    -Time perception and self reflection ability are diminished
    Time perception is a priority and limitation of the conscious mind. Contrary to your position, lack of time perception suggests the lack of its accompanying limitation. As for diminished self-reflection, I not sure I understand your meaning.

    -We can only perceive constructively or reflectively whereas during our waking-state we can do all this in addition to perceiving current sensory information
    I disagree; sensory deprivation--as in not perceiving current sensory information--in dream sleep is as liberating as it is in waking-state reality. How else are we able to run or perform nearly superhuman fetes in dreams without leaping from bed? We can do these things because our brain, amid dream sleep, is perceptive of its disconnect from sensory reality. Therefore, the experience is liberating rather than limiting as you have suggested.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Now I understand; you inferred from my initial comments that I was suggesting dreams provide revelatory truths we couldn’t possibly know prior to such dream experiences. If so, then let me be clear; dreams cannot and do not provide insight regarding what we do not already know or have not had access to knowing.
    Okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    It shows that people are often easily impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be.
    Perhaps my expectation of objectivity was a risk given your clearly decided position in such matters. Although I do not consider myself to be an authority on the "kind of thing" that shouldn't impress people, mental health phsycians and therapist have nearly a 100 year tradition involving “this kind of thing” and humanity has a respected history of “this kind of thing” enveloping some five thousand years of recorded history. People have been impressed by "this kind of thing" long before you or I were glimmers in our parents' eyes. One may suggest that such tradition and history is akin to astrology; however, I would argue that astrology and the like doesn't have the history of psychological and brain study to support its connection to the human condition.
    I said people are often impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be, not that they always shouldn't be impressed by it. In this particular case, I imply that she shouldn't be due to the distinctiveness of the two different interpretations she is impressed by. And you can say you were merely asking questions, but they are certainly suggestive questions. It would seem she (as did I) took your response as at least a possible interpretation. Whether or not this particular case is really an example of what I was talking about is unimportant though, since I believe we both agree that this is something that can happen quite easily.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    If dreams are how our wakeful brain amid sleep interprets the random neural activity it perceives, then its interpretations are indeed truthful because they suggests how the active unconscious brain perceives the random effects of its neural experiences amid dream sleep. This is akin to what we perceive and experience while awake; e.g., seeing a car on a street or hearing a discussion from another room would be an accurate assessments of those sensory perceptions were we to experience them in conscious reality. At the very least, dreams are accurate assessments of the random neural activity we perceive amid dream sleep.

    I see little reason for a lot of these assumptions.
    Review my comments; I made no assumptions. Your perspective here appears to be biased by an unfamiliarity with the associated neurological studies. As a primer, you may want to review this article: Hobson, J.A. and McCarley, R.W. The brain as a dream state generator: an activation-synthesis hypothesis of the dream process. Am J Psychiatry 1977; 134:1335-1348
    "If dreams are how our wakeful brain amid sleep interprets the random neural activity it perceives"
    I call this an 'assumption', because it supposedly leads to the conclusions that follow it. Seemingly contradictory phrases like "our wakeful brain amid sleep", vague use of terms like "interprets", seemingly presumptious qualifiers such as "random" in relation to "neural activity" and the perhaps presumptious or oversimplistic description that the brain "perceives" neural activity (considering perception itself occurs through neural activity) are the problems I have with statements like this.

    And what would be the point of "assessing random neural activity"? If the neural activity is random and dreams are accurate assessments of that neural activity then they should be completely incoherrant.
    I think unconsidered contra statements for the sake of supporting one’s position is counterproductive to our discussion.
    Please tell me in what way my statement was "unconsidered". Also what is it that you think my position is? I am questioning why you describe the neural activity that occurs during dreams as "random" when it clearly is not and also suggesting that if it were random then such randomness would have no interpretability, nor would such interpretation have any value whatsoever.

    Whether coherent or not, dreams are an accurate assessment of what we consciously believe we mentally experienced during the sleep process.
    Yes or more specifically dream recall is, but this is trivially obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Great I'm glad you have found this kind of evidence of your claim. Unfortunately I can't be swayed by it personally unless I see some documented cases (if you know of any please point me in the right direction if you would), but I'm glad you're basing your position on one empirical observation at least.
    My perception is that you can’t be swayed by any evidence or argument in this area because you have already decided your position. I hardly believe that a grad student interested in cognitive psychology doesn’t have access to such case studies. May I suggest a Google Scholar search addressing nightmares?
    I have already corrected myself on two occasions after fact checking my own claims against yours. What makes you think I "can't be swayed by any evidence or argument in this area"? If I changed my beliefs based on every anecdote I heard I would be a believer in astrology, christianity, islam, wicca, tarot readings, etc. If I'm so close-minded why even bother to have this discussion with me? If you say it's for the benefit of others who may be reading, then linking to such case studies or experiments would certainly be beneficial to these individuals.

    I have not been able to find anything specifically on repressed memories recovered through dreams that are then verified as being accurate so far. I do not claim such documented studies are nonexistent, merely that I'm unaware of them.

    Somewhat correct; although the dorsolateral prefrontal has output connections to the premotor cortex, the prefrontal’s primary connections are with the parietal and temporal lobe with additional connections to the somatosensory, gustatory, and pyriform cortices.
    from what I've read the DL PFC's primary output is the motor cortices. my source could have been incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    There’s nothing unique in my dream abilities. Anyone who has had a thought within a dream—such as what might occur during a lucid dream—has the very same ability. Although you may encounter anecdotal descriptions such as mine, may I suggest a web search regarding lucid dreaming?
    Lucid dreaming is not typical dreaming. I think I already mentioned that lucid dreaming might be a different case and might cause more PFC activation than usual.

    Still I should correct myself in that working memory can't be localized to a specific area. It's just that the prefrontal cortex seems to be an important area for it, and PFC deactivation to diminish its capacity.
    I agree; prefrontal deactivation does diminish our ability to convert short-term memories to long-term but does not totally preclude that ability.
    Like I already said "working memory" does not mean short-to-long-term memory storage.


    As I somewhat alluded to at the outset of our discussion, I do not adhere to mainstream or standard views or assessments. My views are based on my private study of the brain and its evolution. I consider most mainstream and standard notions about the brain and its various activities archaic and diametric to how the brain likely evolved.
    Still it would be foolish to disregard how I am using a particular term.

    I disagree; the waking-state is indeed limited by the priorities waking experiences impose on the cognitive considerations of the waking mind. In the state of normal brain function, the waking mind can imagine flying without wings but would dare not decide to step off a skyscraper and attempt to fly. In this example, the decision of the conscious mind is limited by the physical/material consequences of its conscious directives.
    Strange to say that the mind is limited, because we decide not to take detrimental actions.


    If I now understand correctly, you are equating the freedom of conscious imagination with the perceptual memories that arise from the unconscious experiences of the mind amid sleep. If so, dreams are not mental creations as is the whimsy we might create through conscious imagination; dreams are how our conscious mind, during the arousal process, translates or interprets the emerging memory of unconscious experience caused by spontaneous neural activations in the brainstem amid sleep.
    All the functional evidence suggests dreaming to be a type of consciousness or wakefulness in the brain amid the sleep process. When the brain arouses in this way, the evidence suggests that it does what it was evolved to do—that is to perceive, process, and respond to sensory information. The evidence (particular decerebrate study) suggests that such sensory data emerges from the brainstem rather than our bodily systems. Our brain's assessments of brainstem activations in sleep is not the same as its creation of mental imagery during our waking state.
    True, dreams and waking imagination are distinct in some ways, but this does not dispute that the brain during its awake state is not limited to current sensory information.


    The visual cortex is a perceptual processing center. The perceptual system through which we receive visual perceptions comprises the eyes, the optic nerve, and the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus.
    These are considered sensory systems. I already defined my differential use of the terms sensory and perceptual, which I believe are standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Similarly the dreaming state could be argued to be more limited.
    -Less of the brain is functioning
    Incorrect; some studies have shown areas of the brain amid dream sleep to be at times more active than the conscious brain. Only the prefrontal seems to be not as active, which is only suggestive of its diminished mediation over the primary focus of the brain.
    Fewer areas of the brain are activated (to specify my prior statement).

    -Short term memory, semantic memory and working memory are diminished
    There is no evidence of diminished memory within the dream state other than the effort required to convert the experience to long-term memory upon arousal from sleep.
    There are phenomenological studies indicating such.

    -Time perception and self reflection ability are diminished
    Time perception is a priority and limitation of the conscious mind. Contrary to your position, lack of time perception suggests the lack of its accompanying limitation. As for diminished self-reflection, I not sure I understand your meaning.
    That's one way to interpret it, I guess.

    -We can only perceive constructively or reflectively whereas during our waking-state we can do all this in addition to perceiving current sensory information
    I disagree; sensory deprivation--as in not perceiving current sensory information--in dream sleep is as liberating as it is in waking-state reality. How else are we able to run or perform nearly superhuman fetes in dreams without leaping from bed? We can do these things because our brain, amid dream sleep, is perceptive of its disconnect from sensory reality. Therefore, the experience is liberating rather than limiting as you have suggested.
    Your position seems to be that not being able to experience delusional perceptions is a limitation and can only be a limitation. Some, such as schizophrenics seeking treatment, might argue that the inability to distinguish rational and irrational (or sensory and hallucinatory) perceptions is also a limitation.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Perhaps my expectation of objectivity was a risk given your clearly decided position in such matters. Although I do not consider myself to be an authority on the "kind of thing" that shouldn't impress people, mental health physicians’ and therapist have nearly a 100 year tradition involving “this kind of thing” and humanity has a respected history of “this kind of thing” enveloping some five thousand years of recorded history. People have been impressed by "this kind of thing" long before you or I were glimmers in our parents' eyes. One may suggest that such tradition and history is akin to astrology; however, I would argue that astrology and the like doesn't have the history of psychological and brain study to support its connection to the human condition.
    I said people are often impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be, not that they always shouldn't be impressed by it.
    No matter the spin or subsequent qualifiers, your former statement was clearly as definitive as the latter. In either case, you are authoritatively stating what people shouldn’t be impressed by, which is suggestive of a prior bias.

    In this particular case, I imply that she shouldn't be due to the distinctiveness of the two different interpretations she is impressed by.
    How is it that you know enough about dreams and the intimate details of this person's life that she should not be impressed by the comments she received? Are you suggesting that you are such an authority in dream study that the distinctiveness between the two perspectives invalidates both? Are you also suggesting that your intimate knowledge of the dreamer’s life invalidates and supplants her impressions? How is that you know neither dream perspective applies to the dreamer’s life, which her subsequent comments appear to suggest they do?

    And you can say you were merely asking questions, but they are certainly suggestive questions. It would seem she (as did I) took your response as at least a possible interpretation. Whether or not this particular case is really an example of what I was talking about is unimportant though, since I believe we both agree that this is something that can happen quite easily.
    In this particular instance and on this particular topic, we do not agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Review my comments; I made no assumptions. Your perspective here appears to be biased by an unfamiliarity with the associated neurological studies. As a primer, you may want to review this article: Hobson, J.A. and McCarley, R.W. The brain as a dream state generator: an activation-synthesis hypothesis of the dream process. Am J Psychiatry 1977; 134:1335-1348
    "If dreams are how our wakeful brain amid sleep interprets the random neural activity it perceives"
    I call this an 'assumption', because it supposedly leads to the conclusions that follow it. Seemingly contradictory phrases like "our wakeful brain amid sleep", vague use of terms like "interprets", seemingly presumptious qualifiers such as "random" in relation to "neural activity" and the perhaps presumptious or oversimplistic description that the brain "perceives" neural activity (considering perception itself occurs through neural activity) are the problems I have with statements like this.
    If I understand correctly, you have a problem with phrases you consider contradictory, with terms you perceive as vague, and with what you consider presumptuous or over simplistic qualifiers and description. When you encounter such problems in discussion, you label them as assumptions rather detailing such problems for further discussion until prodded to do so. Well, let’s run-down your list of problems:

    1) “contradictory phrases like ‘our wakeful brain amid sleep’”

    In earlier comments, I wrote: “All the functional evidence suggests dreaming to be a type of consciousness or wakefulness in the brain amid the sleep process.”

    In response to my comments about the functional distinctions between the waking and dreaming brain, you wrote: “fMRI sleep studies have found that the areas of the brain associated with vision, hearing, motor function etc. are active during REM sleep for example. The main difference is pre-frontal cortex deactivation during dreaming.” Also, in subsequent comments, you wrote: “As far as regional brain activities go it's only the prefrontal cortex that sees a significant change AFAIK.”

    My statement regarded the equivalence of brain function in dream sleep to wakefulness, your statements suggested the only functional distinction between to the two brain states is hypofrontality—where is the contradiction?

    2) “vague use of terms like ‘interprets’”

    In my most recent comments I wrote: “dreams are not mental creations as is the whimsy we might create through conscious imagination; dreams are how our conscious mind, during the arousal process, translates or interprets the emerging memory of unconscious experience caused by spontaneous neural activations in the brainstem amid sleep.”

    My use of interprets is synonymous with the process of translating one language into another. Essentially, I have said that dreams are neural activations translated as perceptual experiences—how is this vague?

    3) A. “seemingly presumptious qualifiers such as ‘random’ in relation to ‘neural activity’”
    3) B. “and the perhaps presumptious or oversimplistic description that the brain ‘perceives’ neural activity (considering perception itself occurs through neural activity)”

    In response to A, I have written: "Your perspective here appears to be biased by an unfamiliarity with the associated neurological studies. As a primer, you may want to review this article: Hobson, J.A. and McCarley, R.W. The brain as a dream state generator: an activation-synthesis hypothesis of the dream process. Am J Psychiatry 1977; 134:1335-1348"

    In subsequent comments I referred to the neural activity in dream sleep as spontaneous activations. However, if “random” relative to “neural activity” is presumptuousness, it is based on statements in research you may not have considered.

    In my response to B, you have written: “We experience information about the outside world through our perceptual systems, but I did not mean to imply that this means that everything we experience through our perceptual system originates from the outside world. My examples of imagination and dreaming were intended to convey this.”

    You also wrote: “You are right that dream perception is not derived from sensory input occurring at that time (for the most part.. we aren't completely cut off from sensory information).”

    Your statements here suggest your agreement with my use of “perceive” relative to dreams and perceptions that do not originate from the “outside world.” If the brain can experience "perceptions" within its neural structure, how would you define them or describe the process?

    And what would be the point of "assessing random neural activity"? If the neural activity is random and dreams are accurate assessments of that neural activity then they should be completely incoherrant.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I think unconsidered contra statements for the sake of supporting one’s position is counterproductive to our discussion.
    Please tell me in what way my statement was "unconsidered".
    Your statement that random equates incoherency is unconsidered. Incoherency suggests a lack in connectivity between the random neural activity of the dreaming brain and what that activity suggests about the life experiences of the dreamer. Although the imagery in dreams may be incongruent with reality, its connectivity to the dreamer’s experience has been established in studies of sleep disorders. I do not equate "random" with "incoherrant".

    Also what is it that you think my position is?
    Your authoritative statement, “people are often easily impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be”, suggests your decided position on the validity of meaningful assessments of dream content and its associated science.

    I am questioning why you describe the neural activity that occurs during dreams as "random" when it clearly is not and also suggesting that if it were random then such randomness would have no interpretability, nor would such interpretation have any value whatsoever.
    As I commented herein, my position is that “random” does not amount to “incoherrant.” Although the overall pattern of brain activation (NREM to REM) throughout normal sleep has been established, the individual patterns of cortical and subcortical activations appear to be random. This random activation is no more distinct or lacking in interpretability than the sort of activations we may find in our waking-state brain as we encounter the varied, unpredictable, and spontaneous experiences of life.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    My perception is that you can’t be swayed by any evidence or argument in this area because you have already decided your position. I hardly believe that a grad student interested in cognitive psychology doesn’t have access to such case studies. May I suggest a Google Scholar search addressing nightmares?
    I have already corrected myself on two occasions after fact checking my own claims against yours. What makes you think I "can't be swayed by any evidence or argument in this area"? If I changed my beliefs based on every anecdote I heard I would be a believer in astrology, christianity, islam, wicca, tarot readings, etc. If I'm so close-minded why even bother to have this discussion with me?
    I, and I suspect you as well, enjoy substantive discussions with intelligent individuals who may not always agreed with my or your position. What I gain from engaging these discussions is a deeper understanding of my own perspective with the prospect of new insights from varied and opposing viewpoints.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    There’s nothing unique in my dream abilities. Anyone who has had a thought within a dream—such as what might occur during a lucid dream—has the very same ability. Although you may encounter anecdotal descriptions such as mine, may I suggest a web search regarding lucid dreaming?
    Lucid dreaming is not typical dreaming. I think I already mentioned that lucid dreaming might be a different case and might cause more PFC activation than usual.
    Although not typical, lucid dreaming appears to involve cognitive abilities more comparable to our waking-state than normal dream sleep. Although I agree prefrontal activation may spike during lucid dreaming, to-date I have not encountered a single study in confirmation.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I agree; prefrontal deactivation does diminish our ability to convert short-term memories to long-term but does not totally preclude that ability.
    Like I already said "working memory" does not mean short-to-long-term memory storage.
    Although I understand the “standard” distinction between the two, as I have said, I do not adhere to standard distinctions. Nevertheless, what we are able to remember from our experience, dream or otherwise, is not totally precluded by prefrontal deactivation.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    As I somewhat alluded to at the outset of our discussion, I do not adhere to mainstream or standard views or assessments. My views are based on my private study of the brain and its evolution. I consider most mainstream and standard notions about the brain and its various activities archaic and diametric to how the brain likely evolved.
    Still it would be foolish to disregard how I am using a particular term.
    What I disregard are the foolish and archaic descriptions found in theories of brain function that seem to have no basis in the merest understanding of how the brain likely evolved. Where is working memory, short-term, and long-term memory in the brain and how did it evolve their theorized functions and processes from a primal state?
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    I disagree; the waking-state is indeed limited by the priorities waking experiences impose on the cognitive considerations of the waking mind. In the state of normal brain function, the waking mind can imagine flying without wings but would dare not decide to step off a skyscraper and attempt to fly. In this example, the decision of the conscious mind is limited by the physical/material consequences of its conscious directives.
    Strange to say that the mind is limited, because we decide not to take detrimental actions.
    The prospect of detrimental consequences limits all the actions and output of the waking-state mind because of the active prefrontal’s contribution to those actions and output.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    If I now understand correctly, you are equating the freedom of conscious imagination with the perceptual memories that arise from the unconscious experiences of the mind amid sleep. If so, dreams are not mental creations as is the whimsy we might create through conscious imagination; dreams are how our conscious mind, during the arousal process, translates or interprets the emerging memory of unconscious experience caused by spontaneous neural activations in the brainstem amid sleep.
    All the functional evidence suggests dreaming to be a type of consciousness or wakefulness in the brain amid the sleep process. When the brain arouses in this way, the evidence suggests that it does what it was evolved to do—that is to perceive, process, and respond to sensory information. The evidence (particular decerebrate study) suggests that such sensory data emerges from the brainstem rather than our bodily systems. Our brain's assessments of brainstem activations in sleep is not the same as its creation of mental imagery during our waking state.

    True, dreams and waking imagination are distinct in some ways, but this does not dispute that the brain during its awake state is not limited to current sensory information.
    In reply, let me restate:

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I think we both agree that there is sufficient evidence that the conscious and unconscious mind is a product of functionally distinct brain activations. We also agree that conscious brain function has a greater connectivity to physical/material sensory influences. My position is that this greater connectivity imposes limitations that do not apply to the unconscious mind because of its lesser connectivity to real physical/material experience. As evidence of this diminished connectivity, I’ve cited deactivations in the across-brain and hypofrontality. As an effect of these deactivations, I’ve cited the diminished contribution of prefrontal function to the cognitive processes of the unconscious brain amid dream sleep. In discussing the diminished contributions of the prefrontal, I’ve described the parameters its function places on conscious behaviors as a result of its mediation relative to the consequences of physical/material experience. I doubt whether anyone could more lucidly describe how prefrontal function keeps our conscious mind within well define parameters that do not apply to our unconscious mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    The visual cortex is a perceptual processing center. The perceptual system through which we receive visual perceptions comprises the eyes, the optic nerve, and the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus.
    These are considered sensory systems. I already defined my differential use of the terms sensory and perceptual, which I believe are standard.
    Sensory systems or perceptual sensory systems, a trivial distinction indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    There is no evidence of diminished memory within the dream state other than the effort required to convert the experience to long-term memory upon arousal from sleep.
    There are phenomenological studies indicating such.
    I have reviewed studies on dream cessation through pharmacological intervention. Although I disagreed with their conclusions, their lack of dream reports through sleep interrupts in REM suggested non-dreaming. What I believed these studies actually showed was how drug intervention in brain function influences the brain’s ability to form memories of dreaming. Although all accounts of dreaming are anecdotal, even in dream study, poor recall upon arousal is not evidence of diminished memory within the dream state. What we remember about our actions and abilities within a dream is influenced by the attention we devote, during the arousal process, to the experiences of having dreamed.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I disagree; sensory deprivation--as in not perceiving current sensory information--in dream sleep is as liberating as it is in waking-state reality. How else are we able to run or perform nearly superhuman fetes in dreams without leaping from bed? We can do these things because our brain, amid dream sleep, is perceptive of its disconnect from sensory reality. Therefore, the experience is liberating rather than limiting as you have suggested.
    Your position seems to be that not being able to experience delusional perceptions is a limitation and can only be a limitation. Some, such as schizophrenics seeking treatment, might argue that the inability to distinguish rational and irrational (or sensory and hallucinatory) perceptions is also a limitation.
    I have defined dreaming as liberating rather than delusional. Also, I perceive schizophrenia as a disorder of brain function rather than a delusional state. What mind scientists and doctors call hallucination in schizophrenia, I perceive as the dysfunctional brain’s attempt to interpret or translate a mental experience as physical experience much in the manner as what occurs when the brain arouses from dream sleep.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail

    I said people are often impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be, not that they always shouldn't be impressed by it.
    No matter the spin or subsequent qualifiers, your former statement was clearly as definitive as the latter.
    There is a big difference between the two. You and I should be in agreement regarding the former if you agree that a whole room full of people should not be impressed by the accuracy of the exact same astrology-based personality profile. Obviously this indicates that things that appear to people as insightful on a personal level are not necessarily insightful. When I said they "are impressed when they shouldn't be" you are reading way too much into that statement. I was speaking somewhat casually there. In formal philosophical terms I wouldn't assert a normative "should" statement. People can be impressed by whatever they want.
    I don't claim a complete lack of bias against the usefulness of dream interpretation. And I'll grant you that perhaps the particular poster that I linked to was impressed for valid reasons. That was merely my impression. The astrology study I mentioned, however is clearly indicative of the point that I was making and bias is irrelevant to it. Since your only response to this case was:
    "True; I am aware of such examples and experiments."
    I was lead to believe that you agreed with me on the topic, even if not a specific given case. If you disagree then please explain why.

    "If dreams are how our wakeful brain amid sleep interprets the random neural activity it perceives"
    I call this an 'assumption', because it supposedly leads to the conclusions that follow it. Seemingly contradictory phrases like "our wakeful brain amid sleep", vague use of terms like "interprets", seemingly presumptious qualifiers such as "random" in relation to "neural activity" and the perhaps presumptious or oversimplistic description that the brain "perceives" neural activity (considering perception itself occurs through neural activity) are the problems I have with statements like this.
    If I understand correctly, you have a problem with phrases you consider contradictory, with terms you perceive as vague, and with what you consider presumptuous or over simplistic qualifiers and description. When you encounter such problems in discussion, you label them as assumptions rather detailing such problems for further discussion until prodded to do so.
    It's hard for me to respond to every point in a lengthy post, so I opted to indicate that I found this particular paragraph problematic without getting into the details of why until 'prodded', yes. In the future I'll try to avoid doing so without giving specifics.


    Well, let’s run-down your list of problems:

    1) “contradictory phrases like ‘our wakeful brain amid sleep’”

    In earlier comments, I wrote: “All the functional evidence suggests dreaming to be a type of consciousness or wakefulness in the brain amid the sleep process.”

    In response to my comments about the functional distinctions between the waking and dreaming brain, you wrote: “fMRI sleep studies have found that the areas of the brain associated with vision, hearing, motor function etc. are active during REM sleep for example. The main difference is pre-frontal cortex deactivation during dreaming.” Also, in subsequent comments, you wrote: “As far as regional brain activities go it's only the prefrontal cortex that sees a significant change AFAIK.”

    My statement regarded the equivalence of brain function in dream sleep to wakefulness, your statements suggested the only functional distinction between to the two brain states is hypofrontality—where is the contradiction?
    You left out an important part of my quote. I said seemingly contradictory, implying that it was a semantic issue, which as you point out by re-explaining your use of "wakefulness" (which by the way, I tend to interpret as the opposite of being asleep), it is. In the previous comment you refer to, it was "consciousness" that stood out to me, so I missed that you were equating the two terms. Since we've both been using "waking brain" as distinct from the dreaming/sleeping brain, it's easy to see why a phrase like "wakefulness amid the sleep process" could be confusing or appear contradictory. Regardless, I grant you that it was possible for me to decipher this based on some of your previous statements. So we're clear, by your terminology
    wakefulness = consciousness
    waking = awake rather than asleep
    correct?

    In my most recent comments I wrote: “dreams are not mental creations as is the whimsy we might create through conscious imagination; dreams are how our conscious mind, during the arousal process, translates or interprets the emerging memory of unconscious experience caused by spontaneous neural activations in the brainstem amid sleep.”

    My use of interprets is synonymous with the process of translating one language into another. Essentially, I have said that dreams are neural activations translated as perceptual experiences--how is this vague?
    This explanation in itself is a little vague, at least to myself who's not familiar with all of your personalized terms. What's "unconscious experience?" What does it mean for its memory to be translated? Maybe you could give an example.

    A. “seemingly presumptious qualifiers such as ‘random’ in relation to ‘neural activity’”
    3) B. “and the perhaps presumptious or oversimplistic description that the brain ‘perceives’ neural activity (considering perception itself occurs through neural activity)”

    In response to A, I have written: Your perspective here appears to be biased by an unfamiliarity with the associated neurological studies. As a primer, you may want to review this article: Hobson, J.A. and McCarley, R.W. The brain as a dream state generator: an activation-synthesis hypothesis of the dream process. Am J Psychiatry 1977; 134:1335-1348
    Hobson and McCarley describe brain stem neural activity as random. I disagree with this description; we may not understand the neural activity in the brain stem during sleep, but that doesn't make it random. I don't know if this needs to be of particular importance to our discussion.

    To be clear when you say "the random neural activity" you mean the neural activity in the brain stem that induces dreaming, correct?

    In subsequent comments I referred to the neural activity in dream sleep as spontaneous activations. However, if “random” relative to “neural activity” is presumptuousness, it is based on statements in research you may not have considered.

    In my response to B, you have written: “We experience information about the outside world through our perceptual systems, but I did not mean to imply that this means that everything we experience through our perceptual system originates from the outside world. My examples of imagination and dreaming were intended to convey this.”

    You also wrote: “You are right that dream perception is not derived from sensory input occurring at that time (for the most part.. we aren't completely cut off from sensory information).”

    Your statements here suggest your agreement with my use of “perceive” relative to dreams and perceptions that do not originate from the “outside world.” If the brain can experience perceptions within its neural structure, how would you describe the process?
    I don't attempt to describe the process. I don't think it is well enough understood.

    Your statement that random equates incoherency is unconsidered. Incoherency suggests a lack in connectivity between the random neural activity of the dreaming brain and what that activity suggests about the life experiences of the dreamer. Although the imagery in dreams may be incongruent with reality, its connectivity to the dreamer’s experience has been established in studies of sleep disorders. I do not equate "random" with "incoherrant".
    I'm saying that you couldn't "interpret" "random" neuron firings meaningfully if they were truly random. It would be like interpreting a randomly generated string of letters. I don't consider the neural activity in sleep to be random, nor an interpretation of brain stem neural activity. I would probably use the term "reaction to" or "induced by" rather than "interpretation of".

    Also what is it that you think my position is?
    Your authoritative statement, “people are often easily impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be”, suggests your decided position on the validity of meaningful assessments of dream content and its associated science.
    A casual statement reflecting a methodological position that few would question. I've never claimed that assessing dream content can never be valid, merely that it can falsely appear to be valid.

    Still it would be foolish to disregard how I am using a particular term.
    What I disregard are the foolish and archaic descriptions founded in theories of brain function that are not firmly rooted in how the brain likely evolved. Where is working memory, short-term, and long-term memory in the brain and how did it evolve their theorized functions and processes from a primal state.
    If we have a dialogue such as

    "X is blue. By X I mean the sky"
    "X is not blue, I'm looking down near my feet right now and seeing brown."
    "X does not refer to the ground"
    "It does the way I use it"
    "Ok, but don't disregard the way I'm using it"
    "I disregard it, because it's archaic. What is the sky even made of?"

    then we have a problem.


    True, dreams and waking imagination are distinct in some ways, but this does not dispute that the brain during its awake state is not limited to current sensory information.
    In reply, let me restate:

    I think we both agree that there is sufficient evidence that the conscious and unconscious mind is a product of functionally distinct brain activations. We also agree that conscious brain function has a greater connectivity to physical/material sensory influences. My position is that this greater connectivity imposes limitations that do not apply to the unconscious mind because of its lesser connectivity to real physical/material experience. As evidence of this diminished connectivity, I’ve cited deactivations in the across-brain and hypofrontality. As an effect of these deactivations, I’ve cited the diminished contribution of prefrontal function to the cognitive processes of the unconscious brain amid dream sleep. In discussing the diminished contributions of the prefrontal, I’ve described the parameters its function places on conscious behaviors as a result of its mediation relative to the consequences of physical/material experience. I doubt whether anyone could more lucidly describe how prefrontal function keeps our conscious mind within well define parameters that do not apply to our unconscious mind.
    My disagreement was to the claim that the waking mind is limited to physical consequences. None of this contradicts this disagreement. The brain when awake does have much more access to sensory input than when asleep, that is true. And yes, when awake we are not generally able to convincingly delude ourselves into believing that we can fly etc unless we take psychoactive drugs or have a mental disorder. But our mind is certainly capable of more than dealing with sensory input and predicted physical consequences. For instance it could entertain the notion that we could fly or imagine flying etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    The visual cortex is a perceptual processing center. The perceptual system through which we receive visual perceptions comprises the eyes, the optic nerve, and the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus.
    These are considered sensory systems. I already defined my differential use of the terms sensory and perceptual, which I believe are standard.
    Sensory systems or perceptual sensory systems, a trivial distinction indeed.
    If our disagreement is semantic then it’s hardly trivial to make this distinction clear. Recall:
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    The perceptual systems can be experienced through processing sensory information, but also through constructive imagination and dreaming. Studies show that the same brain areas are activated in both cases.
    I disagree; although functional studies of the dreaming brain suggests that it may be experiencing sensory information comparable to waking experience, these studies do not suggest that this sensory information is concurrently originating from the outside world through our perceptual systems. The distinction between dreams and waking experience is that dreams do not involve actual experiences of physical reality.
    The perceptual system is highly active during dreaming!
    Our perceptual systems are not active during dreaming; i.e., we do not generally incorporate what we could be actively seeing, hearing, or experiencing in waking reality during dreaming.
    You misunderstand. We experience information about the outside world through our perceptual systems, but I did not mean to imply that this means that everything we experience through our perceptual system originates from the outside world. My examples of imagination and dreaming were intended to convey this.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I have reviewed studies on dream cessation through pharmacological intervention. Although I disagreed with their conclusions, their lack of dream reports through sleep interrupts in REM suggested non-dreaming. What I believed these studies actually showed was how drug intervention in brain function influences the brain’s ability to form memories of dreaming. Although all accounts of dreaming are anecdotal, even in dream study, poor recall upon arousal is not evidence of diminished memory within the dream state. What we remember of what we were able to do within a dream is influenced by the attention we give, during the arousal process, to the experiences of having dreamed.
    We can agree to disagree on whether working memory is diminished within dreaming. But consider also that complimentary to the conclusions drawn by these studies is the fact that the PFC (which is of dimished activity during dreaming) has been shown to be important for working memory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail


    I said people are often impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be, not that they always shouldn't be impressed by it.
    No matter the spin or subsequent qualifiers, your former statement was clearly as definitive as the latter. In either case, you are authoritatively stating what people shouldn’t be impressed by, which is suggestive of a prior bias.

    You and I should be in agreement regarding the former if you agree that a whole room full of people should not be impressed by the accuracy of the exact same astrology-based personality profile…I don't claim a complete lack of bias against the usefulness of dream interpretation. And I'll grant you that perhaps the particular poster that I linked to was impressed for valid reasons. That was merely my impression. The astrology study I mentioned, however is clearly indicative of the point that I was making and bias is irrelevant to it. Since your only response to this case was:
    "True; I am aware of such examples and experiments."
    I was lead to believe that you agreed with me on the topic, even if not a specific given case. If you disagree then please explain why.
    Indeed, we do agree regarding “astrology-based” personality profiles; however, as I have stated, that agreement does not extend to dream analysis and its history of psychological and brain study that, as I have also stated, “support its connection to the human condition.”

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Well, let’s run-down your list of problems:

    1) “contradictory phrases like ‘our wakeful brain amid sleep’”

    My statement regarded the equivalence of brain function in dream sleep to wakefulness, your statements suggested the only functional distinction between to the two brain states is hypofrontality—where is the contradiction?
    You left out an important part of my quote. I said seemingly contradictory, implying that it was a semantic issue, which as you point out by re-explaining your use of "wakefulness" (which by the way, I tend to interpret as the opposite of being asleep), it is. In the previous comment you refer to, it was "consciousness" that stood out to me, so I missed that you were equating the two terms. Since we've both been using "waking brain" as distinct from the dreaming/sleeping brain, it's easy to see why a phrase like "wakefulness amid the sleep process" could be confusing or appear contradictory. Regardless, I grant you that it was possible for me to decipher this based on some of your previous statements. So we're clear, by your terminology
    wakefulness = consciousness
    waking = awake rather than asleep
    correct?
    Correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    In my most recent comments I wrote: “dreams are not mental creations as is the whimsy we might create through conscious imagination; dreams are how our conscious mind, during the arousal process, translates or interprets the emerging memory of unconscious experience caused by spontaneous neural activations in the brainstem amid sleep.”

    My use of interprets is synonymous with the process of translating one language into another. Essentially, I have said that dreams are neural activations translated as perceptual experiences--how is this vague?

    This explanation in itself is a little vague, at least to myself who's not familiar with all of your personalized terms. What's "unconscious experience?" What does it mean for its memory to be translated? Maybe you could give an example.
    Although I may be mistaken, I think we agree on the functional distinction of the unconscious mind as suggested by dream sleep. If so, my reference to “unconscious experiences” is a reference to the experiences of the unconscious mind as suggested by dream recall, which should have been clear from the content and focus of our discussion. In further description, I’ve described the nature of dreams a the “residual neural effects of life experience that remain resonant in brain structure during the sleep process.” As we arouse from dream sleep, we are arousing with memories of these resonant neural effects. It is my contention that our waking brain, amid the arousal process, deciphers these effects as the faux physical/material experiences we call dreams.

    Deactivations in the across-brain and hypofrontality in dream sleep suggest that the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from the concurrent experience of physical/materiality reality. Neither does the brain, in dream sleep, equates dreams to imagination--as suggested by the limitations imposed by the real consequences of our behavioral responses to the conscious imagery associated with imagination (e.g., imagining wingless flight but not tempting the consequences of leaping from a building). Awareness is a construct of brain function. Although our brain may be sensorially aware of what is real, in normal dream sleep our brain is generally not cognitively aware of its true status. Yet, this lack of cognitive awareness does not inhibit those behaviors in dreams (e.g., wingless flight, walking through walls, breathing underwater, etc) that we would otherwise not engage in waking-state reality; i.e., in dreams, we generally believe our experiences are real but this belief doesn’t inhibit our aberrant behaviors within the dream state. Together, this infers the brain’s perception of dreaming as a non-physical, immaterial, inconsequential experience wholly within and of the mind.

    Objectively and scientifically, we can only prove that dreams arise wholly within an environment that brain function produces. Indeed, this supports dreaming as a mental experience—albeit an experience within the unconscious state of brain function suggested by dream sleep. Being entirely a mental experience, explains the lack of conformity in our dream behaviors to the literal laws and logic of true physical/material reality. Therefore, the distinction I have tried to convey—through terms such as perceives, interprets, translates, and characterizes—about what the waking brain does during the arousal process is how the brain deciphers a mental experience as something it believes it physically/materially experienced.

    When the brain awakes with dream memories, in reality it is waking with the memories of mental experiences that it has deciphered with the sensorial perception of physical/material reality. With this understanding that dreams are physical/material depictions of mental experiences, then dream food, for example, translate as something that satisfies mental hunger. By further extension, dream homes decipher as something the dreamer might perceive as providing mental structure. In this way, the images in our dreams describe some basic mental quality that remains consistent in all dreams—by my study.

    Hobson and McCarley describe brain stem neural activity as random. I disagree with this description; we may not understand the neural activity in the brain stem during sleep, but that doesn't make it random. I don't know if this needs to be of particular importance to our discussion.

    To be clear when you say "the random neural activity" you mean the neural activity in the brain stem that induces dreaming, correct?
    I believe my prior and subsequent comments, herein, provide my response.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Your statements here suggest your agreement with my use of “perceive” relative to dreams and perceptions that do not originate from the “outside world.” If the brain can experience perceptions within its neural structure, how would you describe the process?

    I don't attempt to describe the process. I don't think it is well enough understood.
    I disagree; from my perspective, I believe there is more than enough functional evidence, with decerebrate and brain injury study involving comparative species analysis, to form a well supported opinion regarding this process.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Your statement that random equates incoherency is unconsidered. Incoherency suggests a lack in connectivity between the random neural activity of the dreaming brain and what that activity suggests about the life experiences of the dreamer. Although the imagery in dreams may be incongruent with reality, its connectivity to the dreamer’s experience has been established in studies of sleep disorders. I do not equate "random" with "incoherrant".
    I'm saying that you couldn't "interpret" "random" neuron firings meaningfully if they were truly random. It would be like interpreting a randomly generated string of letters. I don't consider the neural activity in sleep to be random, nor an interpretation of brain stem neural activity. I would probably use the term "reaction to" or "induced by" rather than "interpretation of".
    Randomly generated letters would no longer be random once they’ve been selected. The brain’s perception of a random neuron firing selects that firing, which renders it identifiable. My position is that dream imagery is how the brain identifies the random neuron firings it selects via perception amid activation in dream sleep.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Your authoritative statement, “people are often easily impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be”, suggests your decided position on the validity of meaningful assessments of dream content and its associated science.
    A casual statement reflecting a methodological position that few would question. I've never claimed that assessing dream content can never be valid, merely that it can falsely appear to be valid.
    As I am unable to discern which of your statements are “causal” and which aren’t, I am compelled to respond with the perception, however incorrect, that your statements express your convictions. If your position is not carved-in-stone, as you have here expressed, then I stand corrected.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    What I disregard are the foolish and archaic descriptions founded in theories of brain function that are not firmly rooted in how the brain likely evolved. Where is working memory, short-term, and long-term memory in the brain and how did it evolve their theorized functions and processes from a primal state.

    If we have a dialogue such as

    "X is blue. By X I mean the sky"
    "X is not blue, I'm looking down near my feet right now and seeing brown."
    "X does not refer to the ground"
    "It does the way I use it"
    "Ok, but don't disregard the way I'm using it"
    "I disregard it, because it's archaic. What is the sky even made of?"

    then we have a problem.
    Although I agree we may not experience mutual understanding by speaking in different terms, I would prefer not to reference the world as flat because a majority believes that to be the nature of the world. Nevertheless, I shall try to be mindful of your usage of terms.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    In reply, let me restate:

    I think we both agree that there is sufficient evidence that the conscious and unconscious mind is a product of functionally distinct brain activations. We also agree that conscious brain function has a greater connectivity to physical/material sensory influences. My position is that this greater connectivity imposes limitations that do not apply to the unconscious mind because of its lesser connectivity to real physical/material experience. As evidence of this diminished connectivity, I’ve cited deactivations in the across-brain and hypofrontality. As an effect of these deactivations, I’ve cited the diminished contribution of prefrontal function to the cognitive processes of the unconscious brain amid dream sleep. In discussing the diminished contributions of the prefrontal, I’ve described the parameters its function places on conscious behaviors as a result of its mediation relative to the consequences of physical/material experience. I doubt whether anyone could more lucidly describe how prefrontal function keeps our conscious mind within well define parameters that do not apply to our unconscious mind.

    My disagreement was to the claim that the waking mind is limited to physical consequences. None of this contradicts this disagreement. The brain when awake does have much more access to sensory input than when asleep, that is true. And yes, when awake we are not generally able to convincingly delude ourselves into believing that we can fly etc unless we take psychoactive drugs or have a mental disorder. But our mind is certainly capable of more than dealing with sensory input and predicted physical consequences. For instance it could entertain the notion that we could fly or imagine flying etc.
    Now I understand; our disagreement here seems to be another semantics issue. Although I believed this was clear from many of my prior comments, my position is that the waking-state mind is limited by the consideration of consequence rather than limited to the consideration of consequence. The consideration of consequence, in my view, is integral to our survival from our moment of birth. A newborn rapidly learns or seems to understand instinctively the physical/material consequences of crying; i.e., newborns learn quickly how its actions cause reactions that influence its sense of wellbeing. My position is that the source of this seemingly innate insight permeates every aspect of waking-state thoughts and behaviors by virtue of the waking brain’s connectivity to physical/material experience and it activation of prefrontal function.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I have reviewed studies on dream cessation through pharmacological intervention. Although I disagreed with their conclusions, their lack of dream reports through sleep interrupts in REM suggested non-dreaming. What I believed these studies actually showed was how drug intervention in brain function influences the brain’s ability to form memories of dreaming. Although all accounts of dreaming are anecdotal, even in dream study, poor recall upon arousal is not evidence of diminished memory within the dream state. What we remember of what we were able to do within a dream is influenced by the attention we give, during the arousal process, to the experiences of having dreamed.
    We can agree to disagree on whether working memory is diminished within dreaming. But consider also that complimentary to the conclusions drawn by these studies is the fact that the PFC (which is of dimished activity during dreaming) has been shown to be important for working memory.
    Although some reports show the importance of prefrontal function to “working memory”, none of the reports I’ve reviewed establish the PFC as the seat of “working memory”: Why? What is it about the evolved nature of the prefrontal that renders its contribution to memory crucial? The likely answers to these questions reside in how the brain evolved the survival advantage of memory. How memory evolved explains why prefrontal function figures so prominently in dream recall rather than in dream content.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Indeed, we do agree regarding “astrology-based” personality profiles; however, as I have stated, that agreement does not extend to dream analysis and its history of psychological and brain study that, as I have also stated, “support its connection to the human condition.”
    I have no doubt dreams have connection to the human condition. For instance the likelihood of concept X appearing in a dream is partially determined by its salience to the previous day, to our long term memory, to the associated level of emotion its linked to, etcetera. Some simple yet vague conclusions like this can be made. I'm skeptical that there is much valid science indicating more than that as far as interpretations go, but I could be wrong.

    Also, I hope you do not mean that your agreement on the original point could never extend to dream analysis. While you obvious feel that much of dream analysis is good and "connected to the human condition", do you also recognize that it could be completely bogus in some circumstances and suffer these problems that can happen with astrology and so on? I see absolutely no reason why it could not.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Although I may be mistaken, I think we agree on the functional distinction of the unconscious mind as suggested by dream sleep. If so, my reference to “unconscious experiences” is a reference to the experiences of the unconscious mind as suggested by dream recall, which should have been clear from the content and focus of our discussion.
    I agree that there are differences in neural activity between the awake and asleep/dreaming brain-states. I would not call the sleeping/dreaming brain-state "the unconscious mind", since it appears their are conscious and unconscious components of the mind under both circumstances, but I recognize you are using this term. Further confusing the semantics, you have also described dreaming as "consciousness" or "wakefulness" amid sleep. Here I cannot tell whether you are describing dreams as "unconscious experience" or something else that leads to the experience of dreams. I think you mean the latter. If that is the case then I do not find the concept of "unconscious experience" very sensical, so maybe you can clarify.

    In further description, I’ve described the nature of dreams a the “residual neural effects of life experience that remain resonant in brain structure during the sleep process.” As we arouse from dream sleep, we are arousing with memories of these resonant neural effects. It is my contention that our waking brain, amid the arousal process, deciphers these effects as the faux physical/material experiences we call dreams.
    By "the arousal process" do you mean the process of waking up or do you mean certain activity in the brain that is going on during sleep?

    Deactivations in the across-brain and hypofrontality in dream sleep suggest that the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from the concurrent experience of physical/materiality reality.
    I disagree. I see no reason why hypofrontality or the suppression of certain neural transmitters suggests this.

    Neither does the brain, in dream sleep, equates dreams to imagination--as suggested by the limitations imposed by the real consequences of our behavioral responses to the conscious imagery associated with imagination (e.g., imagining wingless flight but not tempting the consequences of leaping from a building). Awareness is a construct of brain function. Although our brain may be sensorially aware of what is real, in normal dream sleep our brain is generally not cognitively aware of its true status. Yet, this lack of cognitive awareness does not inhibit those behaviors in dreams (e.g., wingless flight, walking through walls, breathing underwater, etc) that we would otherwise not engage in waking-state reality; i.e., in dreams, we generally believe our experiences are real but this belief doesn’t inhibit our aberrant behaviors within the dream state. Together, this infers the brain’s perception of dreaming as a non-physical, immaterial, inconsequential experience wholly within and of the mind.
    What does this really suggest? Let's say it could either be

    A) our perceptual (as opposed to sensory) systems are active and we think our dreams are real, but due to pre-frontal cortex deactivations our normal rationality, executive decision making, time perception, and short-term memory are of limited capacity, leading to some atypical dreaming experience/behavior that occasionally resembles things that would be considered impossible in our fully functional awake state.

    B) our unconscious brain knows that our conscious perceptual experience is not derived from actual sensory information so it somehow allows our conscious mind to believe physically impossible things to free it from its normal limitations

    Which seems more plausible? Certainly A seems more so to me.

    Objectively and scientifically, we can only prove that dreams arise wholly within an environment that brain function produces.
    Not true. Although the access of our conscious mind to sensory input during sleep is diminished during sleep, our sensory systems are still functioning. Music, hunger, the need to urinate and sexual stimulation can all affect the dreaming experience.

    Indeed, this supports dreaming as a mental experience—albeit an experience within the unconscious state of brain function suggested by dream sleep. Being entirely a mental experience, explains the lack of conformity in our dream behaviors to the literal laws and logic of true physical/material reality.
    This is only partially true. In dreams our behavior/experience is still operating under the idea of physical limitations and cause-effect assumptions that are for the most part normal. They can be distorted, but even in the example you mention of flying (btw, I've never dreamed that I was able to fly or anything near this atypical except when deliberately attempting to alter my dream experience through lucid dreaming) we are still operating under the experience of some physical limitation and cause-effect type thinking.

    Therefore, the distinction I have tried to convey—through terms such as perceives, interprets, translates, and characterizes—about what the waking brain does during the arousal process is how the brain deciphers a mental experience as something it believes it physically/materially experienced. When the brain awakes with dream memories, in reality it is waking with the memories of mental experiences that it has deciphered with the sensorial perception of physical/material reality. With this understanding that dreams are physical/material depictions of mental experiences, then dream food, for example, translate as something that satisfies mental hunger. By further extension, dream homes decipher as something the dreamer might perceive as providing mental structure. In this way, the images in our dreams describe some basic mental quality that remains consistent in all dreams—by my study.
    Although I'm not familiar with your study, this sounds implausible. Maybe you could give an example of how your study has lead to this conclusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I'm saying that you couldn't "interpret" "random" neuron firings meaningfully if they were truly random. It would be like interpreting a randomly generated string of letters. I don't consider the neural activity in sleep to be random, nor an interpretation of brain stem neural activity. I would probably use the term "reaction to" or "induced by" rather than "interpretation of".
    Randomly generated letters would no longer be random once they’ve been selected.
    You're saying the brain actively selects components of random neural activity. This is not analogous to interpretation, explaining my prior confusion with this terminology.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Your authoritative statement, “people are often easily impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be”, suggests your decided position on the validity of meaningful assessments of dream content and its associated science.
    A casual statement reflecting a methodological position that few would question. I've never claimed that assessing dream content can never be valid, merely that it can falsely appear to be valid.
    As I am unable to discern which of your statements are “causal” and which aren’t, I am compelled to respond with the perception, however incorrect, that your statements express your convictions. If your position is not carved-in-stone, as you have here expressed, then I stand corrected.
    I see where the confusion is. I said "casual", not "causal".
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    A casual statement reflecting a methodological position that few would question. I've never claimed that assessing dream content can never be valid, merely that it can falsely appear to be valid.

    As I am unable to discern which of your statements are “causal” and which aren’t, I am compelled to respond with the perception, however incorrect, that your statements express your convictions. If your position is not carved-in-stone, as you have here expressed, then I stand corrected.

    I see where the confusion is. I said "casual", not "causal".
    You and I have both made spelling and grammatical errors; if your sincere desire is a substantive exchange, let’s not degenerate into your game of sarcasm. If you wish to put an end to this exchange, then say so directly and I will not respond further.
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    Here we go again, I learn about this book come back on here after so long and what do you know, here is exactly what I've been reading into at the exact same time.

    Why do these things follow me around these aren't coincidences!

    Anyway, Ive yet to read it but I heard that The Matrix took a few ideas from this book among others as well I have every intention to read it.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    A casual statement reflecting a methodological position that few would question. I've never claimed that assessing dream content can never be valid, merely that it can falsely appear to be valid.

    As I am unable to discern which of your statements are “causal” and which aren’t, I am compelled to respond with the perception, however incorrect, that your statements express your convictions. If your position is not carved-in-stone, as you have here expressed, then I stand corrected.

    I see where the confusion is. I said "casual", not "causal".
    You and I have both made spelling and grammatical errors; if your sincere desire is a substantive exchange, let’s not degenerate into your game of sarcasm. If you wish to put an end to this exchange, then say so directly and I will not respond further.
    I thought you were literally interpreting the word I used as causal, i.e.:
    1. of, constituting, or implying a cause

    as opposed to casual, i.e.
    3. seeming or tending to be indifferent to what is happening; apathetic; unconcerned: a casual, nonchalant air.

    and claiming that by expressing a causal relationship I was making an authoritative statement. Sorry for misinterpreting.

    My statement reflected my beliefs accurately unless you take the "should"/"shouldn't" component very literally. Regardless of this, your prior claim:
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Your authoritative statement, “people are often easily impressed by this kind of thing when they shouldn't be”, suggests your decided position on the validity of meaningful assessments of dream content and its associated science."
    is incorrect for reasons previously indicated:
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    A casual statement reflecting a methodological position that few would question. I've never claimed that assessing dream content can never be valid, merely that it can falsely appear to be valid.
    I don't think the fact that I used the word casual here is of importance, since I never meant to imply you should not take my statement seriously.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    I see where the confusion is. I said "casual", not "causal".
    You and I have both made spelling and grammatical errors; if your sincere desire is a substantive exchange, let’s not degenerate into your game of sarcasm. If you wish to put an end to this exchange, then say so directly and I will not respond further.
    I thought you were literally interpreting the word I used as causal, i.e.:
    1. of, constituting, or implying a cause

    as opposed to casual, i.e.
    3. seeming or tending to be indifferent to what is happening; apathetic; unconcerned: a casual, nonchalant air.

    and claiming that by expressing a causal relationship I was making an authoritative statement. Sorry for misinterpreting.

    My statement reflected my beliefs accurately unless you take the "should"/"shouldn't" component very literally.
    Your initial response wasn’t as clear as this. Given your initial tone of sarcasm at the beginning of our exchange and without your explanation herein, I perceived the “casual” not “causal” response as sarcasm. Pardon my confusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    A casual statement reflecting a methodological position that few would question. I've never claimed that assessing dream content can never be valid, merely that it can falsely appear to be valid.
    I don't think the fact that I used the word casual here is of importance, since I never meant to imply you should not take my statement seriously.
    Then your casual statements are not among the positions “that few would question.” It would be foolish to forgo questioning any statement of serious intent and obvious impact on the clarity of one’s position or argument—in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Indeed, we do agree regarding “astrology-based” personality profiles; however, as I have stated, that agreement does not extend to dream analysis and its history of psychological and brain study that, as I have also stated, “support its connection to the human condition.”
    I have no doubt dreams have connection to the human condition. For instance the likelihood of concept X appearing in a dream is partially determined by its salience to the previous day, to our long term memory, to the associated level of emotion its linked to, etcetera. Some simple yet vague conclusions like this can be made. I'm skeptical that there is much valid science indicating more than that as far as interpretations go, but I could be wrong.
    “I have no doubt dreams have connection to the human condition… I'm skeptical… but I could be wrong”, have I been anymore vague than this? You seem to be tottering between two positions.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Also, I hope you do not mean that your agreement on the original point could never extend to dream analysis. While you obvious feel that much of dream analysis is good and "connected to the human condition", do you also recognize that it could be completely bogus in some circumstances and suffer these problems that can happen with astrology and so on? I see absolutely no reason why it could not.
    With an interest in cognitive psychology, you should be familiar with the history and inclusion of dream analysis in the psychoanalysis process. Why are we continuing to debate the validity of dream analysis, when you know its history and value? Perhaps, I'm mistaken; how familiar are you with this topic?
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Although I may be mistaken, I think we agree on the functional distinction of the unconscious mind as suggested by dream sleep. If so, my reference to “unconscious experiences” is a reference to the experiences of the unconscious mind as suggested by dream recall, which should have been clear from the content and focus of our discussion.

    I agree that there are differences in neural activity between the awake and asleep/dreaming brain-states. I would not call the sleeping/dreaming brain-state "the unconscious mind", since it appears their are conscious and unconscious components of the mind under both circumstances, but I recognize you are using this term. Further confusing the semantics, you have also described dreaming as "consciousness" or "wakefulness" amid sleep. Here I cannot tell whether you are describing dreams as "unconscious experience" or something else that leads to the experience of dreams. I think you mean the latter. If that is the case then I do not find the concept of "unconscious experience" very sensical, so maybe you can clarify.
    What has been the history of dreaming’s association? What is believed to be the primary source of dream content? In psychological circles, what is perceived as the source of dreams? Historically, are dreams perceived as products of the conscious or unconscious mind?
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    In further description, I’ve described the nature of dreams a the “residual neural effects of life experience that remain resonant in brain structure during the sleep process.” As we arouse from dream sleep, we are arousing with memories of these resonant neural effects. It is my contention that our waking brain, amid the arousal process, deciphers these effects as the faux physical/material experiences we call dreams.
    By "the arousal process" do you mean the process of waking up or do you mean certain activity in the brain that is going on during sleep?
    During the course of our conversation, I’ve only used “arousal” to refer to the process of waking from sleep. If it is your intention to question my every use of terms, when that use has been clearly defined during the course of our discussion, then for you this is probably not about a substantive dialogue. I have a sense, that you engaged this discussion with the expectation that you would demonstrate some intellectual superiority over a person whose interests suggest he is not as erudite as you. If it is not your intent to engage in a substantive exchange, then again I ask that you say so directly and we can conclude this pointless discussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Deactivations in the across-brain and hypofrontality in dream sleep suggest that the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from the concurrent experience of physical/materiality reality.
    I disagree. I see no reason why hypofrontality or the suppression of certain neural transmitters suggests this.
    Really? If you will recall:
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    During the functional state of dream sleep, the area of our brain associated with priority assessments experiences a condition of low or diminished activation known as hypofrontality. This low activation is caused by deactivation, in the across-brain (metencephalon), of specific neural processes associated with the delivery of somatosensory afferents to the upper regions of our central nervous system.
    True.
    Did you not understand these comments and to what you were agreeing?
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Neither does the brain, in dream sleep, equates dreams to imagination--as suggested by the limitations imposed by the real consequences of our behavioral responses to the conscious imagery associated with imagination (e.g., imagining wingless flight but not tempting the consequences of leaping from a building). Awareness is a construct of brain function. Although our brain may be sensorially aware of what is real, in normal dream sleep our brain is generally not cognitively aware of its true status. Yet, this lack of cognitive awareness does not inhibit those behaviors in dreams (e.g., wingless flight, walking through walls, breathing underwater, etc) that we would otherwise not engage in waking-state reality; i.e., in dreams, we generally believe our experiences are real but this belief doesn’t inhibit our aberrant behaviors within the dream state. Together, this infers the brain’s perception of dreaming as a non-physical, immaterial, inconsequential experience wholly within and of the mind.

    What does this really suggest? Let's say it could either be

    A) our perceptual (as opposed to sensory) systems are active and we think our dreams are real, but due to pre-frontal cortex deactivations our normal rationality, executive decision making, time perception, and short-term memory are of limited capacity, leading to some atypical dreaming experience/behavior that occasionally resembles things that would be considered impossible in our fully functional awake state.

    B) our unconscious brain knows that our conscious perceptual experience is not derived from actual sensory information so it somehow allows our conscious mind to believe physically impossible things to free it from its normal limitations

    Which seems more plausible? Certainly A seems more so to me.
    The error in suggestion A is that it offers no explanation for prefrontal deactivation. What is it about the condition of dream sleep and the dreaming brain that precipitates prefrontal deactivation?
    As for suggestion B, dreaming is the active state of the unconscious mind; i.e., the entirety of the sleep process, inclusive of dreaming, has been historically perceived and continues to universally be perceived as a state of unconsciousness. Therefore, dreaming is an unconscious experience of brain function. When the brain becomes active amid dream sleep, it reaches levels of activity that is only surpassed by waking-state brain function. For this reason, dreaming could be perceived as an altered state of consciousness. That altered state is achieved by activations and deactivations in the brain and brainstem, which distinguish this state from waking and coma brain states. The likely reason B seems implausible to you involves your equating the altered state of consciousness in dream sleep with that of the waking state and also your lack of explanation for the deactivation of prefrontal function in dream sleep.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Objectively and scientifically, we can only prove that dreams arise wholly within an environment that brain function produces.

    Not true. Although the access of our conscious mind to sensory input during sleep is diminished during sleep, our sensory systems are still functioning. Music, hunger, the need to urinate and sexual stimulation can all affect the dreaming experience.
    If I understand correctly, you believe that dreams can arise within an environment that music, hunger, the need to urinate, and sexual stimulation create? Is it your position that these influences upon the mind can create its environment rather than brain function?
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Indeed, this supports dreaming as a mental experience—albeit an experience within the unconscious state of brain function suggested by dream sleep. Being entirely a mental experience, explains the lack of conformity in our dream behaviors to the literal laws and logic of true physical/material reality.
    This is only partially true. In dreams our behavior/experience is still operating under the idea of physical limitations and cause-effect assumptions that are for the most part normal. They can be distorted, but even in the example you mention of flying (btw, I've never dreamed that I was able to fly or anything near this atypical except when deliberately attempting to alter my dream experience through lucid dreaming) we are still operating under the experience of some physical limitation and cause-effect type thinking.
    Whether or not our dream behavior/experiences adhere to the literal laws and logic physical/material reality is inexorably influenced by the primary cause of hypofrontality. Understanding its cause explains what laws and logic applies to dream content. What causes hypofrontality during the dreaming state of brain function?
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Therefore, the distinction I have tried to convey—through terms such as perceives, interprets, translates, and characterizes—about what the waking brain does during the arousal process is how the brain deciphers a mental experience as something it believes it physically/materially experienced. When the brain awakes with dream memories, in reality it is waking with the memories of mental experiences that it has deciphered with the sensorial perception of physical/material reality. With this understanding that dreams are physical/material depictions of mental experiences, then dream food, for example, translate as something that satisfies mental hunger. By further extension, dream homes decipher as something the dreamer might perceive as providing mental structure. In this way, the images in our dreams describe some basic mental quality that remains consistent in all dreams—by my study.
    Although I'm not familiar with your study, this sounds implausible. Maybe you could give an example of how your study has lead to this conclusion.
    As I have tried to convey in prior post, the distinction dream imagery defines is determined by the cognitive processes of the unconscious state of brain activation in dream sleep. That state, as I have also conveyed, is defined by the activations and deactivations in the brain and brainstem with which you seemed to be familiar. I’ve given a general explanation of the effects of these activations and deactivations on unconscious (dreaming state) brain function. Central to my study was the distinction of hypofrontality in dream sleep. Before I detail aspects of my study, what is your explanation for diminished prefrontal function in dream sleep?
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail

    I'm saying that you couldn't "interpret" "random" neuron firings meaningfully if they were truly random. It would be like interpreting a randomly generated string of letters. I don't consider the neural activity in sleep to be random, nor an interpretation of brain stem neural activity. I would probably use the term "reaction to" or "induced by" rather than "interpretation of".
    Randomly generated letters would no longer be random once they’ve been selected.
    You're saying the brain actively selects components of random neural activity. This is not analogous to interpretation, explaining my prior confusion with this terminology.
    When the brain perceives (selection by focus) information that does not come from its “sensory systems”, how would you define the process of identifying that information? Isn’t the process of identifying all afferents merely the “interpretation” by the brain of its experiences via its sensory afferents? For example, isn’t vision merely the “interpretation” of lights, shadows, and colors by the cognitive centers of the brain? Although two people may experience the same event, how they separately “interpret” what they perceive will significantly influence whether their memories of the event agree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    In further description, I’ve described the nature of dreams a the “residual neural effects of life experience that remain resonant in brain structure during the sleep process.” As we arouse from dream sleep, we are arousing with memories of these resonant neural effects. It is my contention that our waking brain, amid the arousal process, deciphers these effects as the faux physical/material experiences we call dreams.
    By "the arousal process" do you mean the process of waking up or do you mean certain activity in the brain that is going on during sleep?
    During the course of our conversation, I’ve only used “arousal” to refer to the process of waking from sleep.
    I see. I'd be curious to know what you base your contention on then.
    If it is your intention to question my every use of terms, when that use has been clearly defined during the course of our discussion,
    My apologies. You may be happy to note that in this (and the following) response I've made an effort not to do this.

    then for you this is probably not about a substantive dialogue.
    On the contrary, it's impossible to have a substantive dialogue without clarity over terminology.

    I have a sense, that you engaged this discussion with the expectation that you would demonstrate some intellectual superiority over a person whose interests suggest he is not as erudite as you. If it is not your intent to engage in a substantive exchange, then again I ask that you say so directly and we can conclude this pointless discussion.
    For future reference, I have zero interest in what you think my motivations are for posting or any other such garbage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I don't think the fact that I used the word casual here is of importance, since I never meant to imply you should not take my statement seriously.
    Then your casual statements are not among the positions “that few would question.”
    [bolding some key words incase you misread my use of negatives]

    How so? I don't think many people would disagree with my characterization of the astrology study that it indicates people often believe or are impressed by things they "shouldn't be". I say it was casual, because I wouldn't formally or scientifically claim what people should or should not do--that was certainly not what I intended to imply. And you can disagree with me that few would question this rather obvious position if you like--just provide some kind of argument regarding why people (I assume you included?) might disagree.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Indeed, we do agree regarding “astrology-based” personality profiles; however, as I have stated, that agreement does not extend to dream analysis and its history of psychological and brain study that, as I have also stated, “support its connection to the human condition.”
    Your reasoning strikes me as either misunderstanding what I was saying or making some logic missteps. Let me re-clarify and try to better understand what you're actually saying:

    A personality profile is given to a room full of 30. Let's say 90% are impressed by how accurate it is. I already used this example, also mentioning that they happened to be astrology profiles, and (I think) we agreed that the assessments made by the people in the room were largely misjudgments of how impressive/accurate these profiles actually were in describing them as individuals.

    Alright, so this is important: the fact that they were astrology profiles had nothing to do with my conclusion above. They could have been anything, even scientifically accepted personality descriptions if such a thing exists (myers-briggs maybe). Do you agree? Or were your conclusions not derived from the experimental design and results, but rather from the history of astrology? If the latter then imagine astrology actually had a scientifically backed history "showing its connection to the human condition" if you like--now how would you explain the results? Does it disprove that astrology has any validity? No. But here's what it does do. It illegitimizes the subjective "I'm impressed, that seems really accurate" response as a form of evidence supporting a supposedly discerning analysis technique. It does not matter what that technique is or how much scientific backing it his. If it has sufficient scientific backing then subjective assessment as evidence should not even be necessary.

    I'm not sure if it's actually your intended meaning, but your suggestion that dream analysis could never have this effect seems pretty extreme and unfounded.

    I have no doubt dreams have connection to the human condition. For instance the likelihood of concept X appearing in a dream is partially determined by its salience to the previous day, to our long term memory, to the associated level of emotion its linked to, etcetera. Some simple yet vague conclusions like this can be made. I'm skeptical that there is much valid science indicating more than that as far as interpretations go, but I could be wrong.
    “I have no doubt dreams have connection to the human condition… I'm skeptical… but I could be wrong”, have I been anymore vague than this? You seem to be tottering between two positions.
    If I don't have evidence to believe something I'm not going to discount its possibility, nor am I going to accept it as fact. If you want to call that "teetering between two positions", I'm not going to object.

    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Also, I hope you do not mean that your agreement on the original point could never extend to dream analysis. While you obvious feel that much of dream analysis is good and "connected to the human condition", do you also recognize that it could be completely bogus in some circumstances and suffer these problems that can happen with astrology and so on? I see absolutely no reason why it could not.
    With an interest in cognitive psychology, you should be familiar with the history and inclusion of dream analysis in the psychoanalysis process. Why are we continuing to debate the validity of dream analysis, when you know its history and value? Perhaps, I'm mistaken; how familiar are you with this topic?
    You're misinterpreting my point here and I apologize if I was unclear (I could have worded it better). Even if dream analysis is valid there is no reason that any given dream analysis couldn't be bogus. And given what we know based on experiments like the one mentioned prior, it seems likely that this case of a bad dream analysis could be interpreted by the subject as being a good dream analysis. That's all I was saying and the validity of dream analysis in general is irrelevant to it.

    Since you brought it up though, Freudian psychoanalysis is not considered scientific due to its lack of falsifiability and is rarely taken seriously by research psychologists today. So while I've had a basic overview of Freud, I certainly haven't put much time into it. Perhaps it gets an unfairly bad wrap; if so I'd be curious to know why.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Deactivations in the across-brain and hypofrontality in dream sleep suggest that the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from the concurrent experience of physical/materiality reality.
    I disagree. I see no reason why hypofrontality or the suppression of certain neural transmitters suggests this.
    Really? If you will recall:
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    During the functional state of dream sleep, the area of our brain associated with priority assessments experiences a condition of low or diminished activation known as hypofrontality. This low activation is caused by deactivation, in the across-brain (metencephalon), of specific neural processes associated with the delivery of somatosensory afferents to the upper regions of our central nervous system.
    True.
    Did you not understand these comments and to what you were agreeing?
    Are you serious? The ideas expressed in these two quotes are clearly not equivalent. If it's not obvious why after looking over them again then I'll offer an explanation, but I don't think it should be necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    The error in suggestion A is that it offers no explanation for prefrontal deactivation. What is it about the condition of dream sleep and the dreaming brain that precipitates prefrontal deactivation?
    I don't see this as an error. It's only maybe a problem if there's an explanation with strong scientific support that it ignores. But I'd prefer no explanation to a dubious one. I'm not authoritatively claimed that there your explanation is dubious, it simply seems that way to me with my present information.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    ]i.e., the entirety of the sleep process, inclusive of dreaming, has been historically perceived and continues to universally be perceived as a state of unconsciousness.
    Considering this is how you've been using the term "unconscious":

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    By unconscious do you mean dreaming or really unconscious?
    Unconscious as a description of the active state of brain function suggested by dream sleep.
    Is "unconsciousness" by your usage merely a description of the brain-state while dreaming (in which case the universal consensus you mention is tautologically correct)?

    Therefore, dreaming is an unconscious experience of brain function.
    The historical and current perception has been that X is true, therefore X is true?

    When the brain becomes active amid dream sleep, it reaches levels of activity that is only surpassed by waking-state brain function. For this reason, dreaming could be perceived as an altered state of consciousness. That altered state is achieved by activations and deactivations in the brain and brainstem, which distinguish this state from waking and coma brain states. The likely reason B seems implausible to you involves your equating the altered state of consciousness in dream sleep with that of the waking state and also your lack of
    explanation for the deactivation of prefrontal function in dream sleep.
    Huh? I've never equated the waking state of mind with the sleeping state of mind. I've agreed with you that there are obvious differences.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Objectively and scientifically, we can only prove that dreams arise wholly within an environment that brain function produces.

    Not true. Although the access of our conscious mind to sensory input during sleep is diminished during sleep, our sensory systems are still functioning. Music, hunger, the need to urinate and sexual stimulation can all affect the dreaming experience.
    If I understand correctly, you believe that dreams can arise within an environment that music, hunger, the need to urinate, and sexual stimulation create? Is it your position that these influences upon the mind can create its environment rather than brain function?
    The mind's "environment" (if I'm not misinterpreting your use of this word) is always created by brain function. Brain function is influenced/altered by sensory input. If I correctly understood your claim that "dreams arise wholly within an environment that brain function produces", your implication was that this was the case due to the brain's lack of sensory input during sleep and that this differentiated dreams from waking experience. My claim is that the brain IS influenced/altered by sensory input during sleep, albeit to a diminished extent.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Indeed, this supports dreaming as a mental experience—albeit an experience within the unconscious state of brain function suggested by dream sleep. Being entirely a mental experience, explains the lack of conformity in our dream behaviors to the literal laws and logic of true physical/material reality.
    This is only partially true. In dreams our behavior/experience is still operating under the idea of physical limitations and cause-effect assumptions that are for the most part normal. They can be distorted, but even in the example you mention of flying (btw, I've never dreamed that I was able to fly or anything near this atypical except when deliberately attempting to alter my dream experience through lucid dreaming) we are still operating under the experience of some physical limitation and cause-effect type thinking.
    Whether or not our dream behavior/experiences adhere to the literal laws and logic physical/material reality is inexorably influenced by the primary cause of hypofrontality.
    I don't disagree.

    Understanding its cause explains what laws and logic applies to dream content. What causes hypofrontality during the dreaming state of brain function?
    I don't know, maybe you can give me your assessment of what the evidence suggests regarding a cause, if anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    As I have tried to convey in prior post, the distinction dream imagery defines is determined by the cognitive processes of the unconscious state of brain activation in dream sleep. That state, as I have also conveyed, is defined by the activations and deactivations in the brain and brainstem with which you seemed to be familiar. I’ve given a general explanation of the effects of these activations and deactivations on unconscious (dreaming state) brain function. Central to my study was the distinction of hypofrontality in dream sleep. Before I detail aspects of my study, what is your explanation for diminished prefrontal function in dream sleep?
    Covered above (I don't have one). Please go ahead.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    When the brain perceives (selection by focus) information that does not come from its “sensory systems”, how would you define the process of identifying that information? Isn’t the process of identifying all afferents merely the “interpretation” by the brain of its experiences via its sensory afferents? For example, isn’t vision merely the “interpretation” of lights, shadows, and colors by the cognitive centers of the brain? Although two people may experience the same event, how they separately “interpret” what they perceive will significantly influence whether their memories of the event agree.
    Gotcha.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail

    I don't think the fact that I used the word casual here is of importance, since I never meant to imply you should not take my statement seriously.
    Then your casual statements are not among the positions “that few would question.”
    [bolding some key words incase you misread my use of negatives]

    How so? I don't think many people would disagree with my characterization of the astrology study that it indicates people often believe or are impressed by things they "shouldn't be". I say it was casual, because I wouldn't formally or scientifically claim what people should or should not do--that was certainly not what I intended to imply. And you can disagree with me that few would question this rather obvious position if you like--just provide some kind of argument regarding why people (I assume you included?) might disagree.
    Your initial quote above suggests I should take even your casual statements seriously. If your casual statements are serious, then they should be question if we are engaging in a substantive discussion. In your casual statement, you compared the validity of dream analysis to astrology-based personality profiles. You suggested that people should not be impressed by either and subsequently suggested “few would question” such a casual statement. I disagreed and questioned it.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Indeed, we do agree regarding “astrology-based” personality profiles; however, as I have stated, that agreement does not extend to dream analysis and its history of psychological and brain study that, as I have also stated, “support its connection to the human condition.”
    Your reasoning strikes me as either misunderstanding what I was saying or making some logic missteps. Let me re-clarify and try to better understand what you're actually saying:

    A personality profile is given to a room full of 30. Let's say 90% are impressed by how accurate it is. I already used this example, also mentioning that they happened to be astrology profiles, and (I think) we agreed that the assessments made by the people in the room were largely misjudgments of how impressive/accurate these profiles actually were in describing them as individuals.

    Alright, so this is important: the fact that they were astrology profiles had nothing to do with my conclusion above. They could have been anything, even scientifically accepted personality descriptions if such a thing exists (myers-briggs maybe). Do you agree? Or were your conclusions not derived from the experimental design and results, but rather from the history of astrology? If the latter then imagine astrology actually had a scientifically backed history "showing its connection to the human condition" if you like--now how would you explain the results? Does it disprove that astrology has any validity? No. But here's what it does do. It illegitimizes the subjective "I'm impressed, that seems really accurate" response as a form of evidence supporting a supposedly discerning analysis technique. It does not matter what that technique is or how much scientific backing it his. If it has sufficient scientific backing then subjective assessment as evidence should not even be necessary.

    I'm not sure if it's actually your intended meaning, but your suggestion that dream analysis could never have this effect seems pretty extreme and unfounded.
    If I understand correctly, it is your opinion that dream analysis, like astrology-based profiling, lacks the objectivity essential to scientifically acceptable evidence of validity. Although I agree that contemporary mainstream methods lack the analytical precision and objective outcome of math (1 + 1 will always equal 2), I believe the dream analysis methods and approach I've developed through my study of the dreaming brain comes close.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    With an interest in cognitive psychology, you should be familiar with the history and inclusion of dream analysis in the psychoanalysis process. Why are we continuing to debate the validity of dream analysis, when you know its history and value? Perhaps, I'm mistaken; how familiar are you with this topic?
    You're misinterpreting my point here and I apologize if I was unclear (I could have worded it better). Even if dream analysis is valid there is no reason that any given dream analysis couldn't be bogus. And given what we know based on experiments like the one mentioned prior, it seems likely that this case of a bad dream analysis could be interpreted by the subject as being a good dream analysis. That's all I was saying and the validity of dream analysis in general is irrelevant to it.
    I understand.

    Since you brought it up though, Freudian psychoanalysis is not considered scientific due to its lack of falsifiability and is rarely taken seriously by research psychologists today. So while I've had a basic overview of Freud, I certainly haven't put much time into it. Perhaps it gets an unfairly bad wrap; if so I'd be curious to know why.
    Although I did not mention Freud, I am neither a fan of his methods nor his ideas; however, his use of dreams as a barometer of our psychological conditions was inspired—in my opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Deactivations in the across-brain and hypofrontality in dream sleep suggest that the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from the concurrent experience of physical/materiality reality.
    I disagree. I see no reason why hypofrontality or the suppression of certain neural transmitters suggests this.
    Really? If you will recall:
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    During the functional state of dream sleep, the area of our brain associated with priority assessments experiences a condition of low or diminished activation known as hypofrontality. This low activation is caused by deactivation, in the across-brain (metencephalon), of specific neural processes associated with the delivery of somatosensory afferents to the upper regions of our central nervous system.
    True.
    Did you not understand these comments and to what you were agreeing?
    Are you serious? The ideas expressed in these two quotes are clearly not equivalent. If it's not obvious why after looking over them again then I'll offer an explanation, but I don't think it should be necessary.
    What sensory connection does the metencephalon provide? Specifically, what cluster of neurons activate conscious brain function? What is somatosensory afferents? These questions regard the brain’s connection to waking reality (physical/material reality).

    What does decorticate study, child neglect brain study, and the comparative brain study between wild and domesticated animals suggest about cortical activation and development? These questions regard hypofrontality.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    The error in suggestion A is that it offers no explanation for prefrontal deactivation. What is it about the condition of dream sleep and the dreaming brain that precipitates prefrontal deactivation?
    I don't see this as an error. It's only maybe a problem if there's an explanation with strong scientific support that it ignores. But I'd prefer no explanation to a dubious one. I'm not authoritatively claimed that there your explanation is dubious, it simply seems that way to me with my present information.
    To refresh, I said that we engage certain aberrant behaviors in dreams that we wouldn’t while awake because our dreaming brain is perceptive of the non-physical, immaterial, inconsequential nature of dream experience. As explanation for our aberrant dream behaviors, you suggested the concomitant effect of prefrontal deactivation as the cause. If we agree that the brain is reactive to afferent information, what is it about dream information that does not activate prefrontal function? A review of cortical isolation in decorticate study will provide a clue.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    ]i.e., the entirety of the sleep process, inclusive of dreaming, has been historically perceived and continues to universally be perceived as a state of unconsciousness.
    Considering this is how you've been using the term "unconscious":
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    By unconscious do you mean dreaming or really unconscious?
    Unconscious as a description of the active state of brain function suggested by dream sleep.
    Is "unconsciousness" by your usage merely a description of the brain-state while dreaming (in which case the universal consensus you mention is tautologically correct)?
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Therefore, dreaming is an unconscious experience of brain function.
    The historical and current perception has been that X is true, therefore X is true?
    I think you understand my use of term by now but would rather keep our exchanges on this tiresome merry-go-round rather than engage in more meaningful discussions. [I didn't notice your earlier comments before posting that comment] To clarify one final time, dreaming is an altered state of consciousness amid the unconscious state of sleep. Dreaming is an experience of active brain function amid the unconscious state of sleep. Because dreaming occurs during the unconscious state of sleep, dreams have been traditionally perceive as products of that psychological component we call the unconscious mind. When I comment on the unconscious mind, I am commenting on the functionally distinct brain activation that occurs during the dreaming phase of sleep, which is suggestive a major psychological component. When I refer to the active state of brain function in dream sleep as the unconscious, I am referring to the state and psychological component of the mind that is different from the waking-state. When I refer to the altered state of consciousness in dream sleep, I am referring to the unconscious mind. When I comment on unconscious experiences of the mind, I am commenting on dream experiences.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Although the access of our conscious mind to sensory input during sleep is diminished during sleep, our sensory systems are still functioning. Music, hunger, the need to urinate and sexual stimulation can all affect the dreaming experience.
    If I understand correctly, you believe that dreams can arise within an environment that music, hunger, the need to urinate, and sexual stimulation create? Is it your position that these influences upon the mind can create its environment rather than brain function?
    The mind's "environment" (if I'm not misinterpreting your use of this word) is always created by brain function. Brain function is influenced/altered by sensory input. If I correctly understood your claim that "dreams arise wholly within an environment that brain function produces", your implication was that this was the case due to the brain's lack of sensory input during sleep and that this differentiated dreams from waking experience. My claim is that the brain IS influenced/altered by sensory input during sleep, albeit to a diminished extent.
    When we close our eyes to dream, where does the dream occur? When we dream, do we leave our bodies and travel to some ethereal realm of experience or do we remain in our beds and within a realm produced by brain function? Regardless of what may influence dream content, are dreams experiences in physical reality or are they experiences in a reality brain function creates?
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Whether or not our dream behavior/experiences adhere to the literal laws and logic physical/material reality is inexorably influenced by the primary cause of hypofrontality.
    I don't disagree.
    Perhaps I wouldn’t if I didn’t know the cause of hypofrontality in dream sleep.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Understanding its cause explains what laws and logic applies to dream content. What causes hypofrontality during the dreaming state of brain function?
    I don't know, maybe you can give me your assessment of what the evidence suggests regarding a cause, if anything.
    Above, I’ve asked some fundamental questions regarding the brain’s connection to waking-state reality and hypofrontality. In prior discussion, you suggested that certain dream behaviors are caused by prefrontal deactivation without consideration that prefrontal activation is secondary to the afferents or information it receives; i.e., the prefrontal only becomes active in the presence of specific afferents. So the question becomes, why doesn’t the afferents that causes dreaming activate prefrontal function? This is not a case of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" This is a case where dream behaviors do not effect prefrontal function. We frequently engage in aberrant behaviors in dreams not because of prefrontal deactivation, we engage those behaviors because their afferent causes do not effect or activate the processes of prefrontal function. After you've commented on the questions above, I will explain further.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    then for you this is probably not about a substantive dialogue.

    On the contrary, it's impossible to have a substantive dialogue without clarity over terminology.
    Clarity over terminology is not the same as incessant questioning of seemingly every term I use when that use has been clearly defined during the course of our discussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I have a sense, that you engaged this discussion with the expectation that you would demonstrate some intellectual superiority over a person whose interests suggest he is not as erudite as you. If it is not your intent to engage in a substantive exchange, then again I ask that you say so directly and we can conclude this pointless discussion.
    For future reference, I have zero interest in what you think my motivations are for posting or any other such garbage.
    Admittedly, my comments were in frustration over clarifying terms repeatedly. It’s like being on the Los Angeles freeway during rush-hour—stop and go, stop and go, stop and go, etc. However, you’ve questioned my motivation and I've responded courteously. Perhaps I should not have expected a similar courtesy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    Admittedly, my comments were in frustration over clarifying terms repeatedly. It’s like being on the Los Angeles freeway during rush-hour—stop and go, stop and go, stop and go, etc. However, you’ve questioned my motivation and I've responded courteously. Perhaps I should not have expected a similar courtesy.
    I don't recall doing that.

    I can understand your frustration, but I don't believe I've demonstrated any intellectual dishonesty or anything of that nature that should warrant character attacks, granted that you accepted my apology regarding my first response. I have no problem with criticisms like "you keep asking for clarification of terms that were sufficiently explained earlier in the thread" or "your statement '_____' suggests bias/lack of knowledge" and so on. Speculation regarding what you consider to be my ill-motives in posting are far less constructive and are baseless by nature--that is why I have no interest in them. To be clear (since "tone" is not present in text), I bear no ill-feelings and respect that you have a significantly greater knowledge of neuroscience than I do. Although it hasn't come up in this thread I also commend you for your evolutionary approach to brain study, which I've always thought was an important way to go (not that I'm an expert or anything). At any rate I still find your overall conclusions both implausible and of questionable verifiability based on the information present in the thread so far (it appears you'll give some more explanation regarding what lead you to these conclusions after my comments) and my own limited knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Your initial quote above suggests I should take even your casual statements seriously. If your casual statements are serious, then they should be question if we are engaging in a substantive discussion. In your casual statement, you compared the validity of dream analysis to astrology-based personality profiles. You suggested that people should not be impressed by either and subsequently suggested “few would question” such a casual statement. I disagreed and questioned it.
    That is a significant misunderstanding of what I said, but I think you recognized what I was actually saying in the portions of the response that followed.

    What sensory connection does the metencephalon provide? Specifically, what cluster of neurons activate conscious brain function? What is somatosensory afferents? These questions regard the brain’s connection to waking reality (physical/material reality).

    What does decorticate study, child neglect brain study, and the comparative brain study between wild and domesticated animals suggest about cortical activation and development? These questions regard hypofrontality.
    I agreed that deactivation of certain brain areas and neurotransmitters occurs during sleep, resulting in diminished priority assessment and sensory (as opposed to perceptual) processing among other things. I don't agree that this suggests that "the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from" sensory input.

    Also, while I agree that deactivation occurs I don't agree that complete deactivation of sensory processing occurs. In this sense I may have not understood what I was agreeing to. I missed the part about the deactivation of "specific neural processes" -- I haven't looked into that enough to agree or disagree.

    From my experience it's common for music/television/radio sounds to 'become part of the dream'. The same with bladder pressure and sexual arousal (e.g. wet dreams). Are you aware of whether or not this kind of thing has been studied? Maybe I'm somewhat off base, considering my vague memory of these experiences. At the very least, we are capable of being awoken by sound, touch, or the flipping on of a light-switch, indicating that the brain is not completely shutting out sensory input, although it is certainly reducing it or reducing its impact. I would think this obvious fact lends some plausibility to the less obvious former claims.

    I don't see this as an error. It's only maybe a problem if there's an explanation with strong scientific support that it ignores. But I'd prefer no explanation to a dubious one. I'm not authoritatively claimed that there your explanation is dubious, it simply seems that way to me with my present information.
    To refresh, I said that we engage certain aberrant behaviors in dreams that we wouldn’t while awake because our dreaming brain is perceptive of the non-physical, immaterial, inconsequential nature of dream experience. As explanation for our aberrant dream behaviors, you suggested the concomitant effect of prefrontal deactivation as the cause. If we agree that the brain is reactive to afferent information, what is it about dream information that does not activate prefrontal function? A review of cortical isolation in decorticate study will provide a clue.
    And what is that clue?

    When we close our eyes to dream, where does the dream occur? When we dream, do we leave our bodies and travel to some ethereal realm of experience or do we remain in our beds and within a realm produced by brain function? Regardless of what may influence dream content, are dreams experiences in physical reality or are they experiences in a reality brain function creates?
    They are experiences produced by brain function, as are waking experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Understanding its cause explains what laws and logic applies to dream content. What causes hypofrontality during the dreaming state of brain function?
    I don't know, maybe you can give me your assessment of what the evidence suggests regarding a cause, if anything.
    Above, I’ve asked some fundamental questions regarding the brain’s connection to waking-state reality and hypofrontality. In prior discussion, you suggested that certain dream behaviors are caused by prefrontal deactivation without consideration that prefrontal activation is secondary to the afferents or information it receives; i.e., the prefrontal only becomes active in the presence of specific afferents. So the question becomes, why doesn’t the afferents that causes dreaming activate prefrontal function? This is not a case of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" This is a case where dream behaviors do not effect prefrontal function. We frequently engage in aberrant behaviors in dreams not because of prefrontal deactivation, we engage those behaviors because their afferent causes do not effect or activate the processes of prefrontal function. After you've commented on the questions above, I will explain further.
    I follow until you say that "We frequently engage in aberrant behaviors in dreams not because of prefrontal deactivation, we engage those behaviors because their afferent causes do not effect or activate the processes of prefrontal function." Can you explain the distinction?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    However, you’ve questioned my motivation and I've responded courteously. Perhaps I should not have expected a similar courtesy.
    I don't recall doing that.
    Perhaps I misunderstood your comments inset in bold below.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    My perception is that you can’t be swayed by any evidence or argument in this area because you have already decided your position. I hardly believe that a grad student interested in cognitive psychology doesn’t have access to such case studies. May I suggest a Google Scholar search addressing nightmares?
    I have already corrected myself on two occasions after fact checking my own claims against yours. What makes you think I "can't be swayed by any evidence or argument in this area"? If I changed my beliefs based on every anecdote I heard I would be a believer in astrology, christianity, islam, wicca, tarot readings, etc. If I'm so close-minded why even bother to have this discussion with me?
    I, and I suspect you as well, enjoy substantive discussions with intelligent individuals who may not always agreed with my or your position. What I gain from engaging these discussions is a deeper understanding of my own perspective with the prospect of new insights from varied and opposing viewpoints.
    I can understand your frustration, but I don't believe I've demonstrated any intellectual dishonesty or anything of that nature that should warrant character attacks, granted that you accepted my apology regarding my first response. I have no problem with criticisms like "you keep asking for clarification of terms that were sufficiently explained earlier in the thread" or "your statement '_____' suggests bias/lack of knowledge" and so on. Speculation regarding what you consider to be my ill-motives in posting are far less constructive and are baseless by nature--that is why I have no interest in them.
    I agree; pardon my frustration and unproductive comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    What sensory connection does the metencephalon provide? Specifically, what cluster of neurons activate conscious brain function? What is somatosensory afferents? These questions regard the brain’s connection to waking reality (physical/material reality).

    What does decorticate study, child neglect brain study, and the comparative brain study between wild and domesticated animals suggest about cortical activation and development? These questions regard hypofrontality.

    I agreed that deactivation of certain brain areas and neurotransmitters occurs during sleep, resulting in diminished priority assessment and sensory (as opposed to perceptual) processing among other things. I don't agree that this suggests that "the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from" sensory input.
    If I understand correctly, you do not agree that “the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from” sensory input. You may have mistook my statement to infer that the dreaming brain does not interpret the experience of dreaming as sensory experiences when the imagery seems to clearly suggest it does. To clarify, my position is that the dreaming brain is aware that its faux physical/material sensory experiences in dream context do not reflex its contemporaneous sensory contact or interaction with true physical/material reality; i.e., I am suggesting that the brain does understand its dream experiences occur in a mental reality rather than a physical/material reality. In support of my position, I’ve asked, via my first question, that you consider how the brain is informed of its connection to waking (physical/material) reality through metencephalic activation and activity.

    We know that some deactivation in metencephalic function occurs during the dreaming phase of the sleep process. We also know that general waking-state arousal in the conscious brain is associated with a metencephalic formation of neuron collectively called the reticular activation system (RAS). When the upper regions of our central nervous system (CNS) are surgically isolated from their neural connections to the RAS, the brain maintains a steady slow-wave state, which is suggestive of non-REM (non-dream) sleep and levels of coma. Therefore, if metencephalic deactivation during REM (dream) sleep is proved, this would suggest the cessation of a vital connection between the dreaming brain and it perception processing of true waking (physical/material) reality. If there is some cessation between the dreaming brain’s connections to waking reality, one may reasonably question how does that equate to a cessation of the brain’s detection of experiences emerging from true physical/material reality?

    How does the brain distinguish its sensory contact with what is truly physical and material? The answer is somatosensory afferents. Somatosensory afferents is the information the brain receives about its tactile experiences and the physical nature of the body from its skin and internal organs. We know that the neural clusters associated with the delivery of somatosensory afferents arise from the metencephalon and below (myelencephalon). Therefore, if metencephalic/myelencephalic deactivation during dream sleep is proved, this could suggest a cessation in the physical/material (somatosensory) afferents the dreaming brain uses to distinguish its sensory contact with true physical/material reality. Visual and olfactory sensory afferents aside, all tactile forms of sensory (inclusive of auditory) arise from either the metencephalon or myelencephalon segments of brainstem. The only remaining question is how does one prove metencephalon/myelencephalon deactivation in dream sleep and, thereby, prove the dreaming brain’s awareness of its disconnect from physical/material reality?

    Although he did not understand the true significance of his research, Michel Jouvet, a pioneer in neuropsychology of the dreaming brain, proved metencephalon/myelencephalon deactivation in a series of decerebrate experiments that localized the neural mechanism for atonia in these lower brainstem regions. Atonia, as you may be aware, is the state of muscle inelasticity associated with the onset of normal REM. Throughout our waking-state experience and during the non-REM stages of sleep, our body muscular maintains a tonic, ready state. At the onset of dream sleep, that state of muscle readiness is released and, as a result, our gross locomotion is disabled. Jouvet proved metencephalon/myelencephalon deactivation when he noticed weak eye movements at the onset of atonia in his study of decerebrate animals with mesencephalic brain preparations.

    With atonia already localized in lower brainstem segments, Jouvet noticed weak eye movements in mesencephalic test animals at the release of muscle readiness by metencephalic/myelencephalic function. Jouvet perceived this faint eye movement as evidence of REM activation initiated by neural impulses from the pons (a metencephalic structure) at atonia onset. Jouvet failed to realize that those impotent eye movements were caused by weak neural impulses, from the severed efferent oculomotor nerves in the mesencephalon, which could have only emerged after cessation of those overriding neural impulses from the metencephalon and below. During metencephalic activation, efferent eye movement is subservient to the tactile afferents (taste, touch, & sound sensory) that reach the brain’s cognitive centers. This is consistent with the contiguous nature of brain evolution where the neural network for visual sensory rises from the floor network that tactile sensory provides. The mesencephalic REM Jouvet observed, coupled with atonia, was evidence of some neural cessation in the metencephalon/myelencephalon.

    One could convincingly argue that atonia identifies a cessation in the efferent neural network to the musculature of the body rather than the afferent network of sensory information to the brain. That argument is partially silenced by the diminished metencephalic production of norepinephrine in sleep. The natural deficiency of norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter) during sleep produces our decreased sensitivity to physical/material arousal stimuli. Hypofrontality—as cortical function in neural isolation from subcortical structure suggests—provides further evidence of the dreaming brain’s disconnect from true physical/material sensory reality. I will explain how further on.

    Also, while I agree that deactivation occurs I don't agree that complete deactivation of sensory processing occurs. In this sense I may have not understood what I was agreeing to. I missed the part about the deactivation of "specific neural processes" -- I haven't looked into that enough to agree or disagree.
    Maybe I'm somewhat off base, considering my vague memory of these experiences. At the very least, we are capable of being awoken by sound, touch, or the flipping on of a light-switch, indicating that the brain is not completely shutting out sensory input, although it is certainly reducing it or reducing its impact. I would think this obvious fact lends some plausibility to the less obvious former claims.
    Although substantially disconnected from true physical/material sensory experience, some sensitivity to somatosensory reality is necessary to effect arousal in response to survival affecting pressures. Other than stage 4 non-REM, studies show that arousal from the dreaming phase of sleep is most difficult. Once aroused from dream sleep, studies also show that maintaining arousal is even more difficult than trying to stay awake after arousing from any other stage of sleep including stage 4 non-REM. The studies I’ve reviewed show that light and aroma stimuli are insufficient to effect arousal from dream sleep. As an effect of evolution, only tactile and aural forms of stimuli cause arousal—because these tactile forms of stimuli had the most direct impact on the physical wellbeing of ancestral animals. Although touch and sound sensory can stimulate arousal from dream sleep, this is insufficient evidence that the brain maintains a continual or substantial connection to true physical/material sensory experience throughout the dreaming phase of sleep. This is supported by hypofrontality, which I will explain in subsequent comments.

    From my experience it's common for music/television/radio sounds to 'become part of the dream'. The same with bladder pressure and sexual arousal (e.g. wet dreams). Are you aware of whether or not this kind of thing has been studied?
    I’ve reviewed several studies on the arousal effects of varying forms of touch, sound, aroma, and light stimuli. I’ve also reviewed data on the sleeping brain’s responses to various stimuli. Those tests for the inclusion of external stimuli in dream content were poorly designed, in my opinion. These tests did not determine how the arousal process might have contributed to the inclusion of external stimuli in dream content. One may drift into sleep or awake to the sound of external stimuli to find his or her dreams compromised by the experience. These compromised dream experiences merely show how the waking-state brain tries to integrate its incoming afferent sensory experiences with dream reality as either its connection to true physical/material reality fades into sleep or as that connection arouses as the brain cycles to its waking-state. Concerning bladder pressure and wet dreams, the evidence suggests that these experiences (particularly wet dreams) may be caused by the content of our dream experiences rather than by the brain’s detection of concurrent physical pressures during dream sleep; i.e., toilet and sexual dreams reflect those mental experiences that more likely produce the physical urges we experience upon arousal from sleep rather than the converse perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    To refresh, I said that we engage certain aberrant behaviors in dreams that we wouldn’t while awake because our dreaming brain is perceptive of the non-physical, immaterial, inconsequential nature of dream experience. As explanation for our aberrant dream behaviors, you suggested the concomitant effect of prefrontal deactivation as the cause. If we agree that the brain is reactive to afferent information, what is it about dream information that does not activate prefrontal function? A review of cortical isolation in decorticate study will provide a clue.
    And what is that clue?
    My response is included in my comments below.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    When we close our eyes to dream, where does the dream occur? When we dream, do we leave our bodies and travel to some ethereal realm of experience or do we remain in our beds and within a realm produced by brain function? Regardless of what may influence dream content, are dreams experiences in physical reality or are they experiences in a reality brain function creates?

    They are experiences produced by brain function, as are waking experiences.
    Empirically, dreams are mental experiences; i.e., they are experiences of awareness wholly within an environment of the mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Above, I’ve asked some fundamental questions regarding the brain’s connection to waking-state reality and hypofrontality. In prior discussion, you suggested that certain dream behaviors are caused by prefrontal deactivation without consideration that prefrontal activation is secondary to the afferents or information it receives; i.e., the prefrontal only becomes active in the presence of specific afferents. So the question becomes, why doesn’t the afferents that causes dreaming activate prefrontal function? This is not a case of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" This is a case where dream behaviors do not effect prefrontal function. We frequently engage in aberrant behaviors in dreams not because of prefrontal deactivation, we engage those behaviors because their afferent causes do not effect or activate the processes of prefrontal function. After you've commented on the questions above, I will explain further.
    I follow until you say that "We frequently engage in aberrant behaviors in dreams not because of prefrontal deactivation, we engage those behaviors because their afferent causes do not effect or activate the processes of prefrontal function." Can you explain the distinction?
    In prior comments, you’ve suggested that our dream behaviors lack certain qualities (normal rationality, executive decision making, time perception, self-reflection, and working/short-term memory) as a consequence of prefrontal deactivation (hypofrontality). This, in my view, is indicative of mainstream misperception of brain function arising from an insufficient foundation in how the brain evolved. Mainstream thought and investigative processes, in my opinion, tend to take a top-down approach to studying and understanding brain behavior.

    In their research and assessment of abnormalities in cognitive functioning, our contemporaries in mind and brain study seem to be of the mindset that cortical function is primary to the answers they seek. For example, mainstream research attributes some schizophrenia symptomatology (e.g., irrationality, poor decision-making, diminished self-reflection, poor memory, inattentiveness, etc) to the abnormal neural structure or dysfunction of the prefrontal. Although research has linked dopamine activity to some symptoms of schizophrenia, corrective measures addressing this activity have centered on the prefrontal. In my view, this effort seems to be about what is inhibiting proper prefrontal activation rather than what is not causing that activation. What causes prefrontal activation?

    Brain evolution provides the distinction that recent brain structures and functions arise from a foundation that primitive brain structures and functions provide. This idea suggests that the evolved nature of brain structure involves a bottom-up, primitive-to-recent activation and functional process. The RAS contribution to conscious brain function and the effects of tegmentum dopamine production on the prefrontal appear to support this primitive-to-recent (brainstem-to-cortex) activation/functional process. However, the most convincing support is provided by cortical isolation studies.

    In studies by researchers such as Jouvet and Jaime Villablanca, the cortices of test animals were surgically separated from their subcortical neural connections. While under continuous EEG monitoring and throughout the survival period of these test animals, the cortices of these animal registered no activity—spontaneous or otherwise. These experiments proved the dependency of cortical activation on subcortical neural inputs and that cortical function is nonexistent in the absence of a neural connection to subcortical structure.

    The nonexistence of cortical activity in the absence of subcortical neural inputs suggests that subcortical neural processes mediate activation in the cortex. Regarding the activations and deactivations in the cortex during dream sleep, this evidence supports the conclusion that subcortical neural processes also mediate activation in the dreaming brain. When specific cortical areas remain predominately inactive during dream sleep, the subcortical neural disconnect evidence infers that this inactivity suggests those areas are not being sufficiently stimulated by the sensory afferents of subcortical neural processes. Essentially, prefrontal deactivation in dream sleep suggests that its function is not sufficiently stimulated by the dreaming process, which is a process dependent on subcortical afferent input. Regarding the conundrum of poor dream recall, one may inquire why so? To answer, we will have to consider the evolution of memory.

    Concisely, memory was evolved as a survival strategy associated with maintaining the physical/material wellbeing of ancestral animals. The attention these animals likely gave to their physical/material survival needs and the mental effort associated with proactive mediation of their survival behaviors gave rise to the prefrontal structure and function we have at present. Because the prefrontal evolved in an environment where physical/material survival was likely paramount, its function is primed to become active only in the presences of true physical/material experience of the kind that our activated metencephalon provides. When metencephalic activation diminishes, as atonia onset signals, the prefrontal is not sufficiently stimulated—by the remaining subcortical afferents it detects—to effect its mediation of dream content. Essentially, the prefrontal does not identify the subcortical afferents that activates dreaming as having a physical/material survival impact. Therefore, diminished prefrontal function in dream sleep demonstrates the dreaming brain’s awareness of dreams as a non-physical, non-waking-state reality that is inconsequential to survival and memory.
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    I'll get around to this in a week or less probably, but it's finals week and I have to leave for a conference on Wednesday so I'm very busy at the moment. I appreciate the lengthy reply.
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    For your further consideration, Jouvet's cortical isolation experiments support the conclusion that the dreaming brain is activated by subcortical neural processes because the test animals in these experiments experienced normal sleep cycles; i.e., they experienced normal tonic to atonic muscle postures suggestive of the sleep process without the cortical activation suggestive of dreaming. When we couple the results of such experiments with evidence that cortical atrophy can occur through under stimulation, I think we have greater support for the dependency of the dreaming brain's activation on the afferent input arising from subcortical function and that hypofrontality is an effect of insufficient sensory afferents during the dreaming phase of sleep. Essentially, dreaming does not activate the mediation processes of the prefrontal, which is the likely seat of the priority assessment processes that govern conscious behavior and memory.
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    Sorry for the delay in getting back to this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    I agree; pardon my frustration and unproductive comment.
    No big deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc

    What sensory connection does the metencephalon provide? Specifically, what cluster of neurons activate conscious brain function? What is somatosensory afferents? These questions regard the brain’s connection to waking reality (physical/material reality).

    What does decorticate study, child neglect brain study, and the comparative brain study between wild and domesticated animals suggest about cortical activation and development? These questions regard hypofrontality.

    I agreed that deactivation of certain brain areas and neurotransmitters occurs during sleep, resulting in diminished priority assessment and sensory (as opposed to perceptual) processing among other things. I don't agree that this suggests that "the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from" sensory input.
    If I understand correctly, you do not agree that “the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from” sensory input. You may have mistook my statement to infer that the dreaming brain does not interpret the experience of dreaming as sensory experiences when the imagery seems to clearly suggest it does. To clarify, my position is that the dreaming brain is aware that its faux physical/material sensory experiences in dream context do not reflex its contemporaneous sensory contact or interaction with true physical/material reality; i.e., I am suggesting that the brain does understand its dream experiences occur in a mental reality rather than a physical/material reality. In support of my position, I’ve asked, via my first question, that you consider how the brain is informed of its connection to waking (physical/material) reality through metencephalic activation and activity.

    We know that some deactivation in metencephalic function occurs during the dreaming phase of the sleep process. We also know that general waking-state arousal in the conscious brain is associated with a metencephalic formation of neuron collectively called the reticular activation system (RAS). When the upper regions of our central nervous system (CNS) are surgically isolated from their neural connections to the RAS, the brain maintains a steady slow-wave state, which is suggestive of non-REM (non-dream) sleep and levels of coma. Therefore, if metencephalic deactivation during REM (dream) sleep is proved, this would suggest the cessation of a vital connection between the dreaming brain and it perception processing of true waking (physical/material) reality. If there is some cessation between the dreaming brain’s connections to waking reality, one may reasonably question how does that equate to a cessation of the brain’s detection of experiences emerging from true physical/material reality?

    How does the brain distinguish its sensory contact with what is truly physical and material? The answer is somatosensory afferents. Somatosensory afferents is the information the brain receives about its tactile experiences and the physical nature of the body from its skin and internal organs. We know that the neural clusters associated with the delivery of somatosensory afferents arise from the metencephalon and below (myelencephalon). Therefore, if metencephalic/myelencephalic deactivation during dream sleep is proved, this could suggest a cessation in the physical/material (somatosensory) afferents the dreaming brain uses to distinguish its sensory contact with true physical/material reality. Visual and olfactory sensory afferents aside, all tactile forms of sensory (inclusive of auditory) arise from either the metencephalon or myelencephalon segments of brainstem. The only remaining question is how does one prove metencephalon/myelencephalon deactivation in dream sleep and, thereby, prove the dreaming brain’s awareness of its disconnect from physical/material reality?

    Although he did not understand the true significance of his research, Michel Jouvet, a pioneer in neuropsychology of the dreaming brain, proved metencephalon/myelencephalon deactivation in a series of decerebrate experiments that localized the neural mechanism for atonia in these lower brainstem regions. Atonia, as you may be aware, is the state of muscle inelasticity associated with the onset of normal REM. Throughout our waking-state experience and during the non-REM stages of sleep, our body muscular maintains a tonic, ready state. At the onset of dream sleep, that state of muscle readiness is released and, as a result, our gross locomotion is disabled. Jouvet proved metencephalon/myelencephalon deactivation when he noticed weak eye movements at the onset of atonia in his study of decerebrate animals with mesencephalic brain preparations.

    With atonia already localized in lower brainstem segments, Jouvet noticed weak eye movements in mesencephalic test animals at the release of muscle readiness by metencephalic/myelencephalic function. Jouvet perceived this faint eye movement as evidence of REM activation initiated by neural impulses from the pons (a metencephalic structure) at atonia onset. Jouvet failed to realize that those impotent eye movements were caused by weak neural impulses, from the severed efferent oculomotor nerves in the mesencephalon, which could have only emerged after cessation of those overriding neural impulses from the metencephalon and below. During metencephalic activation, efferent eye movement is subservient to the tactile afferents (taste, touch, & sound sensory) that reach the brain’s cognitive centers. This is consistent with the contiguous nature of brain evolution where the neural network for visual sensory rises from the floor network that tactile sensory provides. The mesencephalic REM Jouvet observed, coupled with atonia, was evidence of some neural cessation in the metencephalon/myelencephalon.

    One could convincingly argue that atonia identifies a cessation in the efferent neural network to the musculature of the body rather than the afferent network of sensory information to the brain. That argument is partially silenced by the diminished metencephalic production of norepinephrine in sleep. The natural deficiency of norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter) during sleep produces our decreased sensitivity to physical/material arousal stimuli. Hypofrontality—as cortical function in neural isolation from subcortical structure suggests—provides further evidence of the dreaming brain’s disconnect from true physical/material sensory reality. I will explain how further on.
    Why do you call it "awareness"?

    Those tests for the inclusion of external stimuli in dream content were poorly designed, in my opinion.
    It might be an interesting to experiment on further then.

    Concerning bladder pressure and wet dreams, the evidence suggests that these experiences (particularly wet dreams) may be caused by the content of our dream experiences rather than by the brain’s detection of concurrent physical pressures during dream sleep; i.e., toilet and sexual dreams reflect those mental experiences that more likely produce the physical urges we experience upon arousal from sleep rather than the converse perspective.
    What of feeling uncomfortable during a dream for an unknown reason and then waking and realizing that we need to pee? I believe I've experienced this a few times.

    When specific cortical areas remain predominately inactive during dream sleep, the subcortical neural disconnect evidence infers that this inactivity suggests those areas are not being sufficiently stimulated by the sensory afferents of subcortical neural processes.
    Is that really a strong conclusion? The disconnect studies you mentioned just point to one requirement for cortical activity: connection to subcortical activity. That doesn't mean cortical non-activity can't result from other causes. Also why do the disconnect studies suggest that it is sensory afferents in particular that must be the cause of cortical activity?

    Essentially, prefrontal deactivation in dream sleep suggests that its function is not sufficiently stimulated by the dreaming process, which is a process dependent on subcortical afferent input. Regarding the conundrum of poor dream recall, one may inquire why so? To answer, we will have to consider the evolution of memory.

    Concisely, memory was evolved as a survival strategy associated with maintaining the physical/material wellbeing of ancestral animals. The attention these animals likely gave to their physical/material survival needs and the mental effort associated with proactive mediation of their survival behaviors gave rise to the prefrontal structure and function we have at present. Because the prefrontal evolved in an environment where physical/material survival was likely paramount, its function is primed to become active only in the presences of true physical/material experience of the kind that our activated metencephalon provides. When metencephalic activation diminishes, as atonia onset signals, the prefrontal is not sufficiently stimulated—by the remaining subcortical afferents it detects—to effect its mediation of dream content. Essentially, the prefrontal does not identify the subcortical afferents that activates dreaming as having a physical/material survival impact. Therefore, diminished prefrontal function in dream sleep demonstrates the dreaming brain’s awareness of dreams as a non-physical, non-waking-state reality that is inconsequential to survival and memory.
    Again I would ask why this indicates awareness. Yes, memory and other coritcal functions (i.e. reasoning, accessing other memories, decision making) are not necessary for survival during dreaming. Dreaming is not necessary for survival either, so I'm not sure if this really explains much.

    Let me readdress the prior paragraph.

    Above, I’ve asked some fundamental questions regarding the brain’s connection to waking-state reality and hypofrontality. In prior discussion, you suggested that certain dream behaviors are caused by prefrontal deactivation without consideration that prefrontal activation is secondary to the afferents or information it receives; i.e., the prefrontal only becomes active in the presence of specific afferents.
    It is also "secondary" to the inhalation of oxygen in that the brain can only function when supplied oxygen by the blood. In that sense I agree, but I'm not sure that it has direct bearing on my suggestion. It may or may not--I understand that you are arguing that it does.

    So the question becomes, why doesn’t the afferents that causes dreaming activate prefrontal function? This is not a case of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" This is a case where dream behaviors do not effect prefrontal function. We frequently engage in aberrant behaviors in dreams not because of prefrontal deactivation, we engage those behaviors because their afferent causes do not effect or activate the processes of prefrontal function.
    If I tied a bag around my head and turned blue, one could say that I was not turning blue because my oxygen was cut off, but rather because the behavior that caused me to turn blue did not cause me to inhale oxygen. I'm not sure what difference it makes. Clearly PF activity affects behavior and clearly behavior affects PF activity. Clearly both of these things are also affected by subcortical activity and clearly subcortical activity also affects both of these things.

    Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornsail
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    If I understand correctly, you do not agree that “the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as emerging from” sensory input. You may have mistook my statement to infer that the dreaming brain does not interpret the experience of dreaming as sensory experiences when the imagery seems to clearly suggest it does. To clarify, my position is that the dreaming brain is aware that its faux physical/material sensory experiences in dream context do not reflex its contemporaneous sensory contact or interaction with true physical/material reality; i.e., I am suggesting that the brain does understand its dream experiences occur in a mental reality rather than a physical/material reality. In support of my position, I’ve asked, via my first question, that you consider how the brain is informed of its connection to waking (physical/material) reality through metencephalic activation and activity.

    We know that some deactivation in metencephalic function occurs during the dreaming phase of the sleep process. We also know that general waking-state arousal in the conscious brain is associated with a metencephalic formation of neuron collectively called the reticular activation system (RAS). When the upper regions of our central nervous system (CNS) are surgically isolated from their neural connections to the RAS, the brain maintains a steady slow-wave state, which is suggestive of non-REM (non-dream) sleep and levels of coma. Therefore, if metencephalic deactivation during REM (dream) sleep is proved, this would suggest the cessation of a vital connection between the dreaming brain and it perception processing of true waking (physical/material) reality. If there is some cessation between the dreaming brain’s connections to waking reality, one may reasonably question how does that equate to a cessation of the brain’s detection of experiences emerging from true physical/material reality?

    How does the brain distinguish its sensory contact with what is truly physical and material? The answer is somatosensory afferents. Somatosensory afferents is the information the brain receives about its tactile experiences and the physical nature of the body from its skin and internal organs. We know that the neural clusters associated with the delivery of somatosensory afferents arise from the metencephalon and below (myelencephalon). Therefore, if metencephalic/myelencephalic deactivation during dream sleep is proved, this could suggest a cessation in the physical/material (somatosensory) afferents the dreaming brain uses to distinguish its sensory contact with true physical/material reality. Visual and olfactory sensory afferents aside, all tactile forms of sensory (inclusive of auditory) arise from either the metencephalon or myelencephalon segments of brainstem. The only remaining question is how does one prove metencephalon/myelencephalon deactivation in dream sleep and, thereby, prove the dreaming brain’s awareness of its disconnect from physical/material reality?

    Although he did not understand the true significance of his research, Michel Jouvet, a pioneer in neuropsychology of the dreaming brain, proved metencephalon/myelencephalon deactivation in a series of decerebrate experiments that localized the neural mechanism for atonia in these lower brainstem regions. Atonia, as you may be aware, is the state of muscle inelasticity associated with the onset of normal REM. Throughout our waking-state experience and during the non-REM stages of sleep, our body muscular maintains a tonic, ready state. At the onset of dream sleep, that state of muscle readiness is released and, as a result, our gross locomotion is disabled. Jouvet proved metencephalon/myelencephalon deactivation when he noticed weak eye movements at the onset of atonia in his study of decerebrate animals with mesencephalic brain preparations.

    With atonia already localized in lower brainstem segments, Jouvet noticed weak eye movements in mesencephalic test animals at the release of muscle readiness by metencephalic/myelencephalic function. Jouvet perceived this faint eye movement as evidence of REM activation initiated by neural impulses from the pons (a metencephalic structure) at atonia onset. Jouvet failed to realize that those impotent eye movements were caused by weak neural impulses, from the severed efferent oculomotor nerves in the mesencephalon, which could have only emerged after cessation of those overriding neural impulses from the metencephalon and below. During metencephalic activation, efferent eye movement is subservient to the tactile afferents (taste, touch, & sound sensory) that reach the brain’s cognitive centers. This is consistent with the contiguous nature of brain evolution where the neural network for visual sensory rises from the floor network that tactile sensory provides. The mesencephalic REM Jouvet observed, coupled with atonia, was evidence of some neural cessation in the metencephalon/myelencephalon.

    One could convincingly argue that atonia identifies a cessation in the efferent neural network to the musculature of the body rather than the afferent network of sensory information to the brain. That argument is partially silenced by the diminished metencephalic production of norepinephrine in sleep. The natural deficiency of norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter) during sleep produces our decreased sensitivity to physical/material arousal stimuli. Hypofrontality—as cortical function in neural isolation from subcortical structure suggests—provides further evidence of the dreaming brain’s disconnect from true physical/material sensory reality. I will explain how further on.
    Why do you call it "awareness"?
    Awareness in the brain is determined by its level and areas of normal activation and deactivation in response to stimuli, which the evidence suggests arise from subcortical afferents. Hypofrontality and atonia in dream sleep evince the dreaming brain’s “awareness”—as in its measure of activation and deactivation—that the afferent causes of dreaming do not require prefrontal or gross motor mediation. Distinct subcortical cessations of the functional and neurochemical processes (e.g., norepinephrine production) linking the brain to physical/material experience amid dream sleep suggest that the afferent stimuli that cause the sleeping brain to dream do not contain the neurochemical hallmarks that stimulate prefrontal activation and gross motor responses.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Concerning bladder pressure and wet dreams, the evidence suggests that these experiences (particularly wet dreams) may be caused by the content of our dream experiences rather than by the brain’s detection of concurrent physical pressures during dream sleep; i.e., toilet and sexual dreams reflect those mental experiences that more likely produce the physical urges we experience upon arousal from sleep rather than the converse perspective.
    What of feeling uncomfortable during a dream for an unknown reason and then waking and realizing that we need to pee? I believe I've experienced this a few times.
    During my 30+ years experience—inclusive of collecting and analyzing several thousand multicultural dreams—I have never encountered a single report of a dreamer waking from a dream experiences with the urge to urinate without dream content associated with that urge. Having a dream about urinating and waking with the urge to pee is not sufficient evidence that the dream was a response to some physical/material impetus. For example, I have reviewed several dream reports of pain persisting after waking from dreams involving injury scenarios without a physical/material cause or explanation for the lingering pain other than the realism of the dream experience. In my view, the potency of mind over body provides the most cogent explanation for the lingering urges, effects, and sensations that some dreamers experience after arousing from these types of physical dreams.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    When specific cortical areas remain predominately inactive during dream sleep, the subcortical neural disconnect evidence infers that this inactivity suggests those areas are not being sufficiently stimulated by the sensory afferents of subcortical neural processes.
    Is that really a strong conclusion? The disconnect studies you mentioned just point to one requirement for cortical activity: connection to subcortical activity.
    I disagree; these studies suggest that cortical connectivity to the afferent processes of subcortical structure is primary to cortical activation. In the absence of a neural link to subcortical structure, all neural activity in the cortex is nonexistent. This is consistent with the contiguous nature of brain evolution where the activation and function of recent structures (neocortex) arise from the floor activation and function primitive structures (brainstem) provide. Deactivations in a healthy brain under normal conditions such as dream sleep is evidence of altered afferent mediation by subcortical neural processes.
    That doesn't mean cortical non-activity can't result from other causes.
    If by “other causes” you are referring to structural abnormality or brain injury, then I agree. However, dreaming is not an abnormal state of brain function nor does the normal state of dreaming result from brain injury. Under normal brain conditions, subcortical neural processes mediate activation in the cortex. Dreaming is a normal condition of brain function and the dreaming brain’s areas of relative deactivation suggest that the subcortical processes associated with dreaming do not stimulate those deactivated areas.
    Also why do the disconnect studies suggest that it is sensory afferents in particular that must be the cause of cortical activity?
    In these studies, cortical disconnect was achieved by severing the neural pathways to the cortex while maintaining sufficient blood flow to the neurally isolated cortex. This procedure separates the cortex from its subcortical neural apparatus while maintaining the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the cortex. The effect of this procedure is a viable cortex that permits the observation of cortical activation in the absence of its afferent and efferent neural connections to subcortical structure. The significance of subcortical afferents over the efferent processes of cortical mentation is suggested by the nonexistence of activation—spontaneous or otherwise—in the neurally isolated cortex.

    These disconnect studies suggest the importance of afferent neural information to our understanding of what mediates normal cortical activation and deactivation. That afferent information is inclusive of physical, mental, and emotional content. The distinction sensory afferents provide is relevant to what the dreaming brain perceives or doesn’t perceive about the true nature of its physical environment.

    During dream sleep, the cessation of those neural processes connecting the brain to physical/material sensory reality suggests a cessation in the type of information available to the dreaming brain through subcortical afferents. Given the prominence of subcortical afferents to normal cortical activation and deactivation, prefrontal deactivation amid dream sleep is a response to the type of information available to the dreaming brain. The cessation of those processes connecting the brain to physical/material reality amid dream sleep suggests that the information available to the dreaming brain excludes data associated with true physical/material experience. Consequently, as hypofrontality and muscle atonia evidence, the dreaming cortex does not engage or execute those functional processes associated with navigating true physical/material experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Essentially, prefrontal deactivation in dream sleep suggests that its function is not sufficiently stimulated by the dreaming process, which is a process dependent on subcortical afferent input. Regarding the conundrum of poor dream recall, one may inquire why so? To answer, we will have to consider the evolution of memory.

    Concisely, memory was evolved as a survival strategy associated with maintaining the physical/material wellbeing of ancestral animals. The attention these animals likely gave to their physical/material survival needs and the mental effort associated with proactive mediation of their survival behaviors gave rise to the prefrontal structure and function we have at present. Because the prefrontal evolved in an environment where physical/material survival was likely paramount, its function is primed to become active only in the presences of true physical/material experience of the kind that our activated metencephalon provides. When metencephalic activation diminishes, as atonia onset signals, the prefrontal is not sufficiently stimulated—by the remaining subcortical afferents it detects—to effect its mediation of dream content. Essentially, the prefrontal does not identify the subcortical afferents that activates dreaming as having a physical/material survival impact. Therefore, diminished prefrontal function in dream sleep demonstrates the dreaming brain’s awareness of dreams as a non-physical, non-waking-state reality that is inconsequential to survival and memory.
    Again I would ask why this indicates awareness. Yes, memory and other coritcal functions (i.e. reasoning, accessing other memories, decision making) are not necessary for survival during dreaming. Dreaming is not necessary for survival either, so I'm not sure if this really explains much.
    You seem to be redirecting my quoted comments to your most recent query on my description of “awareness” relative to what the dreaming brain knows and does not know. If you review my reply in full, you will see that the above comments were in response to your assertion that dream behaviors lack certain qualities (normal rationality, executive decision making, time perception, self-reflection, and working/short-term memory) as a consequence of prefrontal deactivation (hypofrontality). Essentially, my above comments explain why the aberrant dream behaviors you asserted do not arise from prefrontal deactivation. The simple explanation is that the prefrontal is inactive during dream sleep because the dreaming brain does not perceive the experience of dreaming as relevant to physical/material experience, which is the experience (physical/material) that likely gave rise to the evolution of prefrontal function. Dream behaviors are not about the deactivation of prefrontal function, they are about the lack of relevance to prefrontal function.
    Let me readdress the prior paragraph.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    Above, I’ve asked some fundamental questions regarding the brain’s connection to waking-state reality and hypofrontality. In prior discussion, you suggested that certain dream behaviors are caused by prefrontal deactivation without consideration that prefrontal activation is secondary to the afferents or information it receives; i.e., the prefrontal only becomes active in the presence of specific afferents.
    It is also "secondary" to the inhalation of oxygen in that the brain can only function when supplied oxygen by the blood. In that sense I agree, but I'm not sure that it has direct bearing on my suggestion. It may or may not--I understand that you are arguing that it does.
    Prefrontal activation is a reference to the neurological activity associated with mentation mediation by the prefrontal. Although oxygen may support the biological processes associated with this activity, it is not a neurological cause of that activity—secondary or otherwise. Cortical activation, prefrontal or elsewhere, is secondary to subcortical neural activity and input.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrmDoc
    So the question becomes, why doesn’t the afferents that causes dreaming activate prefrontal function? This is not a case of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" This is a case where dream behaviors do not effect prefrontal function. We frequently engage in aberrant behaviors in dreams not because of prefrontal deactivation, we engage those behaviors because their afferent causes do not effect or activate the processes of prefrontal function.
    If I tied a bag around my head and turned blue, one could say that I was not turning blue because my oxygen was cut off, but rather because the behavior that caused me to turn blue did not cause me to inhale oxygen. I'm not sure what difference it makes. Clearly PF activity affects behavior and clearly behavior affects PF activity. Clearly both of these things are also affected by subcortical activity and clearly subcortical activity also affects both of these things.

    Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding.
    If I may restate, there is more than sufficient neurological evidence, inclusive of brain evolution and decerebrate study, supporting a perspective of cortical activation and, by extension, prefrontal activation as secondary to subcortical afferents. There is no activity in the cortex without the mediation subcortical afferents provide. If there is no activation in the prefrontal amid dream sleep, this is evidence that the subcortical afferents associated with dreaming do not activated prefrontal function. The likely basis of prefrontal evolution provides prefrontal deactivation amid dream sleep as a response to the insufficient physical/material hallmarks within the subcortical afferents that cause dreaming. The diminished production of norepinephrine amid dream sleep provides evidence of the dreaming brain’s diminished connectivity to the physical/material experiences that activate prefrontal function. Although I would not advocate self-suffocation, there is sufficient evidence suggesting that such an effort would result from those subcortical processes associated with the desire to do so (bottom-up activation) rather than a cortex initiated directive (top-down activation). Top-down activation is contrary to the evolved nature of brain structure and function.
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    that was one of the better books ive ever read
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