When humans close their eyes at night, an entire world of neurons is activated to transport them to other worlds. Sometimes it’s familiar and sometimes it isn’t. There are people he knows, others are strangers, and there are those who show themselves in the skin of a certain person but the dreamer knows that he is already someone else. There are familiar or wonderful places, everyday situations that mix with the impossible. There are symbols, chases, and waterfalls. There are teeth falling out one by one and naked people. Upon waking, it is sometimes remembered, but sometimes not.
“Dreams are subjective narratives, often fragmentary and composed of elements – objects, things, places – that interact with the self-representation of the dreaming person, who generally only notices the appearance of the plotWrites Siddhartha Ribeiro, a Brazilian neuroscientist specializing in dreams, in his latest book, Night inspiration.
Ribeiro holds a BA in Biology, a MSc in Biophysics, and a PhD in Animal Behavior from Rockefeller University, with postdoctoral studies in neurophysiology at Duke University. The author of more than a hundred scientific articles and five books, he is also Professor of Neuroscience and Deputy Director of the Brain Institute of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
In this work, drawing on the latest in molecular biology, neurophysiology, and medicine, Ribeiro investigates and explains What happens in the brain when we dream, and why do we do it. To this end, he enters into a historical and cultural journey in order to understand The way different civilizations have interpreted the messages our minds throw at us from the depths of consciousness.
In an interview with InfobaeSidarta Ribeiro cuenta Why do we dream, what is its purpose, and even how can we train ourselves to remember dreams.
In the field of neuroscience, do you accept the study of dreams? Or is it considered pseudoscience by some?
The study of dreams was out of fashion in science in the last decades of the twentieth century, but In the past twenty years, it has resumed vigorously and is today one of the most important areas of research in neuroscience and experimental psychology.
What is the use of a dream?
Dreams are the most complex and complex expression of a neurobiological mechanism of adaptation to the environment, based on the selection, construction and reconstruction of memories. Each night, this projection allows us to forget countless unrelated memories, preserve important memories, and mix specific memories to create new thoughts and behaviors. dreams They are also crucial to emotional regulation, because it allows to mitigate the effects of negative experiences. In the words of Carl Jung: “Sleep prepares the dreamer for the next day.”
– What are “made” our dreams?
-our dreams Consists of reactivating and reconfiguring latent memories, which is a process that has a certain degree of noise or randomness but it is Guided by the desires and desires (fears) of the dreamer. As Sigmund Freud explained to us 120 years ago, dreams include “daytime leftovers,” bits of waking experiences, but they are driven by desire.
Why do many people not remember their dreams?
Many people feel that they are not dreaming because they do not remember the dream activity when they wake up. This is because, First of all, to the almost complete incompatibility of dreams in the contemporary urban world. We don’t usually talk about dreams with our family and colleagues at work or study, and when someone is asked about their dream, it is common that the answer is just to get some consumer goods. However, the dream is as natural as breathing or eating. It is enough to “give a lot of ball” to dreams so that they come out of the subconscious with sufficient force.
How do we train ourselves to remember it?
It is very useful to make a self-suggestion, before bed, and say to yourself: I will dream, I will remember and I will inform. The art of remembering dreams begins with the morning production of a dream book – a dream journal. During REM sleep, which occupies the second half of the night and coincides with the most vivid dream images, the release of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine is practically abolished. Norepinephrine is very important for memory and its absence upon awakening makes dream images very bleak. When a person wakes up and quickly wakes up to eat breakfast or go to the bathroom, the norepinephrine that begins to be released reinforces the memories of these activities, and thus the ability to remember the dream is lost. because It is important to remain in bed upon awakening so that memories of the dreams appear with the release of norepinephrine. Then it is possible to produce a narrative of the dream, collecting the memories linked together like a strand of hair.
What is a lucid dream? Can we have it all?
– lucid dream When we realize that we are living a dream and we can control it partially or completelyActively, not passively. This type of dreaming has been practiced for thousands of years in various eastern traditions, such as Hindu yoga nidra and Tibetan yoga milam, but also among indigenous peoples who have never given up the art of dreaming, such as Native Americans and Australian aborigines.
Why are dreams of persecution one of the most common?
– The division between prey and predator governs all animal life which is why stalking plots are so frequent. Dreams may have evolved in the mammalian lineage over 220 million years as a neurobiological process that reactivates memories to simulate a possible future, resulting in what I call a “probabilistic revelation”: Based on yesterday, what will tomorrow look like? This revelation deals with individual survival in the face of the three Darwinian imperatives: to kill an organism to eat, not to die and beget.
Do you think that, as many ancient civilizations believed, we can interpret our dreams to predict future events?
–Of course, but not as an inevitable revelation Who knows exactly what will happen, But as a possible recommendation He gropes his future based on the best chance that something will happen. This is not generally clear to people living in the contemporary urban world, where their experiences tend to be a far cry from the Darwinian imperatives of three big problems: killing, not death, and procreation. Instead of strong and simple desires, we are immersed in a multiplicity of small desires, small problems and small needs that make dreams become a mosaic of difficult interpretation. however, When extremely negative events dominate our livessuch as loss of family, serious illness or job loss, Potential Revelation reveals itself in full forceThe emotional and traumatic dreams that marked our exit from the caves to the end are similar to the world of the Internet and space travel.
Through dreams, we perceive things that happened around us that we were not aware of at that time?
–certainly! Dreams are a wonderful combination of what happens to us at a given moment, including information that is below the level of consciousness during wakefulness but appears during dreams as direct or metaphorical images.
How has the epidemic affected our dreams?
– the epidemic It combined the fear of death, causing most people to suffer from insomnia, interrupted sleep, and nightmares related to infection. On the other hand, for those who had the physical and intellectual conditions to carry out the quarantine and take the necessary health measures, there was an opportunity to rediscover it with good sleep, while increasing the total hours of sleep and being reunited. Dreamy pictures.
– What is the great mystery that still remains about the world of dreams?
Thousands of years ago, our ancestors used dreams to communicate with our deceased ancestors, deified or not. Twentieth century science considered all these myths but In the past two decades, researchers have begun to find evidence that our minds are inhabited by many other beings besides the “dreaming self.” such creatures, He called “Imago” to Jungmy son Memory complexes that emerge from the subconscious during dreams with a high degree of autonomy. They live in us, but they are not confused with “the same dream”. Experiments with these indoor animals have been crucial throughout the evolution of the species and today represent an intriguing frontier of neurobiological knowledge.
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