Research Outline

The Stuff of Dreams


provide an analysis of current neuroscience theory defining dreams, including neural correlations, physiologiTo provide an analysis of current To provide an analysis of current neuroscience theory defining dreams, including neural correlations, physiological processes, psychological functions, and sleep (defined by consciousness). The research will inform a science communication article and provide the foundation for a hypothesis that dreaming qualifies as a transpersonal state

Early Findings

  • Dreams can be defined as "a series of thoughts, images, emotions, and sensations occurring during sleep."
  • Since the times of the Plato and Socrates that dreams had some hidden meaning. The Romans and Greeks, for example, believed dreams had prophetic powers.
  • Like most aspects of the mind, there are theories grounded in both neuroscience and psychology that attempt to explain dreams, the processes, and purposes.

The Psychology of Dreams

  • The modern psychological theory of dreams has evolved from the theories of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud at the end of the nineteenth century. The theories they developed are still widely subscribed to today.
  • Freud's theory centered around repressed longing. Jung, on the other hand, theorized that dreams were part of the internal dialogue between the ego and the self.

The Science of Dreams

  • Traditionally, dreaming has been considered to correlate with the REM stage of sleep, "characterized by wake-like, globally 'activated', high-frequency electroencephalographic activity."
  • Research has found that dreaming also occurs in NREM, but dreaming during this stage of sleep. Dreaming during this stage of sleep is characterized by low frequency activity on ECG. this chalenges previous findings relating to the neural correlates of conscios experiences that occur during sleep.


  • In our initial hour of resarch, we have focused on scoping the availability of information in the public domain. Happily, there is a huge body of research available in this area. We suggest adopting a two pronged approach, firstly the investigate