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The origin of dreams: A psychobiological approach.

Griffin, Joseph (1996) The origin of dreams: A psychobiological approach. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis puts forward three hypotheses concerning the origin, meaning and function of dreaming. Hypothesis no. 1. Dreams are the sensory analogue of emotionally arousing introspections from waking (activated drive - schemata) not manifested or acted out during waking. Hypothesis no. 2, Dreams de-activate the drive-schemata still active at sleep onset. It is suggested that this releases the resources of the cortex and limbic system to deal with the emotionally arousing contingencies of the next waking period. Hypothesis no. 3, Evidence is reviewed which suggests that the REM state, which is closely associated with dreaming, evolved to programme instinctive behaviour in the foetus and neonate. It is argued that such programming of genetically anticipated knowledge must necessarily be in the form of incomplete schemata for which analogous sensory components must be identified. It follows that a prime directive of information processing in the REM state is to search for sensory analogues for incomplete schemata. Unlike the genetically anticipated knowledge the waking introspections do include identified sensory components. It is, therefore, hypothesized that the activated drive-schemata released during REM sleep will be processed as a sensory analogue. Evidence in support of these hypotheses is derived from four sources (1) The biological studies of dreaming carried out in recent decades. (2) The author's own dreams and their corresponding waking introspections. (3) Other people's dreams including the analysis of a famous dream of Freud's and also of Jung which demonstrates their metaphorical identity with their known waking concerns. (4) The work of Silberer (1909, 1951) on the 'autosymbolic effect' is analysed to demonstrate the existence of an analogue process that converts introspections from waking into sensory analogues.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychology, Physiological
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2468

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