Why we dream? Scholars disagree about the purpose of our dreams. Are dreams a result of chaotic impulses in our brain, or during sleep our brain just goes through some memories or thoughts about our daily lives, like the copying mechanism?
Physiological theories are based on the fact that we dream to train different brain nerve endings, which, according to scientists, affect some types of memory. Subjective (psychological) theories hold that dreams give us an opportunity to deal with many challenges we face every day, and with many other things, what we need to focus on. Many scientists believe that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
One of the first and most important theoreticians is Sigmund Freud. Freud’s theories are based on the idea of repressed desires, desires that we cannot fulfill in real life, being limited by the canons of society.
Dreams allow our subconscious mind to experience, or even “fulfill” our secret thoughts and desires unacceptable by society. For this reason, his theory focuses primarily on sexual fantasy and symbolism. According to Freud, dreams express latent sexual desire. Freud lived in the Victorian era when all carnal desires were suppressed, which to some extent explains his interest in the subject.
Carl Jung for a long period of time studied the Freud’s concept, but eventually put forward his theory, which was significantly different from the theories of Freud. Jung agreed with the psychological nature of dreams, but with the caveat that the dreams are not generated by our needs and repressed desires, and allow us to reflect ourselves and solve problems or think about them.
More recently, sometime in 1973, researchers Allan Hobson and Robert Makkarli put forward another theory, which refute all the old psychoanalytic ideas.
Their research on the processes occurring in the brain during sleep, prompted them to the idea that dreams are simply the result of the chaotic electrical impulses in the brain, which “show pictures” of memory obtained by us experience. Our waking mind, trying to make sense of this stream of images, unknowingly creates stories, simply because the brain wants to make sense of what it experienced. According to the activation-synthetic model, when in the dream state, the brain is like a computer, looking through all of the memory addresses in the search for a keyword.
Without need to hide the process, this searching of the experience data, resulting from (genetically programmed ) stimuli, seems to be a good foundation for a “fancy-formal” features of the dreaming process.” This hypothesis has disproved many of the existing theory, stood the test of time and today it is one of the most popular theories about dreams.
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