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Tall Tales about the Mind and BrainSeparating fact from fiction$
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Sergio Della Sala

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.001.0001

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To sleep, perchance to REM? The rediscovered role of emotion and meaning in dreams

To sleep, perchance to REM? The rediscovered role of emotion and meaning in dreams

(p.478) Chapter 29 To sleep, perchance to REM? The rediscovered role of emotion and meaning in dreams
Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain

Mark Solms

Oliver Turnbull

Oxford University Press

Modern neuroscience has come to understand a great deal about the biological basis of dreams, particularly the brain regions and attendant psychological processes that appear to be most central to the dreaming state. This knowledge is broadly consistent with Freud's psychoanalytic theory of dreams, although there are some aspects of his theory that have not been addressed directly. The neural mechanisms of dreaming appear to overlap, in several important respects, with the neural mechanisms of certain core features of psychosis, especially the positive symptoms such as hallucinations. This confirms a long-standing hunch harboured by Freud to the effect that understanding dreams might provide a key to understanding mental illness in general. Dreams truly do appear to be ‘the insanity of the normal man’, and are apparently closely linked to issues of motivation and personal meaning.

Keywords:   REM, dreams, sleep, hallucinations, psychosis, Freud, neuroscience

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