Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Science Technology

Scientists Identify Parts of Brain Involved In Dreaming ( 86

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Scientists have unpicked the regions of the brain involved in dreaming, in a study with significant implications for our understanding of the purpose of dreams and of consciousness itself. What's more, changes in brain activity have been found to offer clues as to what the dream is about. Writing in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Siclari and colleagues from the U.S., Switzerland and Italy, reveal how they carried out a series of experiments involving 46 participants, each of whom had their brain activity recorded while they slept by electroencephalogram (EEG) -- a noninvasive technique that involved placing up to 256 electrodes on the scalp and face to monitor the number and size of brainwaves of different speeds. While the experiments probed different aspects of the puzzle, all involved participants being woken at various points throughout the night and asked to report whether they had been dreaming. If the participants had been dreaming, they were asked how long they thought it had lasted and whether they could remember anything about their dream, such as whether it involved faces, movement or thinking, or whether it was instead a vivid, sensory experience. Analysis of the EEG recording reveal that dreaming was linked to a drop in low-frequency activity in a region at the back of the brain dubbed by the researchers the "posterior cortical hot zone" -- a region that includes visual areas as well as areas involved in integrating the senses. The result held regardless of whether the dream was remembered or not and whether it occurred during REM or non-REM sleep. The researchers also looked at changes in high-frequency activity in the brain, finding that dreaming was linked to an increase in such activity in the so-called "hot zone" during non-REM sleep. Further, the team identified the region of the brain which appears to be important in remembering what a dream was about, finding that this recall was linked to an increase in high-frequency activity towards the front of the brain. A similar pattern of activity was seen in the hot zone and beyond for dreams during REM sleep. The upshot is that dreaming is rooted in the same changes in brain activity regardless of the type of sleep.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Scientists Identify Parts of Brain Involved In Dreaming

Comments Filter:
  • I only have the same one, over and over again...

  • Supposedly everyone dreams, but after 44+ years I have no recollection of ever dreaming. I'd love for them to scan me while I'm sleeping to see if I actually do dream. I suspect I don't, otherwise why wouldn't I ever remember dreaming?

    • why wouldn't I ever remember dreaming?

      You may be an android.

    • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

      Hah. You and I should be teamed up in the study, because we're diametric opposites. I'm 42, and the last time I woke up and *didn't* recall dreaming, I was in high school. If there are times when I'm not dreaming, that would be a surprise.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by spaceman375 ( 780812 )

      Dream recall directly correlates with how much zinc and b6 you get in your diet. b6 is water soluble, zinc needs to build up a serum level. Funny thing; cum is high in zinc, and most men on western diets are deficient in zinc. I know in my teens and twenties I put out LOTS of cum on a daily basis, enough to rival most girls monthly periods, yet all the hype about women getting enuf iron never mentions men getting zinc. Try taking 50mgs of b6 and 30mgs of Zn for a week or so. Take them at lunchtime, not just

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I put out LOTS of cum on a daily basis


        the first time I took them I had so many dreams the next morning felt like it was 3 days later

        Are these things connected?

    • Supposedly everyone dreams, but after 44+ years I have no recollection of ever dreaming.

      Try a vitamin B supplement after breakfast. I've found it promotes vivid dreams.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      For me, I am always dreaming even in naps. :(

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      why wouldn't I ever remember dreaming?

      Buy smaller bottles at the liquor store. That's how I got my own blackouts under control.

      • by umghhh ( 965931 )
        I stopped drinking once for a whole weekend, the whole weekend I kept sober. This was a grueling experience - the world was as ugly as I remembered it from before I started drinking. Brrrr never again. There is a reason god gave us alco and drugs you know.
    • by haruchai ( 17472 )

      I do dream but don't remember very many, perhaps 1 or 2 a year. And all but a few in my entire life have been very mundane, dreams about going to work or school. I've read a huge amount of sci-fi, fantasy, comics, historical fiction and haven't had NOT ONE dream about any of it that I can recall.
      I have a few dreams, perhaps 1/2 a dozen about flying under my own power, which is very cool but none in the past 25 years.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      You know what I an the other way round, I remember dreams as readily as normal everyday memories, no difference. Of course, just like everything I do not remember during normal daily activities much the same with remembering dreams. So what is the most interesting thing I remember from dreams is instances of deja vu. Every time I have an incident of deja vu I can place the dream and the memories that surround it even the segue into and out of the deja vu dream element. So that incident of deja vu is disrup

    • Memory requires encoding. To remember an event, you need it to go through the prefrontal cortex for interpretation, encoding, and event storage.

  • It operates on the low level activity of the brain, which happens to be experienced as the manifest content of the dream.. bottom up rather than top down, still focusing on areas recently or intermittantly written to. That's my hunch, amyway
  • A while ago I told myself that if I ever got rich, I'd invest in research into a machine that could record dreams. I'm sure we're still a ways off from achieving this (if it's even possible) but I just really want to be able to rewatch my dreams.
  • ... will I dream?

  • Scientists Identify Parts of Brain Involved In Dreaming. Politicians have welcomed the move as progress towards extinguishing all hope.
  • This from january seems relevant... [] : Could a Neuroscientist Understand a Microprocessor?

  • How do people who are blind from birth dream and does it still involve the visual areas of the brain...?
    • I don't know but my grant proposal "How do people who are blind from birth dream and does it still involve the visual areas of the brain and how does it differ from Climate Deniers who are blind from birth dream and does it still involve the visual areas of the brain." just got accepted.

      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        So nowadays, you need to talk about climate change in some way to get a grant? What's next?
        - Accurate rendering of underwater caustics in the context of raising sea levels
        - High efficiency airplane control surfaces and the effect of CO2 on aerodynamic drag
        - Melting tungsten and how global warming may reduce the required temperature differential
        - How crossing the even horizon of a black hole may affect climate

    • No first hand knowledge, but blind people still use the visual cortex to process their surroundings and how to orient themselves. So they'll just dream in whatever sensory input their visual cortex has been trained with.
  • Let me guess: more fMRI quackery?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I hate being pedantic, but for a group of intelligent people, slashdot has really been going downhill.

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android