All right. Lecture two, week eight. Dreams. Dreams are a really cool thing you know, as, as one of the videos you'll check out at the end says, a guy begins and says, like, literally we spend all this time dreaming where mother nature I think as he describes it, paralyzes our body, awakens our consciousness, and plays this dramatic series of events in front of us. Surely there has to be some purpose to this. Right? This isn't something that. Would just happen without reason. Is it? Well, let's explore dreams. Alright. So, week eight, lecture two, dreams. Let's jump right in. I want to just kind of reattach where I left off in, in the sleep section. because one of the. Common first characteristics of dreams, is people often feel in their dreams, that their very lethargic. In fact, sometimes there's this notion that there's like a monster sitting on their chest, or somebody holding them down, or they're tied up. I don't really. Resonate too much with those concepts. But I certainly resonate with the notion that I'm often trying to get away from something. And as I try to get away, I feel like, my goodness, I just can't run the speed I want to run. Everything seems slow and dopey and dumb. so I have that feeling. Now, the claim is what you're feeling there is. An interpretation of what's really going on in your body. and explicitly, it's that notion that I told you about in terms of sleep paralysis. There are all these interesting, you know, so much to talk about in terms of something like sleep, too. But there's an interesting study of the neurochemical shifts. That neuro transmitters that we use and rely on a lot, when we're awake, we don't use so much when we sleep. There's almost a whole change that happens in our brain, neurochemically, so different chemicals become dominant and especially, as I say, we enter into that sleep area. Then all these neurotransmitters are released, and, and these hormones are released, that essentially paralyze our body. And again, that's a good thing. you will see, in some of the videos I post, examples of people who, for whom this does not work. and, and they thrash, and hit, and, and do all sorts of crazy things. In the night. You know, sleepwalking seemed a little crazy. Just, this kind of whatever, but sleep thrashing, I assure you, is a whole different thing. and so it's very good it's good, it's good that our brain shuts down our body so that we can now have this interaction that involves us moving. So, we're not. Stationary critters in our dreams. We're not just watching things play out. We are actively involved. And so the brain is sending signals to motor cortex, and if it wasn't for the paralysis, we would act those things out. but the claim is that part of your conscious mind feels this paralysis, has this sense that the body is not functioning right. And that's why you can often dream about being immobile. not being able to move, being sluggish. So I wanted to bring that up because I want to kind of hint at that notion, in general, of a conscious mind. That's experiencing stuff but doesn't quite know the reality of the situation. Now it doesn't know the neurochemistry in the brain. It just knows the feeling. And the feeling is one of being paralyzed. And that feeling can sneak into the dream content itself. Okay, so keep that in mind. All right. Now. Why do we dream? Well, it's hard to know. Let's go to where a lot of the real discussion of dreaming started, and that was with Sigmund Freud. Now, Sigmund Freud, of course, he saw dreams as a therapeutic tool. he didn't really go too much in detail in terms of why we dream. But he did think that when we dreamed, our subconscious mind, had a little bit more freedom to play, as it were. That a lot of the restrictions of the real world. We're not at play when we were dreaming and therefore he thought that to the extent somebody has some psychological conflict you know some issue deep inside the sort of issue that causes in his mind, psychological disorders that, that conflict would be less defended. during a dream, that it might come out a little bit more. Now, we never thought it would come out totally, okay? He had his notion of, of the manifest constant sorry, content. The manifest content of a dream, so that's what you actually dream. If you tell someone to describe a dream, they're giving you the manifest content. Which is literally what they experienced, what they saw, etcetera. But he thought, underlying that was something that he called the latent content. and that was what the dream was really about. And so he thought, somehow, there was still a little bit of unconscious defense mechanisms at play, and what they did is, took this latent content and disguised it a little. by using symbols so the classic one people talk about is you know a sexually frustrated. Let's say person might dream about trains going through a tunnel or you know a train has to get through a tunnel but it can't get through a tunnel or you know [LAUGH] whatever, where the notion is the train is some sort of phallic object and, I'll just let you take it from there. but in Freud's perspective. Just about everything in a dream reflected eh, you know, something sexual or something aggressive that was unresolved. And so he would ask patients to journal their dreams, and we're going to come back to that. Record your dreams very carefully. write down everything you can remember because, of course, there's something you know fascinating about dreams which we all know which is that they fade into the distance at light speed. We wake up from this dream that seems fresh and vivid but literally I mean its a working memory kind of thing right. While its in your working memory its fresh but as soon as you stop to look at what time it is. Or think about what day or what you have to do this day. It all just disappears. It goes into vapor. And so Freud, and, and everybody who believes in journaling dreams, feels like that moment when you wake up, you must right then record your dream. if you, if you leave it just a couple seconds, it's gone. Okay, so he would ask people, please journal your dreams. Record them. Bring them to therapy with you. And tell me about your dream. And he would listen to the dreams, and figure out what was symbolic of what, and then ultimately derive the latent content. And so he thought this was a bit of an art form. And certainly, an art form, because there wasn't a whole lot of science behind it. it was him interpreting, which, you know, again, he was very clear about. and so he would literally feel like this was an effective way, along with a lot of his other techniques, like free association; what is the first thing that comes to mind when I say x, ink block, whatever you want to use. That dreams were another way to kind of get at that. For a while he thought hypnosis was too. We'll come back to that. He ended up rejecting hypnosis. But dreams he, he continually thought were very valid, I mean he called it the, the royal road to the unconscious. He thought this was a real good way to get at what was going on in your unconscious, okay. So, now, for contrast let's take that Freudian notion and in the Freudian notion. The content of the dreams are very important, very much linked to your psychological well-being, they're saying something. Let's compare that to a view of dreaming that emerged around the 1970's, which is something called the Activation-Synthesis view, often associated with a gentleman named Hobbs. Now, I, this is just a pretty picture of a brain, that, that's all that really is [LAUGH], but why I have that pretty picture of a brain there is the activation-synthesis view is very much almost an opposite of Freud. Not really an opposite, but it's very different at least in terms of the extent to which dreams are seen as systematic and telling you something about. The underlying, some critical underlying process. The activation synthesis model says this. When we're asleep, there's random activation in our brain parts. Okay, literally, different parts of our brain just get a little bit of activation and light up. Remember when we talked about things like Phantom Limb Pain and I said you know even people with no arm anymore. The sensory cortex that used to represent say, their forearm, could get active. Just by random. And and that would make it feel like they have an itch somewhere where they don't even have an arm. Well, that same notion that every now and then, different brain areas become active, underlies the Hobbs view. The activation synthesis. He said that just various brain parts become active. So maybe the part of your brain that represents a cat becomes active. And then the part of your brain that represents an airplane becomes active. And then the part of your brain that represents a microphone becomes active. etcetera. and, and these things just. That become active, become active within consciousness, working memory, if you will. and so really it's kind of like sitting, in, in Hobbs' view, it's like sitting in a theater where you're just getting random images, [SOUND] very different things, no structure behind these at all. But, what consciousness likes to do is make sense out of randomness. You know, I've told you over and over in this course that even information from the real world is noisy. But our brain is able to somehow find a stable pattern and, and holds onto that stable pattern. if you have a friend who's acting weird, chaotic ways, very different desire things, your mind tries to tell a story that makes all those different occurrences fit together. Well, the claim is that's what's happening in your dream state, too. A cat. Followed by an airplane. Okay. So you see this cat sitting on top of an airplane with a microphone. Singing in a microphone. Flying on airplanes, singing in the microphone, while you're sitting on the wing watching him. You know? These bizarre, and the claim is that is why dreams are so bizarre. They're bizarre because it's the consciousness trying to put things together that aren't. Really, associated in any way. And so what you end up with is this very bizarre thing. But there obviously has to be something else going on in dreams, too, and that is, it seems like whatever your critical analytic tools are, your ones that look and go, at something, and go, that's not right. Something's wrong with that. They seem to be suspended. Right just, that process, that cognitive process seems not to be at play. So what we have then is a mind that's very open, I guess. For lack of a better word. Very non-judgmental. that's getting this random activation. And synthesizing a story. [UNKNOWN] So that's the activation synthesis view. again, I'm contrasting those two, to show you really, how little we really know about dreams. Did I tell you about any data, so far? No. Dreams suffer from that problem that goes all the way back to Wilhelm Wundt. all we have are subjective reports. All we know is what people tell us, and, you know, worse than that, their memory of the event disappears so quickly. and so we don't have, you know, the data we have are subjective reports, and that data is very flaky. And so what we have are people coming up with stories. These are not the whole stories either. You know we have Freud, where it's very information rich dreams. You have Hobbs where it's not, it's just random activation. You have things in between too. there are some theories that say, no, no dreams are not completely random. some theories suggest that we tend to dream about, danger, anxiety, things that would active our amygdala, basically. things that would activate our sympathetic nervous system. And the claim is, that in a dream state it's kind of a safe state to feel that activation. And so, we can dream about stressful things, about dangerous things, about fearful things and we can feel that anxiety, and, and survive it. Most importantly, so that, when in the real life we feel that anxiety, it's familiar to us. We felt that before and we've survived it. And so that almost like sys, systematic desensitization. The notion is that you can become a little more comfortable with that feeling of the sympathetic nervous system. Again, just a story. Does it fit with your dream thing? I mean, I 70% of my dreams seem to be the band has a gig, we set up, things go wrong. [LAUGH] I'm troubleshooting, I'm troubleshooting, I'm troubleshooting. By the time I figure everything out, everybody's left and they're angry with us. I guess that fits the last theory I don't know. etcetera. You know, so, a lot of ideas. Well, how can we ever get at what's going on. I've mentioned dream journaling before. and, yes, it was originally used a lot in a Freudian context. where patients would be asked to, the moment they woke up, keep track of the dreams. And in fact, When the videos we'll, we'll try to tell you a little bit about something called lucid dreaming. I'll tell you about that in a moment. But she recommends that you, the moment you wake up, you don't even move. Don't look at a clock, don't do anything. In fact, if you can keep your eyes closed, keep your eyes closed, the moment you think you're awake. And then start remembering what your dream is and the first thing you do is you have to have your journal real close because the first thing you do is now start writing down your dream. And you keep your head in the dream. You don't let your head go anywhere else. If any of you guys watch Momento the guy that only had a working memory, you know, that's what he would do. and then so you write all your dreams down in a journal. Well, journaling is an interesting thing to do. It's kind of interesting to write your dreams down and it has allowed us to try to get a little scientific. So I'm going to switch out the Power Point here and I think I have to skip by, but I'll go back to that last slide. And I want to tell you about something called DreamBank here. which you can try at DreamBank.net. And this is a from the University of California Santa Cruz. There are a bunch of researchers there. This website is a place where you can upload your dream reports. So basically, you can go through and tell some of your dream. And other people can now analyze these dreams. There is a very specific, so you can check out some of this stuff here, there's a coding system. where you can code your dreams in various ways. which they like you to do. you can also, by the way, just get a random sample of somebody's dream. Here's a, here's a, okay, I understand, take me to Dream Bank. wow. How many dreams to find, I just want one dream, thank you very much. Whoops, 11, one dream. That's not going to give me one dream, give me 100 dreams. okay. I have to admit use this form to extract [INAUDIBLE] all the dreams that match the specified length. I don't know why it's not doing that for me. shoot. Trying to be so impressive and I'm all the way, almost all the way through the tape. Okay, this is your assignment yeah, for the course is to try and make this work [LAUGH], play with it, see what, see what you can figure out. we'll talk about it, maybe I'll do a side dish with this. But at any rate, the important point of this for now. Is that you can try to you can upload your dreams if you want. You can search other people's dreams. But this is an attempt, a scientific attempt, to code the content of those dreams, and to better understand what people dream about. Once you do that, then you can try to ask questions like. Well, do dreams related to what happened during a given day? because for example, another theory of dreams, and there are a lot of them, are that it's not random activation of the brain, it's more like what I discussed in the sleep chapter, you're activating very specific things that relate to what you were learning the previous day. And remember consolidation and so the claim is maybe our dreams are very much related to our, our realities. and so in order to try to assess a theory like that, you have to be able to, even though they're subjective, the dreams are still subjective, your, you might be able to come towards classifying them and getting some scientific data out of it. Very, very difficult. Alright. Again, I feel like I've been rambling for a while. I'm getting too comfortable with this whole MOOC thing, and I've been talking forever. alright, so here are just some things to follow-up. Why do we dream, this is a, just another little. Video with a guy that seems like he drinks too much coffee but interesting. He brings up all sorts of things. This is a much longer documentary, almost an hour, a Nova documentary so a more comprehensive discussion of dreams which is very cool. If you want to know more about Freud's dream analysis and dream theories, there you go. Lucid dreaming fascinating idea. The notion behind lucid dreaming is with some training, you can learn to wake up within a dream and yet stay within the dream where the really cool thing, theoretically is that you can learn to control the dream. So rather than being a somebody that dreams happen to you can shape your dreams, just think of the potential, think of the potential people. you can, you know, play, so you get a playground in the mind and the claim is that you can learn how to do this. And and the young lady in this, in this video will tell you how. There you go, I haven't, I haven't developed my lucid dreaming capabilities so I can't claim to be a lucid dreamer. but, there you go. on, on the reading side of things, here's a discussion of theories of dreams um, [NOISE] here's a bit more of a discussion of the neurochemistry and how I told you that the whole neurochemistry of, of the brain changes during sleep and dreaming. there you go. this is a website devoted to dream research, they're very non-Freudian, is, is a vibe you'll get. They're not about, let me analyze your dreams. They're about trying to understand what dreams are about, what they're doing, what they're for. so if you want to see that more directly and then this is the link dreambank.net, which is where we just were. Alright. Shuttin' up. next lecture, hypnosis, and that will end our altered states of consciousness little mini something. Alrighty? Cool. Have a good day guys. Later.