Dreaming : An Introduction to the Science of Sleep

3.18 (65 ratings by Goodreads)
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What is dreaming? What causes dreaming? Why are dreams so strange and why are they so hard to remember? Modern science has given us a new and increasingly clear and complete picture of how dreaming is created by the brain. This picture is important not only for understanding dreaming itself, but also for a science of consciousness and of mental health and illness. This book focuses on dreaming to introduce the reader to sleep laboratory science and to the cellular and molecular mechanisms of sleep. It shows how the new science of dreaming affects theories in psychoanalysis, and how it helps to understand the basis of mental illness.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 180 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 14mm | 240.4g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 25 b&w illustrations
  • 0192804820
  • 9780192804822

Table of contents

1. What is dreaming?; 2. Why dream content analysis failed to become a science; 3. How is the brain activated in sleep?; 4. Cells and molecules of the dreaming brain; 5. Why dream? The functions of brain activation in sleep; 6. Disorders of dreaming; 7. Dreaming as delirium: sleep and mental illness; 8. The new neuropsychology of dreaming; 9. Dreaming, learning, and memory; 10. Dream consciousness; 11. The interpretation of dreams; Conclusionshow more

Review quote

"A cool outline of modern knowledge about dreams...and an explanation of what is really happening in our brains when we dream.... Throughout he uses his own dreams, recorded over many years, as examples while showing how the science of sleep has evolved over the past 50 years. Along the way, Freud takes a battering."--New Scientistshow more

About J. Allan Hobson

J. Allan Hobson is Director of the Neurophysiology and Sleep Laboratory and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Widely considered the world's leading expert on sleep research, he is the author of The Dreaming Brain, The Chemistry of Conscious States, Sleep, Dreaming as Delirium: How the Brain Goes Out of Its Mind, and Consciousness.show more

Review Text

From the beginning of human history, people have believed that dreams contain messages, from God's revelations to the prophets in Genesis to modern psychoanalytical interpretations. Whether you believe in divine guidance or not, there is no doubt that we all dream. J Allan Hobson, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, sets out in this book to discuss how dreaming works, what causes it, why we have trouble in remembering dreams and whether dreams can really predict the future. Much has been proved about dreams since the days of Freud - and indeed, disproved. Hobson explains how the brain and mind work in relation to dreaming, how brain damage and mental illness affect dreams, the part played by memory and learning and how the brain is activated in sleep. The amount that science has discovered about the subject in recent years is extraordinary, and Hobson's revelations about the mechanisms involved in sleep and dreaming are eye-opening. But there are still questions to be answered, especially about whether those unable to describe their experiences, such as babies and animals, dream as we do - which in turn leads on to questions about the nature of consciousness and how we should define it. This is an enlightening book that will provide much food for thought in anyone who reads it. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

65 ratings
3.18 out of 5 stars
5 11% (7)
4 31% (20)
3 35% (23)
2 12% (8)
1 11% (7)
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