The neurocognition of dreaming: Key questions and foci

Horton, C. (2023) The neurocognition of dreaming: Key questions and foci. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, 7 (5). pp. 477-486. ISSN 2397-8562

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Until recently, understanding the neurobiology of dreaming has relied upon on correlating a subjective dream report with a measure of brain activity or function sampled from a different occasion. As such, most assumptions about dreaming come from the neuroscience of REM sleep from which many, but not all, dream reports are recalled. Core features of REM sleep (intense emotional activation, a reduction in activity in most frontal regions, particularly the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, along with increased dopamine, acetylcholine, cholinergic activation) align with typical dream characteristics (characterised by fear, reduced reality monitoring, increased bizarreness and hyperassociativity, respectively). The default mode network offers a way of understanding the nature of dreaming more independently from a REM sleep context, and EEG methods paired with serial awakenings to elicit dream reports demonstrate how high-frequency activity in posterior regions may be associated with dreaming. Nevertheless, all measures of dreaming rely fundamentally on recall processes, so our understanding of dreaming must embrace and address memory’s crucial involvement in dream report production.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 Portland Press. This is an author-produced version of a paper accepted for publication in Emerging Topics in Life Sciences. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: REM sleep, Dreaming, Memory consolidation, Neurocognition
Divisions: School of Social Science
Depositing User: Dr Caroline Horton
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2023 10:17
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2024 15:08

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