Compenetration Weblog

fusion of inner and outher space

The Science of Sleep

Another sailing weekend, excellent regatta, excellent results. Clear sky, clear mind.

Watched lately today  La Science des rêves,The Science of Sleep (2006) by Michel Gondry, director of Ethernal Sushine of Spotless Mind and Human Nature (both movies are written by Kaufman). This one is written by Gondry itself and it is just piece of art.

I can describe the movie the same as Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal) starts the movie, explaining what dreams are:” Hi, and welcome back to another episode of “Télévision Educative”. Tonight, I’ll show you how dreams are prepared. People think it’s a very simple and easy process but it’s a bit more complicated than that. As you can see, a very delicate combination of complex ingredients is the key. First, we put in some random thoughts. And then, we add a little bit of reminiscences of the day… mixed with some memories from the past….” [adds two bunchs of pasta]. If i would have a gift to make a movies, i would do the same.

Movie is done as a dreams really are… in true Freudian sense. Bit of science, explained on a funny way, romance, blurred border between reality and imagination, dominance of inner world over external one, chaos theory, Parallel Synchronized Randomness, lots of creativity, emotions, real world versus artificial one… and mixed together into very very tasteful dish… Very surrealistic, like modern and funnier version of Bonuel’s An Andalusian Dog. 

In spite of varying interpretations, Buñuel made clear throughout his writings that, between Dalí and himself, the only rule for the writing of the script was that “no idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted.”[3] Moreover, he stated that, “Nothing, in the film, symbolizes anything. The only method of investigation of the symbols would be, perhaps, psychoanalysis. Like Gondry says…MICHEL: No, I don’t believe in symbols. I have nothing to do with a book. You can define every image and symbol but it doesn’t mean it’s a symbol that’s universal. Like if you dream about a tree, it represents a penis? That’s bullshit. [Laughs]

Its great idea to use Stephane TV show as a position of an observer of his own events and emotions…just like in dreams where we remember our dreams as observers but we know that we were the main actor as well. … In science, the term observer effect refers to changes that the act of observing will make on the phenomenon being observed. For example, for us to “see” an electron, a photon must first interact with it, and this interaction will change the path of that electron. It is also theoretically possible for other, less direct means of measurement to affect the electron; even if the electron is simply put into a position where observing it is possible, without actual observation taking place, it will still (theoretically) alter its position.

Always amazed me that position: be actor and observer at the same time. But it is not only in dreams…we live the whole life as that…we think and act and feel, we observe our actions, thoughts and feelings, than correct them if they don’t fit into frame…as in Goundry’s Human nature, mouses are Pavlov’s conditioned to eat salad with knifes and forks at the table in order to civilised them. So principles are the same, just with different “rational” involvement.  

Watched on Friday on Discovery Science documentary with the same title: The science of sleep. It dealt not what dreams are but with the basics: Why do we dream at all? Why do we need dreams? Dreams occur in REM phase, very funny presented in Goundry’s movie “My eyes walk in dreams”.REM sleep occurs in all mammals and birds.  As it not known that animal have language structure (and all symbols categories due that); so dreams have to be very physiological need. Lots of theories have been done, but there is still no one way answer. Amazing…Phoenix has just sent pictures from Mars’s, but our brain is still so locked in mysteries. 

Are dreams connected to short -term memories, categorizing emotions into symbols of language structure?  Is dreaming like being schizophrenic, deprived from majority of external stimuli and building internal world with daily emotions and stored memories. What is the principle of reality cos everything is real for us while we are dreaming. What is the triger which switch at the end of dreams and tells us that was not real but dreams.

 Are dreams and reality same continuum, not two different realities. Like earth’s night and day cycle, once more and once less directly exposed to sun of consciousness” And what is consciousness all about, cos in REM phase we feel, hear, talk, think,…same as in awake state. Are dreams our own reality built from personally acquired symbols cos anyone can understood only its own dreams. We are producer of dreams and their observer. As in movie, sometimes only director understand the symbols and meaning of them.

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is normal stage of sleep characterized by rapid movements of the eyes. Criteria for REM sleep include not only rapid eye movements, but also low muscle tone and a rapid, low voltage EEG. REM sleep in adult humans typically occupies 20-25% of total sleep, lasting about 90-120 minutes. A newborn baby spends more than 80% of total sleep time in REM. During REM, the summed activity of the brain’s neurons is quite similar to that during waking hours; for this reason, the phenomenon is often called paradoxical sleep. This means that there are no dominating brain waves during REM sleep.  Most of our vividly recalled dreams occur during REM sleep.

REM and Near death experience & Out of body experience

People With Near Death Experiences Can Differ In Sleep-wake Control

“These findings suggest that REM state intrusion contributes to near death experiences,” said neurologist and study author Kevin R. Nelson, MD, FAAN, of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “People who have near death experiences may have an arousal system that predisposes them to REM intrusion.”

Nelson said several other factors support this hypothesis. Several features of near death experiences are also associated with the REM state. For example, the feeling of being outside of one’s body has been associated with the REM state and the conditions of sleep paralysis, narcolepsy and seizures. The feeling of being surrounded by light could be based on the visual activity that occurs during the REM state, Nelson said. During the REM state, the muscles can lose their tone, or tension.”

 When the unconscious has something very important to tell us, it often dresses it up as a nightmare to make sure we notice,” he says. “The generic message of every nightmare is, Wake up, pay attention, there’s a survival issue at stake, and you can do something about it if you pay attention. The nastier the dream,” he says, “the more valuable is the information it is trying to convey.”

REM Deprivation

Four Days Of REM Sleep Deprivation Affects Forebrain, Long-term Memory In Rats

ScienceDaily, Feb. 6, 2008— Four days’ exposure to a REM sleep deprivation procedure reduces cell proliferation in the part of the forebrain that contributes to long-term memory of rats, according to a new study.

The study, authored by Dennis McGinty, PhD, of the V.A. Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, focused on male Sprague-Dawley rats. REM sleep deprivation was achieved by a brief treadmill movement initiated by automatic online detection of REM sleep. A yoked-control (YC) rat was placed in the same treadmill and experienced the identical movement regardless of the stage of the sleep-wake cycle.

According to the results, REM sleep was reduced by 85 percent in REM sleep deprived rats and by 43 percent in YC rats. Cell proliferation was reduced by 63 percent in REM sleep deprived rats compared with YC rats. Across all animals, cell proliferation exhibited a positive correlation with the percentage of REM sleep.

“Several studies have shown that sleep contributes to brain plasticity in general, and to adult neurogenesis, in particular,” said Dr. McGinty. “Neurogenesis is a concrete example of brain plasticity, suppression of adult neurogenesis is thought to be important in pathologies such as depression. One current question has to do with the relative contribution of the two sleep states, non-REM and REM, which have very different, even opposite, physiological properties. This study showed that REM sleep has a critical role in facilitating brain plasticity. The study does not exclude an equally important role for non-REM sleep. In other recent work, we have shown that sleep fragmentation can also suppress adult neurogenesis. How sleep affects the molecular mechanisms underlying neurogenesis remains to be explored.”

The article “Rapid eye movement sleep deprivation contributes to reduction of neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of the adult rat” was published in the February 1 issue of the journal Sleep.

We took a group of young college undergraduates and we deprived them of sleep for about 35 hours straight. And then we placed them inside a MRI scanner and we showed them increasingly negative and disturbing images,” says Matthew Walker, who devised a study to look at what was going on inside their brains. “And what we found was that in those people who had a good night of sleep, the control group, they showed a nice, modest, controlled response in their emotional centers of the brain.”

“But, when we looked in the sleep deprived subjects, instead, what we found is a hyperactive brain response,” he says.

And what’s more, in the sleep-deprived subjects, Walker discovered a disconnect between that over-reacting amygdala (a region of the brain) and the brain’s frontal lobe, the region that controls rational thought and decision-making, meaning that the subjects’ emotional responses were not being kept in check by the more logical seat of reasoning. It’s a problem also found in people with psychiatric disorders.

“So you’re saying that you take someone with a severe mental disorder and a person without that disorder, but deprive them of sleep, and the brain scan will look similar?” Stahl asks.

“Their pattern of brain activity was not dissimilar. So I think what it forces us to do really now is to appreciate more significantly the role that sleep may be playing in mental health and in psychiatric diseases. And I think that could be one of the futures of the field of sleep research,” Walker replies.

Walker says most of us need seven and a half to eight hours of sleep every night.”



By J. Allan Hobson

Sigmund Freud’s views on the meaning of dreams formed the core of his theory of mental functioning. MarkSolms and others assert that brain imaging and lesion studies are now validating Freud’s conception of the mind. But similar scientific investigations show that major aspects of Freud’s thinking are probably

erroneous. For Freud, the bizarre nature of dreams resulted from an elaborate effortof the mind to conceal, by symbolic disguise and censorship, the unacceptable instinctual wishes welling up from the unconscious when the ego relaxes its prohibition of the id in sleep. But most neurobiological evidence supports thealternative view that dream bizarreness stems from normal changes in brain state. Chemical mechanisms in the brain stem, which shift the activation of various regions of the cortex, generate these changes. Many studies have indicated that the chemical changes determine the quality and quantity of dream visions, emotions and thoughts. Freud’s disguiseand-censorship notion must be discarded;no one believes that the ego-id struggle, ifit exists, controls brain chemistry. Mostpsychoanalysts no longer hold that the disguise-censorship theory is valid.

Without disguise and censorship, what is left of Freud’s dream theory? Not much—only that instinctual drives could impel dream formation. Evidence does indicate that activating the parts of thelimbic system that produce anxiety, anger and elation shapes dreams. But these nfluences are not “wishes.” Dream

analyses show that the emotions in dreams are as often negative as they arepositive, which would mean that half our “wishes” for ourselves are negative. And as all dreamers know, the emotions in dreams are hardly disguised. They enter into dream plots clearly, frequently bringing unpleasant effects such as nightmares.

Freud was never able to account for why so many dream emotions are negative.

Another pillar of Freud’s model is that because the true meaning of dreams is hidden, the emotions they reflect can be revealed only through his wild-goosechase method of free association, in which the subject relates anything and everything that comes to mind in hopes of stumbling across a crucial connection.

But this effort is unnecessary, because no such concealment occurs. In dreams, what you see is what you get. Dream content is emotionally salient on its face, and the close attention of dreamers and their therapists is all that is needed to see the feelings they represent.

Solms and other Freudians intimate that ascribing dreams to brain chemistry is the same as saying that dreams have no emotional messages. But the statements are not equivalent. The chemical activation-synthesis theory of dreaming, put forth by Robert W. McCarley of Harvard Medical School and me in 1977, maintained only that the psychoanalytic explanation of dream bizarreness as concealed meaning was wrong. We have always argued that dreams are emotionally salient and meaningful. And what about REM sleep?

New studies reveal that dreams can occur during non-REM sleep, but nothing in the chemical activation model precludes this case; the frequency of dreams is simply exponentially higher during REM sleep.

Psychoanalysis is in big trouble, and no amount of neurobiological tinkering can fix it. So radical an overhaul is

necessary that many neuroscientists would prefer to start over and create a neurocognitive model of the mind.

Psychoanalytic theory is indeed comprehensive, but if it is terribly in error,then its comprehensiveness is hardly a virtue. The scientists who share this view stump for more biologically based models of dreams, of mental illness, and of normal conscious experience than those offered by psychoanalysis.

J. Allan Hobson, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has written extensively on the brain basis of the mind and its implications for psychiatry. For more, see Hobson’s book Dreaming: An Introduction to the Science of Sleep (Oxford University Press, 2003).


The dream, the subject’s interpretation (Freud – Lacan interpretation)

The dream reactivates that which escapes forgetting and at the same time brings a work to bear on its elements, a secondary elaboration. As an effect of this secondary elaboration, “the dreams have already been interpreted once before being submitted to our waking interpretation”.8 A text results from this, that of the dream, which is, therefore, in itself an interpretation. Moreover, the dreamer adopts a position in relation to his dream: he exercises an interpretation of the interpretation. When Freud says that the dream is ‘the fulfillment of a wish’,9 he is also making an interpretation of the interpretation which is the dream itself.

            In The Direction of the Treatment, Lacan emphasises that Freud is proposing ‘the dream as a metaphor of desire’.10 Something has passed into meaning [sens] in the dream, and, from this passage, results what Freud has called desire. But, as Lacan takes it up again: it is about a ‘desire to have an unsatisfied desire’.11 It is a Wunsch, a wish, about which Lacan says that there are wishes ‘[…] pious, nostalgic, contradictory, farcical’.12 The desire that Freud isolates in the dream reveals the dimension of lack: of the subject’s want-to-be [manque-à-être] which presents itself as a want-to-enjoy [manque-à-jouir].13 Lacan takes up the well-known dream of the ‘beautiful butcher’s wife’ in order to show how a desire refers to another desire, how the dream carries desire to a geometrically progressive power.14 In this reference of one desire to another, Lacan distinguishes — in The Direction of the Treatment and in Radiophonie — two dimensions to this desire of desire which is ordered according to the laws which link the signifying chain: metonymic combination producing displacement and metaphoric substitution with its effect of condensation.15



May 26, 2008 - Posted by | Daily bites, Movies, Music, neuroscience, psychology, Quantum physics, Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Comment by sandrar | September 11, 2009 | Reply

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