When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep

When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep

When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep

When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep


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A comprehensive, eye-opening exploration of what dreams are, where they come from, what they mean, and why we have them.

Questions on the origins and meaning of dreams are as old as humankind, and as confounding and exciting today as when nineteenth-century scientists first attempted to unravel them. Why do we dream? Do dreams hold psychological meaning or are they merely the reflection of random brain activity? What purpose do dreams serve?

When Brains Dream addresses these core questions about dreams while illuminating the most up-to-date science in the field. Written by two world-renowned sleep and dream researchers, it debunks common myths that we only dream in REM sleep, for example—while acknowledging the mysteries that persist around both the science and experience of dreaming.

Antonio Zadra and Robert Stickgold bring together state-of-the-art neuroscientific ideas and findings to propose a new and innovative model of dream function called NEXTUP—Network Exploration to Understand Possibilities. By detailing this model’s workings, they help readers understand key features of several types of dreams, from prophetic dreams to nightmares and lucid dreams. When Brains Dream reveals recent discoveries about the sleeping brain and the many ways in which dreams are psychologically, and neurologically, meaningful experiences; explores a host of dream-related disorders; and explains how dreams can facilitate creativity and be a source of personal insight.

Making an eloquent and engaging case for why the human brain needs to dream, When Brains Dream offers compelling answers to age-old questions about the mysteries of sleep.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781324002833
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/12/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 662,381
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Antonio Zadra is a professor at the Université de Montréal and a researcher at the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine. He lives in Quebec.

Robert Stickgold is a professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Sleep and Cognition. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Chapter 1 Thinking About Dreams 1

Chapter 2 Grasping at Dreams Early Explorers of the Dream World 13

Chapter 3 Freud Discovered the Secret of Dreams or So He Thought 30

Chapter 4 The Birth of a New Science of Dreaming Opening Windows onto the Sleeping Mind 41

Chapter 5 Sleep-Just a Cure for Sleepiness? 57

Chapter 6 Do Dogs Dream? 76

Chapter 7 Why We Dream 87

Chapter 8 Nextup 108

Chapter 9 The Mischievous Content of Dreams 130

Chapter 10 What Do We Dream About? and Why? 155

Chapter 11 Dreams and Inner Creativity 176

Chapter 12 Working with Dreams Ideas, Methods, and Caveats 190

Chapter 13 Things That Go Bump in the Night PTSD, Nightmares, and Other Dream-Related Disorders 204

Chapter 14 Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain The Art and Science of Lucid Dreaming 227

Chapter 15 Telepathic and Precognitive Dreams or Why You May Have Already Dreamt of This Chapter 246

Epilogue: What We Know, What We Don't Know What We Might Never Know, and Why It All Matters 261

Appendix-NEXTUP: A Model of How and Why We Dream 271

Suggested Reading 275

Acknowledgments 279

Notes 283

Index 303

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