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By G. William Domhoff

Univ. of California, Santa Cruz. provides a neurocognitive version of goals, drawing from empirical study to give an explanation for the method of dreaming and the character of dream content material. Explains the neural and cognitive bases for dreaming, how desires exhibit conceptions and matters, and the bounds to knowing dream content material.

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Additional info for The Scientific Study of Dreams: Neural Networks, Cognitive Development, and Content Analysis

Sample text

The symbolic expression of the search for wholeness) increases from a range of 2 to 9 per 50 dreams in the first four sets to 11 to 17 in the second four sets (Jung, 1974, p. 296). Dream series kept for personal, artistic, or intellectual reasons have been the basis of the most systematic studies. For example, Smith and Hall (1964) used a journal kept on and off for 50 years for personal interest to show that the dreamer did not dream more of the past when she was in her 70s than she did when she was under 40.

Many people are therefore willing to volunteer their dreams if asked. The willingness of people to report accurately is increased when their reports are anonymous, as they are for most of the group studies cited in this book. In addition, people have no reason to distort dreams written in a personal dream journal not originally meant for later researchers. The atypical nature of dream reports when compared to other types of self-reports is demonstrated empirically by comparing them with what people claim they dream about in response to questionnaires, where they provide culturally stereotypic distortions.

However, enough has been said to demonstrate that there is a large body of established empirical findings upon which to base a new model. Moreover, the research tools, such as the rapid advances in neuroimaging and neurochemistry, are now available to do the many studies that would be necessary to test and develop the model. As noted TOWARD A NEUROCOGNITIVE MODEL OF DREAMS 37 earlier, the growing number of neuropsychologists in clinical settings may be an important resource for developing this model, because they could easily screen for changes in dreaming as they examine people with lesions in relevant areas of the brain.

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