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The Nature and Functions of Dreaming$
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Ernest Hartmann

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199751778

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751778.001.0001

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Introduction. Overview of the Contemporary Theory of Dreaming

Introduction. Overview of the Contemporary Theory of Dreaming

(p.3) 1 Introduction. Overview of the Contemporary Theory of Dreaming
The Nature and Functions of Dreaming

Ernest Hartmann

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to put together various studies on dreaming into one coherent theory. It then presents the study's main conclusions, which give in outline form the Contemporary Theory of Dreaming. These are that dreaming is a form of mental functioning; dreaming is hyper-connective; the connections made are not random; the form or “language” of dreams is mainly picture-metaphor; the making of broad connections guided by emotion has an adaptive function conceptualized as “weaving in” new material—taking new experiences and gradually connecting them, integrating them, into existing memory systems; and that the entire focused waking-to-dreaming continuum has an adaptive function.

Keywords:   dreaming, dreams, Contemporary Theory of Dreaming, mental functioning

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