Self Help

The Dreaming Mind; Understanding Consciousness During Sleep; 1 - Rosen Melanie G_

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 73 min read

“If you liked the book, you can purchase it using the links in the description below. By buying through these links, you contribute to the blog without paying any extra, as we receive a small commission. This helps us bring more quality content to you!”



  • Dreams have been an object of philosophical inquiry since Aristotle questioned whether dreams involve the senses or intellect. Various perspectives have been taken on the nature and meaning of dreams.

  • Philosophical interest declined but was revived by findings from sleep research in the 1950s and challenges from philosophers like Revonsuo, Metzinger, Thompson, etc.

  • Most research has focused on defining dreams narrowly, but dreams are varied and resist simple definitions. A pluralistic approach is needed to account for different types of dreams.

  • Different kinds of dreams have different implications for theories of mind, self, and consciousness. For example:

    • Realistic dreams relate to extended mind theories
    • Bizarre dreams question personal identity
    • Both impaired and unimpaired dreams inform theories of consciousness
  • The book examines dreams and different philosophical views, focusing on self, cognition and consciousness (not evolutionary or psychological functions of dreams).

  • Ch 1 provides an overview of dream science, then subsequent chapters analyze philosophical implications of the nature and types of dreams for theories like extended cognition/consciousness, imagination vs perception, hallucination, personal identity, and consciousness.

  • Dreams have been studied philosophically for thousands of years but scientific study was limited until the 1950s discovery of REM sleep. This allowed researchers to more reliably collect dream reports by waking people during REM sleep.

  • REM sleep was thought to be the stage of sleep associated with dreaming, although we now know dreaming can occur in non-REM sleep as well.

  • The discovery of REM sleep enabled improved dream report collection techniques and new technological methods to study the neuropsychology of dreams.

  • Prior to this discovery, dream research relied on analyzing dream diaries written after waking up in the morning. Collection of reports while dreaming allowed for better data.

  • Some of the challenges in dream research include the enigmatic nature of dreams, poor dream recall, inability to verify reports, and lack of obvious behavioral criteria for dreaming while asleep.

  • The author notes dreams have interested philosophers for thousands of years but the scientific study of dreaming was advanced significantly by the discovery of REM sleep in the 1950s. This started a major breakthrough in the field.

  • Modern research using new physiological measurement methods like EEG has greatly expanded our understanding of sleep stages, dreaming, and the relationship between brain activity and dream content.

  • Dreams can occur during any sleep stage, but are most easily recalled when waking someone during REM sleep. REM sleep accounts for around 20-25% of total sleep time and is characterized by rapid eye movements.

  • NREM sleep is divided into 3 stages (previously 4). Stages 1-2 are light sleep with slow eye movements and reduced muscle tone. Stage 3 is deep sleep with low frequency brain waves.

  • Dream reports collected during sleep studies can now be correlated with physiological measurements like brain activity, heart rate, skin conductance to learn more about the dreaming brain.

  • Research shows dreaming involves a variety of cognitive, perceptual and neurological states, not just one simple definition. Dreams vary in continuity with waking life, level of cognition, and whether they involve imagination or perception.

  • Lucid dreaming research has expanded knowledge but findings may not generalize to typical non-lucid dreams due to differences. Overall, dreams are a diverse phenomenon that defy simplistic definitions.

Here is a summary of the key points about antly delta brain waves (1–4 Hz), muscle atonia and very little eye movement:

  • Antly delta brain waves occur during stage 3 and 4 non-REM (NREM) sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep.

  • During NREM sleep, there is very little eye movement and muscle atonia (paralysis of muscles). These are defining features that distinguish NREM from REM sleep.

  • The stage 3 and 4 NREM sleep characterized by antly delta waves is considered the most restorative stage of sleep. Missing this stage can lead to cognitive difficulties and inability to focus when awake.

  • Deprivation of this deep NREM sleep stage, as seen in conditions like fatal familial insomnia, can result in waking hallucinations, irrational behavior, and eventually death if the individual is unable to sleep at all.

  • Sleep, and particularly this slow-wave NREM sleep stage, is essential for normal brain and body functioning as well as survival. Even missing one night of sleep can impair cognitive abilities.

Here is a summary of the key points about different methods for studying dreams:

  • At-home dream reporting tends to yield more bizarre and interesting narratives than lab studies, likely due to biases and environmental factors. Dream memory is poor.

  • Lab studies allow more control, like waking subjects during specific sleep stages. But the unfamiliar lab environment may disrupt sleep initially. Long studies can cause “laboratory fatigue”.

  • Home studies can replicate lab protocols by using technology to monitor sleep stages and prompt dream reports. This avoids issues with the lab environment.

  • Both home and lab methods have limitations. Home studies lack controls, allowing biases. Lab studies may suppress dream bizarreness initially or over long studies.

  • When equal controls are used, differences between home and lab reports decrease. But some content differences remain, likely due to environmental setting.

  • Time of day for reporting also influences dream content, with late morning reports being more “dream-like”. Delayed factual reminiscence may improve memory over time.

  • No single method is perfect, so different methods provide useful and complementary insights into different aspects of dream study. Controlled replication is important.

  • Delayed dream recall (DFR) refers to remembering dreams after waking up later in the day, as opposed to being woken up during a sleep lab and immediately recalling a dream.

  • DFR is relatively uncommon compared to dreams recalled through REM awakenings in sleep labs. DFR reports tend to have little detail.

  • Over time, it becomes difficult to accurately determine whether a memory is from a dream or some other source (“source monitoring”).

  • Physiological measures like EEG, EOG, EMG can provide objective data about brain and body changes during sleep, but cannot derive dream content on their own.

  • EEG is the most commonly used technique due to its portability, safety, and ability to continuously monitor throughout the night. However, it only provides general signals and low spatial resolution.

  • Techniques like fMRI and PET provide higher spatial resolution but require lying still in a noisy machine, making it difficult to fall asleep naturally. They also have slower image capture rates.

  • Physiological data can help confirm dream reports by correlating brain activations with reported dream experiences, but interpretations are limited by our understanding of the brain-mind relationship.

  • Studying children’s dreams using fMRI or PET is very difficult due to requirements of staying still and potential effects of the techniques on sleep. Only a few studies have been done using fMRI on young children.

  • Neuroimaging techniques like fMRI and PET provide indirect measures of neural activity and have limitations. It is difficult to infer exact cognitive processes from brain activations.

  • Skeptics argue neuroimaging may not be useful or relevant to psychology if we lack theories mapping cognition to brain activity. However, probabilistic correlations can still provide insight.

  • It is challenging to correlate brain data with dream reports precisely due to uncertainty around dream timing. Signal verification and eye/body movements may help with timing.

  • While one-to-one mapping of cognition and brain regions is unlikely, neuroimaging can still provide a sketch of neuromechanisms, especially when corroborating dream reports. Denying its usefulness entirely would be excessive.

  • Brain-lesion imaging studies have been important for understanding brain function by observing how cognition changes with specific areas of brain damage. Deactivations seen in neuroimaging of dreaming may serve a similar function, but lesions clearly damage brain areas while dreaming deactivations are due to altered neurochemistry during sleep.

  • Certain brain lesions have been linked to non-visual dreaming or cessation of dreaming, providing clues about brain areas necessary for dream production, though some debate exists.

  • Frontal lobe activation, especially in the DLPFC and inferior parietal cortices, decreases significantly during sleep. This is linked to cognitive deficits commonly reported in dreams like poor self-reflection, orientation, and memory.

  • Vivid and hallucinatory dream content correlates with hyperactivation in areas like the visual cortex and insular cortex involved in sensory processing and emotion.

  • Differences between dreaming and waking cognition may relate to decreases in frontal areas and increases in other areas, as well as changes in neuromodulation from aminergic to cholinergic. However, the story is complex with some studies finding “normal” frontal activation in dreams.

  • Hobson’s AIM model characterizes dreaming based on changes in brain activation, information flow, and neuromodulation compared to waking. But dream content and cognition appear highly varied.

  • The AIM model proposes that waking involves high neuroactivation, external input, and aminergic neuromodulation. NREM sleep has lower activation, internal input, and intermediate neuromodulation. REM sleep has high activation in sensory/emotional areas but lower in prefrontal areas, with internal input and cholinergic modulation.

  • However, the AIM model is an oversimplification as activation, input, and modulation are multidimensional and complex. Not all dreams are bizarre or cognitively impaired.

  • Lucid dreaming, where the dreamer realizes they are dreaming, provides evidence against the view that dreams are always cognitively deficient. Lucid dreams can involve rational thought and memory recall. Expert lucid dreamers can even control aspects of their dreams.

  • Studies using signal-verified lucid dreaming have revealed insights about cognition and control in dreams. However, lucidity may not be representative of normal dreaming, and full control of dreams is rare even for experienced lucid dreamers. Overall, cognition in dreams exists on a spectrum from non-lucid to lucid states.

  • Lucid dreams have greater cognitive abilities compared to non-lucid dreams, and as such may need to be considered separately from non-lucid dreams.

  • Features like insight that are common in lucid dreams are less common in non-lucid dreams. There may also be other differences that are harder to test, like eye movements.

  • While the scanning hypothesis has been confirmed for signal verification in lucid dreams, it has not been proven for all dreams and requires separate evaluation. This shows lucid and non-lucid dreams require separate accounts.

  • Experiments on lucid dreaming do not indicate the common features of ordinary, non-lucid dreaming. We cannot make inferences about non-lucid dreams based on findings about lucid dreams.

  • Lucid dreams are an important phenomenon to study separately, but they are not representative of dreaming overall. Dreaming cognition and brain activation varies significantly within and between individuals, so definitions and theories of dreaming need to account for this variation and not be overly reductive.

This summary covers the key points from 19 scientific sources on the topic of dreaming published between 1965 and 2022:

  • Describes theories of dreaming like activation-synthesis theory and dreaming as mind-wandering.

  • Discusses approaches to studying dreams like dream content analysis, dream recall methods, and dream reporting.

  • Covers neural correlates of dreaming found using neuroimaging techniques like increased activity in prefrontal cortex during REM sleep.

  • Mentions dreaming across sleep stages like NREM dreaming and serial awakenings paradigms.

  • Addresses lucid dreaming research on metacognition during dreams and targeted dream incubation.

  • Highlights studies on dream phenomenology, memory consolidation, and representation of self in dreams.

  • References innovations like real-time dialogue with dreamers and dream-monitoring wearables and apps.

  • Traces historical advances like Berger’s EEG work and theories from pioneers like Hobson, Foulkes, Jouvet.

  • Discusses philosophical perspectives on dreaming, hallucination, imagination, and consciousness.

In summary, it covers the development of dream science as a field drawing from neuroscience, psychology, and other domains over the past several decades.

  • There is disagreement about the nature of dream content and cognition - whether dreams are essentially bizarre or cognitively deficient vs accurately simulating waking life.

  • The author argues for a pluralistic approach - dream content and cognition vary widely. Dreams can be exceedingly bizarre or entirely mundane, and cognition can range from highly deficient to equivalent to waking.

  • Some terms used to describe bizarreness in dreams include “distortion from reality”, “metamorphosis”, “implausibility”. Bizarreness generally involves impossibility and incongruity.

  • Dreams can involve fantastic worlds without normal logic/physics, impossible feats, shifting scenery/time/events incongruously. Characters and the dream self can morph unpredictably.

  • While dreams can be highly bizarre, they are on average less bizarre than commonly thought since we are more likely to remember bizarre dreams.

  • The passage focuses on arguing that bizarreness and lack of metacognition should not be seen as defining features of dreams, which are actually quite varied in their content and level of cognition. There is a need for a pluralistic, less reductive understanding of dreaming.

  • According to the discontinuity view, dreams are highly bizarre, incoherent, and unlike normal waking experiences. They involve improbable or odd events, people, places, actions, etc. compared to what we experience in our daily lives.

  • Discontinuity theorists argue dreams are characterized by “impossibility or improbability of time, place, person and actions”. Hobson’s dream bizarreness scale measures the degrees of improbability/oddness in dream reports.

  • Studies using this scale have found that around 1 in 4 (22.3%) elements of dream reports involve some form of improbability or mismatch compared to normal experiences, which is seen as evidence that dreams are highly anomalous.

  • However, continuity theorists dispute this, arguing dreams can range from bizarre to fairly mundane, and it is difficult to objectively determine what counts as bizarre given individual and cultural differences. The difficulty in classifying dream content contributes to the ongoing disagreement between the two views.

In summary, the key point is that discontinuity theorists view dreams as notably more improbable, incoherent and bizarre compared to ordinary daily experiences, while continuity theorists see more variability in dream content.

  • Some researchers argue dreams are continuous with waking life (continuity view), while others see them as discontinuous.

  • Continuity theorists like Domhoff found dreams generally reflect waking experiences and concerns, with occasional unusual features. Dreams contain significant similarity to waking life.

  • Snyder’s research found less than 1% of dream settings were “fantastic” and only 5% “exotic”, with most ordinary. Half of dreams had no bizarreness.

  • Analysis of one woman’s dream reports found social interactions were continuous with waking thoughts and concerns.

  • Foulkes argued dream bizarreness has been overstated. Reports after normal waking contain more bizarre dreams than immediate lab reports.

  • Children’s dreams start as simple imagery and develop narrative complexity with age, but remain predominantly sensible and comprehensible.

  • The differences in research findings may be due to different measurement tools used to rate bizarreness. Immediate lab reports may contain less bizarreness than later home reports.

In summary, while dreams can contain unusual elements, continuity theorists argue dreams generally reflect and are continuous with everyday concerns and experiences, contrary to views that they are typically bizarre. The degree of bizarreness may depend on how and when dreams are reported.

The key reasons for disagreement between groups studying dream content are:

  1. Some groups focus on lab-based dream collections where dreams are awakened in a sleep lab, while others focus on home-based collections where people record dreams upon natural awakening. Lab environments may alter dream content by making dreams less bizarre.

  2. Different groups use different scales to measure dream bizarreness, which may over or underrate bizarreness. More general scales report lower bizarreness, while very detailed scales risk overestimating it.

The minor differences between home and lab studies do not fully explain the discrepancies. Context is also important for determining bizarreness - what is bizarre depends on the dreamer’s own life experiences. Overall, disagreement stems from methodological differences between groups in how dreams are collected and bizarreness is measured.

  • Several theorists find dreaming to be appropriately compared to waking mental states like imagination, relaxed thinking, and mindwandering.

  • However, there is debate around both the conceptual question of whether the comparison is valid, and the empirical question of how dreams compare to imagination in terms of bizarreness.

  • While comparing dream thoughts to waking thoughts is valid, the appropriateness of comparing dreams to imagined or mindwandered events depends on the nature of dreaming.

  • Some studies find dreams to be more bizarre than waking thoughts, though bizarreness varies within both dreams and thoughts. Comparing dreams directly to mindwandering may not be the best comparison.

  • Dreaming and imagination/mindwandering share features like random associations, shifting content, and lack of restriction by external stimuli. One study found some mindwandering episodes could be hallucinatory like dreams.

  • People also tend to have consistent “styles” of dreaming and daydreaming - whether positive/vivid, negative/conflict-filled, or anxious. This continuity supports comparing dreams to waking imagination.

  • In general, the text discusses both conceptual and empirical perspectives on comparing the bizarreness and nature of dreams to waking thought processes like imagination and mindwandering. There is debate around both perspectives.

  • The passage discusses dreaming and daydreaming/mindwandering, comparing their cognitive mechanisms.

  • It argues that both involve perception and imagination on a spectrum, without clear demarcations. Dreaming is generally more immersive and realistic than daydreaming due to its multisensory nature and stronger sense of embodiment.

  • Daydreamers can occasionally forget they are daydreaming, similar to how dreamers rarely realize they are dreaming. However, dreams are generally less open to scrutiny than daydreams.

  • The main focus is on comparing the bizarreness of dreams versus imaginings/daydreams. Studies show dreams contain more bizarre elements and at a higher density than daydreams/fantasies.

  • Not all apparently bizarre dream elements can be explained by context, though context can reduce perceived bizarreness. Dreams involve a mixture of mundane and bizarre elements.

  • There is debate around how impaired cognition is in dreaming compared to waking. Dream cognition is varied - impairments are common but not universal. A key difference is dreamers rarely realize they are dreaming (low metacognition).

  • The passage discusses metacognition in dreaming, which refers to thinking about one’s own thinking or cognitions about cognitions. Metacognition allows reflection on and control over mental processes.

  • Metacognition can be explicit (conscious reflection) or implicit (unconscious). Accuracy and frequency of metacognitive thoughts both need to be assessed to determine metacognitive ability in dreams.

  • The cognitive deficiency view holds that metacognition is severely impaired or absent in dreams. Dreamers often fail to notice illogical or bizarre events that would demand attention awake.

  • However, metacognition is present in dreams to some degree. Lucid dreams exemplify highly metacognitive dreams. Non-lucid dreams can also involve metacognition.

  • Both the accuracy and frequency of metacognitive thoughts are important to assess metacognitive ability in dreams. Simply reporting thoughts requires metacognition, so determining frequency is challenging.

  • A nuanced approach is needed rather than claiming metacognition is completely absent. Metacognition varies across dreams from near-waking levels to severely deficient. Both explicit and implicit forms may occur.

  • Metacognition in dreams has reduced frequency and accuracy compared to waking life. Dreamers often fail to notice or question bizarre events in their dreams.

  • This suggests an impairment in reflective abilities and reality-testing during dreaming. However, metacognition is not entirely absent - dreamers can have some awareness of what is happening even if they draw wrong conclusions.

  • Reduced prefrontal cortex activation during sleep, especially in areas like the DLPFC, may account for impaired metacognitive functioning in dreams. However, brain activity changes are complex and the neural basis of metacognition is not fully understood.

  • Some propose dreams should be viewed as a form of imagination rather than perception. Under this view, failing to question bizarre dream events is normal since imagination does not present itself as real and does not need to be reality-tested.

  • Alternatively, dreamers may suspend disbelief about dreams in a similar way we do when engaged in fiction. Either way, these “deflationary” perspectives aim to explain away signs of cognitive dysfunction in dreams.

  • In reality, dream cognition is highly varied - some dreams show clear deficiencies while others demonstrate more normal functioning. A pluralistic view best captures the complex nature of cognition during dreaming.

The text discusses the veracity of our imagination and fictions in relation to dreams. It argues that while dream logic makes sense within the context of the dream narrative, like fiction, dreaming differs in that dream events can remind the dreamer of other events and shift the scenery accordingly.

The author examines arguments that treat dreaming similarly to imagination or fiction, such as the idea that we accept whichever world we are immersed in as real. However, the author remains unconvinced, noting dreaming involves more cognitive deficiency than imagination or fiction.

Lucid dreaming appears contrary to views that dreams lack reflective capacities. But the author argues lucid dreams do not necessarily prove in-dream insight, and lucidity could be programmed into dreams.

While cognitive deficiency occurs in dreams, dreaming involves a broad variety of cognitive features and metacognition can occur, including in pre-lucid stages involving reality questioning. Research also suggests equivalent levels of metacognition in dreams and waking. Choices, intentions, emotions and self-reflection commonly appear in dreams.

In summary, the text debates the similarities and differences between dreaming, imagination and fiction, examines arguments analogy dreaming to imagination, and ultimately argues dreaming involves a variety of cognitive features, including metacognition in both lucid and non-lucid forms.

This passage discusses metacognition (thinking about one’s own thinking) in dreams versus normal waking life narratives. Some key points:

  • People are unlikely to report metacognitive thoughts or judgments in spontaneous narratives about normal events. Narratives focus more on observable events and items.

  • Reporting metacognition can be inflated if people are explicitly asked to monitor and report their thoughts. Retrospectively judging how often one had metacognitive thoughts is also inaccurate.

  • Dream reports have additional challenges as dreams are often poorly remembered after waking and confabulation can occur. Dreaming itself also limits one’s ability to do tasks like think-aloud protocols.

  • It’s difficult to assess metacognitive accuracy in dreams. While metacognition occurs in dreams, dreams can also be very cognitively impaired at times with lack of rationality and reflection.

  • Lucid dreams and pre-lucid dreams can still show metacognitive failures and cognitive impairments compared to waking. Gaining lucidity does not ensure full rationality or metacognitive ability.

  • Some dreams can provide very realistic and non-bizarre experiences where the dreamer has no reason to question reality, making cognition seem equivalent to waking. However, dream cognition varies widely.

So in summary, it discusses challenges in measuring and comparing metacognition in dreams versus waking due to limitations of dream reports and dream cognition itself. Both presence of metacognition and cognitive impairments can be seen in dreams.

  • Dreams are highly varied in their content and level of cognition/metacognition. It is implausible to define dreaming as always “bizarre” or “cognitively impaired.”

  • Metacognitive failure is most apparent in our inability to notice and judge dream content as bizarre. Lucid dreams show some level of metacognition but we may still display irrational behavior.

  • The author advocates a “pluralistic” view that accounts for this variety, rather than reductive definitions. Dreams can display cognition equivalent to waking or be highly impaired.

  • While reports may not always reflect actual dream experiences, experiences do seem to occur during sleep, contrary to views that dreams are just waking reports.

-Various dreams show lack of expected metacognition or inaccurate metacognition when compared to similar waking scenarios. However, some dreams do exhibit rational thoughts.

  • This pluralistic approach argues against defining dreaming in a single way and considers the breadth of possible dreaming experiences and cognition. It provides a more nuanced description than defining dreams as always one thing.

Here is a summary of key points from the selected papers on James Allan Hobson and the nature of dreams:

  • Hobson promoted the activation-synthesis hypothesis of dreaming, which posits that dreams are constructed by the brain as an interpreter of random neural impulses during sleep. Dreams take the raw material of neural activation and synthesize it into a fictional narrative.

  • Along with colleagues, Hobson provided evidence that dreaming involves many of the same brain regions as waking thought and perception. However, dreams also exhibit qualitative differences from waking cognition, like increased emotionality and bizarreness.

  • Later work by Hobson and others explored how dreams may relate to memory consolidation and offloading during sleep. Dreams were seen as a byproduct of neural processing underlying memory and learning functions of sleep.

  • Papers examined the relationship between dream content and waking experiences/moods, providing support for the continuity hypothesis which posits connections between waking and dreaming cognition and experience.

  • Hobson and colleagues investigated topics like dream logic, reasoning and bizarreness within dreams. They explored how the dreaming brain constructs narrative coherence from disjointed neural activation.

  • Overall, Hobson was a major proponent of exploring dreams from a neurocognitive perspective informed by brain science. He viewed dreams as the brain’s best effort to synthesize meaningful stories from random neural noise during sleep. This established dreaming as a legitimate area for cognitive scientific inquiry.

Here is a summary of some key points about conscious experience during sleep based on the provided text:

  • Malcolm rejected the view that dreams are actual experiences that occur during sleep. He argued that dreams are logically dependent on the reports we make upon waking, but we cannot verify that experiences actually occur during sleep.

  • Dennett proposed an alternative “cassette theory” where dreams are memories stored and replayed upon waking, rather than actual experiences. He argued at the time that knowledge of consciousness and sleep was insufficient to support the received view over this alternative.

  • Both Malcolm and Dennett questioned the received view that dream reports accurately represent experiences during sleep. However, given current empirical evidence, it is unlikely that consciousness does not occur in sleep at all.

  • While experiences likely do occur during sleep, narrative confabulation occurs when we report dreams. Dream reports are often confabulated narratives created by the waking mind, rather than accurate representations of dream content.

  • Factors like poor memory, cognitive defects common in dreaming, and individual differences can increase narrative confabulation in dream reports. While some reports may be accurate, we cannot guarantee the reliability of individual reports.

  • The text suggests consciousness likely does occur during sleep, but dream reports should be questioned and may not accurately represent actual dream experiences due to confabulation effects. The extent of confabulation is an empirical question worth further study.

  • In Malcolm’s view, sleep and dreams are outwardly unverifiable because one cannot assert or judge that they are asleep or dreaming while actually in those states.

  • For sleep, Malcolm argues we can only define what it means for someone else (“he is asleep”) but not for oneself (“I am asleep”) while in that state.

  • For dreams, there is no observable behavior to corroborate dream reports, so we cannot verify if someone is appropriately using the phrase “I was dreaming” to refer to an actual experience.

  • Malcolm views dreams as logically equivalent to waking impressions/reports upon waking, not as experiences that necessarily occur during sleep. The question of dreams’ “real existence” during sleep is merely metaphysical for Malcolm.

  • Empirical evidence challenges Malcolm’s view, including current understanding of sleep as an active state like REM, evidence that behaviors can indicate sleeping experiences, and neuroimaging data suggesting experience during sleep/dreams.

  • In summary, Malcolm takes an overly skeptical stance toward verifying sleep and dreams based on an outmoded view of sleep as purely inactive. Current evidence supports sleep and dreams involving altered states of consciousness with experiences.

The passage argues that while dream reports are necessary for knowledge about dream content, other evidence can corroborate dream reports. It presents arguments against Malcolm’s rejection of all behavioral evidence supporting the received view that experiences occur during sleep.

It discusses evidence like lucid dreaming where dreamers can signal they are dreaming, correlations between sleep behaviors and dream content, and studies correlating dream reports with neural activity. While acknowledging limitations and inaccuracies of some dream reports, it concludes there is strong evidence dreams involve conscious experiences, contrary to Malcolm’s excessive skepticism. Overall, the passage argues multiple sources of data together provide empirical support for the view that dreaming involves consciousness, even if individual reports alone may be inaccurate or inconclusive at times.

  • The passage discusses the debate around whether dreams represent conscious experiences or not. Some like Malcolm are skeptical that consciousness occurs during dreaming.

  • Neural imaging research provides some evidence of consciousness during sleep by correlating brain activity with dream reports. However, brain activation alone cannot determine consciousness, as seen with studies of vegetative state patients.

  • Daniel Dennett proposes an “anti-experience” view called the cassette theory, where dream narratives are generated unconsciously during sleep but only experienced upon waking. Dreams are like cassettes inserted into consciousness.

  • The cassette theory aims to explain phenomena like stimuli from the external world becoming seamlessly incorporated into dreams. It also explains the lack of observable behavior during dreams.

  • While challenging the received view that dreams represent consciousness, Dennett acknowledges the cassette theory is difficult to verify and not universally accepted. Some criticisms are noted, like that of Malcolm who rejects unverifiable theories.

  • In summary, the passage discusses the ongoing debate around whether and how consciousness can be demonstrated during dreaming states based on neural evidence and theoretical perspectives like Dennett’s cassette view. Both sides have merits but no conclusive answers yet.

  • Dennett proposes the “cassette theory” which states that dreams are not experienced during sleep but are composed upon awakening.

  • Lucid dreaming provides evidence against this view, as lucid dreamers are able to signal that they are aware they are dreaming through pre-learned eye movements during REM sleep.

  • Evidence of sleep paralysis also argues against the cassette theory, as it shows that we are paralyzed during dreaming sleep which helps explain the lack of observable behavior.

  • Dennett suggests dreams may still be unconscious if they lack “clout”, or integration and recognition. But others argue consciousness does not require memory or reportability.

  • An alternative view is that dream reports involve some degree of “narrative confabulation”, where the dreaming mind structures unorganized sleep experiences into narratives that can be understood and communicated upon awakening. This does not deny consciousness occurs during sleep but questions how accurately reports reflect internal sleep experiences.

In summary, while dream reports have limitations, evidence favors the view that consciousness and experience do occur during sleep, contrary to Dennett’s cassette theory. But dream narratives may involve some degree of reconstruction upon awakening.

  • Dream reports often involve confabulated elements, especially in the narrative/story of the report. This is known as narrative confabulation.

  • Confabulation in dreaming is distinct from intentional fabrication. It is an unintentional memory error that can occur due to forgetting or ambiguity.

  • Dream reports are prone to confabulation for several reasons: 1) Bizarre dreams must be rationalized into a comprehensible narrative. 2) Memory of dreams is poor so the mind fills in gaps.

  • Studies have found evidence that dream reports become more rationalized and plausible over time, such as imposing emotions that weren’t actually experienced.

  • Both waking and dreaming experiences undergo rationalization of unusual elements through schematic processing. However, we cannot compare dream reports to the original experience.

  • Immediate reports from REM sleep awakenings in a lab setting are thought to minimize confabulation compared to delayed morning reports. But confabulation during reporting cannot be entirely avoided.

  • In summary, an alternative view to the “received view” is that dream reports often involve narrative confabulation and may not accurately reflect the original dream experience due to memory errors and rationalization by the waking mind.

  • Highly controlled lucid dreaming experiments are likely to produce the most accurate dream reports due to improved memory, attention, and ability to report details during the dream using eye movements.

  • However, even REM awakenings may still involve confabulation before reporting. Memory is fallible and involves reconstruction.

  • Dream memory is notoriously poor. Most dreams are forgotten immediately upon waking. Even excellent dream recallers only report about 1 dream per month on average out of many dreamed each night.

  • Rehearsing dream reports can alter what is remembered - the report becomes remembered rather than the original dream details. This challenges the accuracy of reports.

  • Dreaming involves altered states of consciousness that may not be fully reportable, like what it’s like to be a bat. Some dream experiences may not be accurately conveyed.

  • Due to poor memory, reconstruction processes, and altered dream states, dream reports should be interpreted cautiously and may not fully or accurately reflect the original dream experience. Accuracy cannot be assured.

  • Dreaming involves significant alterations to brain activity and neural pathways compared to the waking state, especially increased activity in areas related to imagination and decreased activity in areas related to logical reasoning.

  • This altered state of consciousness in dreaming may generate experiences that are difficult or incomprehensible for the waking mind to fully understand or comprehend. Dreams can be bizarre or impossible in ways that defy waking logic and experiences.

  • Upon waking, the mind shifts back to the normal waking state. This may require the dreaming content to be confabulated, rationalized, or reinterpreted to make sense from the waking perspective. Key dream details could be lost or changed in this process.

  • There is some evidence the brain does not fully transition back to the waking state immediately upon arousal, resulting in a brief period of confusion or disorientation. Reports during this period may have higher accuracy, but coherence is still an issue.

  • Individuals prone to imagination inflation, hypnotic suggestibility, and dissociativity are more likely to confabulate or incorrectly remember dreamed events as real. Bizarre dreams are also more prone to confabulation and rationalization upon waking.

  • Due to these factors, dream reports may include inaccuracies, confabulations, and rationalizations as the waking mind attempts to interpret and comprehend the experiences of the altered conscious state of dreaming. The extent of this is difficult to determine but likely depends on dream content and individual differences.

  • An study found that individuals who were prone to dissociation or hypnotic suggestion were more likely to report experiencing events in a second interview that they had initially not reported in a first interview.

  • Dissociative individuals rely less on memories and more on inferences and external evidence because they have difficulty distinguishing memories from fantasies. Non-dissociative individuals do this as well but to a lesser extent.

  • In another experiment, most participants drew the Roman numeral IV on a clock face incorrectly as IV instead of IIII, showing people rely more on schemas than memory.

  • Dissociative individuals are forced to rely more heavily on schemas due to memory deficits. This can lead them to accept memories as real based on a lower threshold of evidence.

  • Dreaming is often dissociative in nature. We all confabulate dreams more than waking memories due to poor dream recall. Dissociative individuals may be more prone to dream confabulation due to difficulties distinguishing dreams, imagination and memories.

  • While lucid dreaming and REM sleep behavior disorder provide some evidence against anti-experience views of dreaming, they do not prove the accuracy of full dream narratives or represent all dreaming experiences. Reporting conditions can increase report accuracy but never eliminate confabulation risk.

Here is a summary of the provided text from the perspective of the researcher:

From the researcher’s perspective, determining the accuracy of dream memory is challenging. While dreams undoubtedly involve conscious experiences, dream reports are less reliable than waking memory due to issues like poor memory, confusion during waking, and bizarre dream content leading to confabulation. Researchers can increase accuracy somewhat by using control methods like laboratory awakenings, but they do not guarantee accuracy. Due to these factors, researchers cannot verify the specific content of dreams or rule out confabulation in reports. While not all dream reports are inaccurate, in general they are less reliable than waking reports. Lucid dreams and signal-verified reports allow somewhat better assessment, but researchers can never fully confirm the accuracy of dream experience reports. In summary, the researcher’s access to dream contents is limited by memory and reporting issues, making the verification of dream experiences difficult.

  • Ichikawa argues that orthodox theorists have not adequately explained the unusual patterns of belief revision that occur during dreaming. Dreams seem to involve wildly different belief changes than what we experience when awake.

  • Sosa introduces the “in the dream” operator to explain that thoughts, beliefs, actions and sensations that occur during dreams do not actually happen. They are only occurring within the dream. This applies to mental states like beliefs and thoughts as well - if you believe something in a dream, you don’t actually hold that belief.

  • Ichikawa and others argue that applying the “in the dream” operator means we do not truly have beliefs, intentions, thoughts etc. during dreams. We are only quasi-affirming or quasi-believing things that are occurring in the imagination.

  • Ichikawa provides several arguments to support the view that dreams involve imagination rather than hallucination or true beliefs. These include the lack of moral responsibility for dream acts, the inability of dream events to have real causal effects, and the indeterminacy of aspects like color in dreams.

  • Empirical evidence like the development of dreaming abilities in children and aphantasia patients also align with the imagination model of dreams over other models.

  • Ulkes concludes that imagination must be a critical skill in dream-making. This view is friendly to the imagination model of dreaming proposed by Ichikawa.

  • Ichikawa provides evidence from overlapping cognitive mechanisms between dreaming and imagining, as well as smooth experiential transitions between daydreams and dreams. This supports that dreaming is a type of imagining.

  • Dreams, like imagination, are subject to the will in a way that is distinct from perception. We can try to control or influence dreams, like choosing what to imagine. This demonstrates dreams are subject to the will, not just involuntary hallucinations.

  • However, the imagination model is overly reductive and does not account for dream phenomena that are better understood as perceptual. Dreams vary along a spectrum between imagining and hallucinating, and can involve both features. A single dream can be imaginative or perceptual in different parts.

So in summary, Ichikawa presents evidence that dreaming shares mechanisms with imagination, but the imagination model alone is too simplistic and does not explain hallucinatory or perceptual aspects of dreams. Dreams likely involve both imagination and perception.

  • The passage discusses the two-factor theory of monothematic delusions. It proposes there is an initial impairment that presents false data, and a second impairment that prevents the person from rejecting the implausible explanation formed to explain that data.

  • Dream experiences can sometimes take on a delusional quality according to this framework. The dream itself acts as the first factor presenting strange experiences, and reduced cognition during sleep is the second factor that leads dreamers to accept unusual explanations.

  • Reporting dreams has limitations as we can’t directly compare the reported experience to what was originally experienced. This makes it unclear if certain dream reports refer to hallucinations, confabulations, or rational inferences.

  • The two-factor theory provides a plausible explanation for some dream experiences displaying a delusional characteristic, though not all dreams are delusional. When waking, people are sometimes puzzled by irrational beliefs and inferences made in dreams.

  • The passage critiques views that dream beliefs do not really contradict waking beliefs. It argues amnesia and some experiences resembling delusions in dreams show dream beliefs can contravene waking beliefs.

  • In summary, the passage explores how certain dream experiences exhibit features akin to delusions, and how this relates to debates about the status of dream beliefs and mental states. It uses the two-factor theory of delusions as a framework to analyze some puzzling aspects of dreams.

The author argues that it is plausible to have actual thoughts and beliefs while dreaming, contrary to the view that we are only imagining or quasi-thinking during dreams. Some key points made:

  • We can remember and misremember thoughts from dreams, just as we can with waking memories. This does not mean the original thought did not occur.

  • Thoughts can seamlessly transition from waking to dreaming. It is arbitrary to say the thought is not real simply because it continued into a dream.

  • Lucid dreams demonstrate we can form rational beliefs, like realizing we are dreaming, through reality testing. These beliefs carry over to waking.

  • Imagination may involve quasi-beliefs but not all imagination-related beliefs are quasi; we can temporarily lose touch with reality. Dreams are similar.

  • We may be morally culpable for dreamed actions if we have agency over them, just as with imagined actions. Lucid dreams in particular involve agency.

So in summary, the author argues for a more nuanced view of thought and belief in dreams, rejecting the strict distinction between real vs. dream thoughts proposed by the imagination model. Memories, continuity of thought, and lucid dreaming experiences all support having actual thoughts and beliefs while dreaming.

  • External sounds are more likely to wake us up from certain stages of sleep, like stage 4 NREM sleep, rather than REM sleep. Our arousal threshold to sounds also increases with age.

  • Whether a sound originates from inside or outside the dream, it has the potential to wake us up if it causes enough arousal. External sounds may be more difficult to incorporate into the dream narrative.

  • Dreams can motivate behavior within the dream. Strong emotions from dreams can also persist after waking, like continuing fear from nightmares. Dreams have physiological effects like movements and eye movements while sleeping.

  • Some claim dreams have influenced their creative work or problem-solving abilities. However, others argue dream intentions may not directly cause waking behavior if the dream self is different from the waking self.

  • The argument that dreaming involves indeterminate color like black and white TVs in the past is not convincing, as there is no evidence imagination was reported the same way. Color perception can also be indeterminate to some extent.

  • Evidence that dreaming and cognitive abilities develop together in children does not clearly support either an imaginative or perceptual view of dreaming. Neural evidence is also neutral on this issue.

  • Daydreams may seamlessly shift into sleep onset dreams involving hypnagogic hallucinations due to sensory deprivation, but not necessarily full REM dreams. Dreams likely involve both imaginative and perceptual elements.

  • The distinction between imagination and perception is not always clear-cut. There appears to be a spectrum between the two, with some dreams falling somewhere in between.

  • Experiments have shown that during periods of mind wandering or relaxed cognition, people can experience vivid imaginary or hallucinatory experiences that are difficult to distinguish from perception. This blurs the line between imagination and hallucination.

  • Conditions like auditory verbal hallucinations also show how inner speech can be misattributed as external voices, suggesting a minimal phenomenal difference between imagination and hallucination in some cases.

  • Perception itself may also take on dreamlike qualities under certain induced states like sleep deprivation. And imagined or hallucinated content can sometimes be consciously influenced, like in lucid dreams.

  • Therefore, a pluralistic view that dreams can contain both imaginative and perceptual elements, or fall somewhere along the spectrum between the two, provides a more accurate description than a strict imaginative model of dreams. The reality is more complex with some ambiguity between imagination and perception in dreams and other altered states.

  • Dreams can contain both imaginative and hallucinatory elements. Some dreams feel very realistic and perception-like, bordering on hallucination.

  • Hypnagogic hallucinations (sensations when falling asleep) like feeling of movement are often not associated with a narrative but can feel intensely real. This suggests elements of hallucination in dreaming.

  • False awakenings where the dreamer thinks they have woken up but are still dreaming can be almost indistinguishable from reality. This further supports the hallucinatory aspect of some dreams.

  • Lucid dreams provide evidence that dream worlds can seem vividly realistic upon close examination, more like a virtual reality than mere imagination.

  • Not all dreams are vivid - some consist mainly of thoughts and simple images resembling mind-wandering or imagination more than hallucination.

  • Dreams often involve both imagination and perception. One can imagine events within a perceptually vivid dream. Imagination can also lead to hallucinatory experiences in dreams.

  • In summary, while some dreaming is best described as imaginative, other elements like realistic sensations, false awakenings, and lucid dreams support dreams having a hallucinatory nature for some people at times. Dreams exist on a spectrum between perception and imagination.

  • The dreamer describes an experience of imagining moving their physical arm while aware they were paralyzed during sleep. They then imagined rolling out of their physical body into a dream body in their dream bedroom.

  • This suggests lucid dreaming involves the ability to imagine events not part of the dream world, and these imagined events can become incorporated into the dream.

  • It is conceivable one can also imagine during non-lucid dreams. This indicates a spectrum between imagination-like and perception-like experiences in dreams.

  • Some imagination theories claim it is implausible to imagine two things at once, as when dreaming about swimming you cannot also think about your gutter. But lucid dreams show dreamers can dream one scenario while imagining something else.

  • McGinn’s view is that dreams are like engaging films that fully capture our attention. But lucid dreams show we can stray from the dream content, contradicting McGinn. False awakenings and hypnagogic hallucinations also suggest dreams are not always pretense as McGinn claims.

  • In summary, lucid dreaming experiences provide evidence against theories that view all dreaming as purely imaginative or pretense-based. It indicates dreams involve a variety of imagination-like and perception-like elements.

Here is a summary of the key papers:

  • Ncee (2019) reviewed the state of research on nightmare disorder, its etiology and treatment approaches. Nightmares are frequent disturbing dreams that cause distress. Treatments include psychotherapy and medications.

  • Gregory (2023) proposed an “imagination model” of dreaming to address skepticism about dream reports. Dreams involve imaginative experiences that can be studied scientifically without certainty about External world correspondence.

  • Hobson (1997, 2002) developed the activation-synthesis hypothesis that dreams are generated by random brain activation during REM sleep that the brain tries to synthesize into a meaningful narrative. He characterized dreaming as a form of “delirium” or temporary madness.

  • Hobson et al (2000, 2014) further explored the neurological basis of dreaming and possibilities for studying consciousness through virtual reality simulations of dream states.

  • Ichikawa (2008, 2009, 2016) analyzed and critiqued the imagination model of dreaming proposed to address dream skepticism. He argued it does not fully resolve issues about how dreams relate to the real world.

  • Jouvet (1999) explored the paradoxical nature of sleep and dreaming from a neurological perspective.

  • Keogh et al (2021) reviewed research on aphantasia, the inability to generate mental images, and its relevance to dreaming and imagination.

  • Windt (2010, 2013, 2015, 2017) developed an “immersive spatiotemporal hallucination” model of dreams as simulated realities involving world-simulation and proposed methods to study dreaming scientifically while addressing skepticism.

Here is a summary of key points from the provided text:

  • The hallucination model views dreams as internally generated vivid sensory experiences (hallucinations) that seem real to the dreamer, similar to how waking hallucinations are perceived as real. This model is intuitively appealing as dreams often feel convincingly real.

  • Hobson’s model describes dreams as delirious hallucinations generated by limbic system activation and frontal cortex demodulation during REM sleep. This explains why dream content can be bizarre and rational thinking impaired. Neural similarities between dreaming and hallucinating brains support the hallucination model.

  • However, dreams are more multifaceted and immersive than typical waking hallucinations. The dreamer feels fully present in the dream world and embodied within a dream body. Some dreams can also be quite mundane and realistic.

  • Windt’s immersive spatiotemporal hallucination model focuses on dreams’ immersive nature, where the dreamer experiences themselves as within a fully convincing virtual world. This better captures dreams’ phenomenology compared to Hobson’s delirium account.

  • While many dream elements can be considered hallucinations, the hallucination model alone does not capture the full richness and variability of dream experiences. A pluralistic model is needed to account for different types of dreams.

  • Jennifer Windt proposes a “minimal definition” of dreaming that identifies the essential features shared by all dreams.

  • For Windt, the essential features of dreaming are its immersive experiential nature and the presentation of a dream world. Dreams involve being immersed in a hallucinated space and experiencing temporal duration from a first-person perspective.

  • Windt argues dreams are a type of non-veridical perception that involve hallucinations. However, she later argued bodily experiences in dreams may involve some illusions in addition to hallucinations.

  • Windt distinguishes dreaming from other conscious experiences during sleep like hypnagogic imagery, which she says lack the sense of immersion in a world that is characteristic of dreams.

  • Some alternatives to Windt’s view propose dreaming is a specific type of hallucination - a virtual reality. In these views, both dreams and waking involve perception of internally generated virtual models or worlds.

So in summary, Windt proposes dreaming fundamentally involves immersive hallucinatory experiences from a first-person perspective, while others see dreams as a virtual reality type of hallucination on a continuum with waking experience.

Based on the passage, the types of phenomenal content experienced in dreaming involve:

  1. A three-dimensional virtual global world model. Dreams present us with an immersive virtual world that we experience from a first-person perspective, as if directly presented to us. We can interact with objects and navigate within this virtual dream world.

  2. Varied sensory modalities. Dreams involve conscious experiences activating different sensory modalities, similar to waking experience. This includes visual experiences of dream scenes and objects, auditory experiences like hearing sounds, tactile experiences like feeling textures, etc. The dreaming experience is multimodal rather than limited to a single sensory type.

So in summary, dreams involve a complex virtual world model presented in first-person perspective for interaction, activating different sensory modalities like vision, hearing and touch to create a rich multisensory conscious experience, similar to the phenomenal content of waking life.

  • The scenarios discuss people who are born into or enter an indistinguishable virtual reality simulation. They are unaware it is virtual until being directly told.

  • Dreams can involve false awakenings where one believes they’ve woken up but are still dreaming. This aspect is depicted inaccurately in Inception with multiple nested dream layers.

  • For some philosophers like Metzinger and Revonsuo, both dreaming and waking experiences are types of virtual reality in the sense that perception constructs a world model.

  • Dreams usually feel realistic internally but there are usually reliability issues like events not connecting to prior waking experiences. Bizarre events are often not questioned.

  • Clark argues dreams are not like sci-fi VR simulations due to lack of control, impaired cognition, inability to interact with dream characters who know new information, etc.

  • Others counter that dreams can involve normal cognition and characters may appear real internally even if generated. Brain states also vary during waking/dreaming.

  • A key distinction is external objects in VR allow offloading cognition, while dreams rely solely on internal generation without such scaffolding.

  • The author argues against a purely skeptical view that dreaming is not distinct from waking experience. Dreams do not have the same rich cognitive abilities as waking due to lack of true environmental scaffolding.

  • However, some offloading of cognitive processing to the dream environment may be possible, as it is generated unconsciously rather than consciously imagined. This allows for some extension of cognition in dreams.

  • Not all dreams involve a complex multisensory experience or a phenomenal self model (PSM) embedded in a virtual world. Some dreams are more imaginative or involve simple thoughts/sensations.

  • Drawing clear distinctions between dreaming, hypnagogic hallucinations, dreamless sleep, etc. is difficult as experiences can vary in complexity. The author advocates a pluralistic, inclusive definition of dreaming.

  • Some dreams may be better characterized as illusions involving misperceptions of real sensory stimuli, rather than hallucinations. Not all dreaming necessarily involves hallucination or imagination.

  • In immersive dreams, a “dream body” is often experienced that can feel like one’s real body. This dream body can be viewed as a phantom body. However, the dream body experience is not always like waking embodiment and may involve different bodies or lack of a body.

In summary, the author argues against restrictive definitions of dreaming and advocates a pluralistic view that incorporates different types of dreaming experiences along a spectrum, from simple to complex, perceptual to imaginative. The experience of the dream body is also variable.

  • Dreams can represent the body in various ways - it’s not always a realistic representation like the waking body. The dream body may be non-human, abstract, shifting between bodies, or there may be no sense of a body at all.

  • However, some dreams seem to involve a realistic and hallucinatory representation of the body, akin to having a virtual body. van Eeden’s dream report suggests his dream body felt just like his waking body even under lucid scrutiny.

  • The experience of the body in waking involves both a body image (conscious perception and awareness of the body) and a body schema (unconscious coordination of movement, posture, etc.).

  • The dream body seems to involve a body image, as dream reports describe seeing one’s body, feeling it move through space, touch sensations, etc. However, it’s difficult to directly ascertain if the dream body also involves an unconscious body schema.

  • Evidence of a realistic dream body representation supporting the view that some dreams are like hallucinations involving a virtual body experience. But not all dream bodies are realistic representations.

Here are the key points about the dream body from the summary:

  • The dream body likely has a body image, as we can have mental representations and perceptions of our dream body. Even an imagined body can have a body image.

  • It is less clear if the dream body has a body schema. The schema involves proprioception and feedback between the physical body and brain, which does not occur when dreaming.

  • However, there is evidence that the dream body may have a schema. Dreamers report proprioceptive sensations and movement of the dream body while physically paralyzed during sleep.

  • Phantom limb syndrome provides an analogy - the phantom limb continues to be represented in the body schema despite no physical limb. It is processed unconsciously and integrated into motor behavior.

  • The dream body could be seen as a “phantom body” that is unconsciously monitored and integrated into motor behavior in dreams, similar to a phantom limb.

  • Due to the input blockade of sleep, dreamers often “forget” about their real physical body and fail to realize interactions with their dream body are not real, treating it like a fully functioning body.

So in summary, while the dream body likely has an image, there is also evidence it may have aspects of a schema based on reports of proprioception and unconscious monitoring and use of the dream body similar to how a phantom limb is incorporated.

  • False awakenings and dream experiences can sometimes feel quite realistic and rational, similar to how phantom limbs can feel real. This forgetting that the experience is not real provides evidence for the existence of a “dream body schema” similar to how forgetting supports the idea of a body schema for phantom limbs.

  • The dream body is usually more multisensory than a phantom limb, involving sight, touch, hearing, etc. We usually don’t forget that our real body exists when imagining. This makes the case for a dream body schema stronger than even phantom limbs.

  • Hypnagogic hallucinations and REM sleep behavior disorder provide evidence that the real body can respond automatically to stimuli from the dreaming body, further indicating the existence of a dream body schema.

  • While some dream body sensations could be explained by illusions from real physical sensations, this cannot account for all dream experiences like having agency, struggling, etc. Blind people’s dreams may provide more insight into proprioception in dreams.

  • In summary, while hallucination models can describe many dreams, not all dreams are fully hallucinatory. Dreams involve a variety of experiences from hallucinatory to imaginative. The dream body also varies but sometimes resembles the waking body, providing preliminary evidence for a dream body schema and image.

This passage discusses different models for understanding dreaming, such as the hallucinatory model where dreams are like a virtual reality experience. However, the author argues that not all dreams fit these descriptions and that dreaming involves a wider variety of phenomena.

Some key points made:

  • Many dreams can be described as a first-person perspective in a spatiotemporal hallucinated world, similar to a virtual reality. But other dreams do not fit these descriptions.

  • Dreams can involve imagination or illusion, not just hallucination, perception or virtual reality.

  • The definition of dreaming needs to be broad to include different phenomena, not just what hallucination or virtual reality models capture.

  • Dreams may involve propositional thoughts in addition to phenomenal experience. There is debate around whether propositional thoughts are truly phenomenal.

  • Dreams can involve unusual or incoherent elements that may be forgotten upon waking.

  • The imagination model is discussed as an alternative to the hallucination model.

So in summary, the passage argues for a broader, more inclusive definition of dreaming that goes beyond just hallucination-based models and encompasses the diverse phenomena observed in dreams.

Here is a summary of the key points about vicarious dreams from the passage:

  • Vicarious dreams are dreams where the protagonist/main character of the dream appears to be a different person than the dreamer. This contrasts with most dreams where the protagonist is continuous with the dreamer’s identity.

  • They involve experiencing the dream from the first-person perspective of someone who is not the dreamer. For example, dreaming you are Napoleon Bonaparte.

  • They raise philosophical questions about who or what the “I” refers to in the dream narratives, and who the protagonist actually is.

  • Vicarious dreams have received little attention in philosophy but do seem to occur based on reports in the scientific literature on dreams and the author’s own experience.

  • A key issue is determining whether the protagonist is actually the dreamer’s “self” or a distinct entity, given the protagonist uses first-person perspective but the dream is generated by the dreamer’s brain.

  • Psychological continuity between the protagonist and dreamer may be disrupted in vicarious dreams based on differences in memory, experiences, gender, etc. compared to the dreamer.

  • The protagonist could be viewed as a temporary dream entity that is often forgotten after waking and may not be psychologically continuous with the dreamer.

So in summary, the passage explores the phenomenon of vicarious dreams where the protagonist is not the dreamer, and the philosophical questions this raises about identity and experience in dreams.

Here is a summary of the key points about vicarious dreaming and self-representation from the passage:

  • In vicarious dreams, the dreamer’s sense of self can be represented in different ways - they may identify with the protagonist, a passive observer, multiple characters, or even inanimate objects.

  • The protagonist of the dream may think and feel from a first-person perspective but not identify as the dreaming self. For example, dreaming you are someone else like Napoleon Bonaparte.

  • This raises questions about what the “I” refers to in statements within the dream, like “I see the battle”. It could refer to the dreamed character (Napoleon) but not the real historical figure.

  • Some possibilities discussed are that the “I” refers to the dreaming self but experiencing themselves as the dreamed character, or that dream protagonists are separate temporary identities from the dreamer that only exist in the dream.

  • Imagining being someone else is different from vicarious dreaming. In imagination, using the first-person pronoun to refer to the imagined individual is unproblematic, but in dreams it raises issues about self-representation and identity.

  • The passage explores these philosophical questions around how the sense of self is represented in vicarious dreams where the dreamer does not identify with the protagonist from a first-person perspective.

  • Velleman analyzes the use of the first-person pronoun (FPP) in imagination, memory, anticipation, and dreaming.

  • For Velleman, genuinely reflexive use of the FPP refers to the center of perspective without needing to specify who that is (usually the utterer/thinker). Non-genuinely reflexive use requires framing the FPP to pick out a specific imagined or anticipated individual.

  • When imagining being someone else (Napoleon), the FPP refers to the imagined individual from their perspective, but this requires framing and is not genuinely reflexive.

  • Genuinely reflexive self-reference is important for determining psychological identity over time based on anticipating future first-person experiences.

  • Velleman initially analyzed dreaming similarly to imagining, with the dreamed FPP referring to a “no one”. But later applied the genuine/non-genuine reflexivity distinction to dreaming as well.

  • Others argue dreaming is disanalogous to imagination - there seems to be a protagonist or center of perspective in dreams even if none exist. So the same analysis may not apply.

  • It’s unclear exactly how Velleman would analyze FPP use when dreaming of being himself (JV) versus someone else, given the differences between dreaming and imagination. The reflexivity and reference of the dreamed FPP remains an open question on Velleman’s view.

  • The passage is discussing the idea of having subjective experience through dreaming, and what this means for the subject’s self-reference.

  • It compares vicarious dreaming (dreaming of being someone else) to transference imagination (imagining being someone else). In transference imagination, there is a clear distinction between the actual subject doing the imagining and the imagined notional subject.

  • The passage argues that vicarious dreaming is not necessarily analogous to transference imagination. In dreams, the dream protagonist may not realize they are part of the dreamer’s dream, or that the dreamer even exists. Memory deficits and cognitive changes between the dreamer and dream protagonist can break their psychological link.

  • This raises questions about who or what the dream protagonist is - a notional subject, or an actual separate thinking entity during the dream? The passage considers the possibility that the dream protagonist and dreamer experience psychological discontinuity between waking and dreaming.

  • In summary, the passage is discussing how vicarious dreaming challenges ideas about self-reference and subjective experience, as the relationship between the dreamer and dream protagonist is not as clear-cut as in cases of imagination. It raises questions about the psychological identity of the dream protagonist.

  • Psychological continuity views see the brain as housing the self. But different brain states could house different conscious entities.

  • There are theories that personal identity requires appropriate causal connections between mental states over time, or continuity of one’s life trajectory. Memory also plays an important role in theories of personal identity.

  • The essay argues that dreams involve significant psychological change from the waking state due to altered memory. Therefore, dream protagonists could potentially be seen as distinct selves.

  • Dissociative identity disorder involves distinct conscious identities within one person. Dream protagonists are somewhat analogous but have different causes and characteristics than DID identities.

  • Memory, especially autobiographical memory, is often greatly disrupted in dreams compared to waking. Different types of memory may be important for personal identity.

  • The psychological discontinuities between dream and waking states, particularly regarding memory, suggest dream protagonists could plausibly be considered distinct from the waking self in some cases. However, the boundaries are complex.

In summary, the essay examines how theories of personal identity relate to dreaming and questions how much psychological change, such as altered memory, could disrupt identity and constitute distinct selves in dreams.

  • Different types of memory are relevant to dreams and identity, not just autobiographical memory. These include semantic memories (facts), procedural memories (skills/abilities), and episodic memories (personal experiences).

  • Previous discussions of memory in dreams have focused mostly on episodic memories, but procedural memories may also be important for psychological continuity between dreamers and dream characters.

  • Procedural memories refer to the ability to perform actions competently, not just the potential or opportunity to perform them. Competence abilities are relevant for identity.

  • Access to different types of memory can be disrupted in dreams. Episodic memories are commonly lost or recontextualized, and semantic memories may be confabulated or treated as episodic. Procedural memories could also potentially be lost in dreams.

  • If all forms of memory, including procedural memories, can be disrupted or replaced in dreams, this supports the view that dream characters could be psychologically distinct individuals from the dreamer, weakening claims of continuity. However, more research is needed on procedural memory in dreams.

The key points are that different memory types beyond autobiographical memory are relevant to dreams and identity, and that dreams may involve disruptions not just to episodic memories but also potentially to procedural and semantic memories. This sets a higher bar for claims of psychological continuity between dreamers and dream characters.

  • Hobson’s dream seems to suggest dream protagonists lack physical abilities in dreams, as he was unable to walk. Some take this to an extreme that all physical and mental abilities are lost in dreams.

  • However, mental states like thoughts and beliefs can still occur in dreams, as they can in imagination. It’s debatable if dreams allow actual enactment of competencies.

  • Dreaming develops as children develop the ability to imagine 3D space. Dreams retain this skill of simulating 3D imagery, though this alone may not constitute an identity-connecting memory.

  • Memories from waking life shape dream imagery, but these are recontextualized and may not strongly connect to one’s identity. Access to procedural memories may be disrupted in dreams similarly to cognitive deficits.

  • Prima facie, dreams allow seemingly unlimited opportunities like flying, but this may not indicate new competencies are gained. Lucid dreaming abilities require some practice-based competence, though this may be developed while awake.

  • Some evidence suggests abilities like problem-solving or motor skills can be improved by practice in dreams, connecting the dreaming and waking selves. But abilities may also be gained and forgotten.

  • The psychological continuity between dreaming and waking selves can be disrupted in various ways, challenging theories of personal identity. Dream protagonists may exist without a life trajectory, raising questions for such theories.

  • Views that define personal identity based on physical bodies or causal connectedness may reject the idea of a “dream protagonist” since dreams lack a physical body.

  • Velleman’s perspectival view of the self could allow for distinct waking and dream selves. If the dream protagonist (NB) has no memory of the dreamer (MR), different skills/knowledge, they could be distinct entities.

  • Most dreams are forgotten, leaving no memory link between MR and NB. However, sometimes the dreamer remembers dreaming from the perspective of the protagonist. This raises questions about how MR can remember NB’s experiences if they are separate.

  • Memories can shift between MR and NB via shared neural substrate, but the disruption of memories/skills between them suggests they may sometimes be sufficiently psychologically disconnected to be considered separate conscious entities during dreaming.

  • Dreaming challenges views that prioritize memory/life trajectory for identity continuity. Dreams involve alteration/replacement of memories and new memories formed within dreams.

  • Dream protagonists may constitute temporary conscious entities that exist briefly during dreaming but are not “true selves.” Each human brain can house many such temporary dream entities over a lifetime.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding the implications of dreaming for extended cognition and conscious mind theories:

  • Dreaming shows a restriction of extended cognition as opposed to being a counterargument, since cognitive activity can still occur in dreams, especially lucid dreams, despite isolation from the external environment.

  • Future technologies like neural enhancement devices that connect directly to the brain could potentially enable extended cognition during dreams by augmenting memory, perception, etc. This indicates a high level of cognitive integration is possible during sleep with the right tools.

  • Current memory enhancement methods like notebooks may not meet the threshold for extended cognition during dreams since they require intermediate perception/action, unlike direct brain interfaces.

  • Dreaming provides evidence against the extended conscious mind view which requires external objects for “full-blown” consciousness. Dream consciousness occurs without real objects and can be considered fully conscious experience.

  • Noë’s rejection of dreams as a counterargument relies on a reductive account of dreaming that is unjustified. Dreams demonstrate conscious experience can exist isolated from the environment, contrary to Noë’s substrate thesis.

  • In summary, dreaming shows a limited but not blanket restriction on extended cognition, but provides strong evidence against views requiring real-world interaction for conscious experience like the extended conscious mind view.

  • The passage discusses the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC), which claims that interaction between internal cognitive systems and the external environment can form coupled cognitive systems. Tools can enhance cognitive abilities beyond what is possible internally alone.

  • A key debate is whether the brain simply uses tools to “scaffold” cognition (hypothesis of embedded cognition, HEMC) or actually forms coupled systems with tools that partially constitute cognition (HEC).

  • The passage argues integration is the most important factor, not just functional similarity as in the “parity principle.” If an external system is appropriately incorporated for cognitive purposes through features like transparency, accessibility and reliability, it can form part of an extended cognitive system.

  • Dreaming provides evidence that highly integrated interaction with external tools is possible, even though current technology cannot interface with dreaming minds. This suggests in theory, dreaming cognition could extend via futuristic cognitive enhancement devices integrated with dreaming.

  • However, modern technological memory tools are not integrated enough with internal cognition to be considered part of extended cognitive systems, unlike the proposed futuristic dreaming interfaces. Integration level is key to determining if a system should be considered extended.

  • The passage discusses several factors that could indicate how integrated or coupled an external system is with internal cognition, such as accessibility, transparency, reliability, speed of processing, difficulty to corrupt, trust, and constancy.

  • It notes that while these are indicative of integration, they are not necessary conditions for something to be considered cognitive. Internal cognitive processes can also lack some of these qualities at times.

  • It brings up the example of Otto and his notebook. The notebook may achieve some level of integration if used automatically and reliably by Otto. However, dreaming presents an issue as Otto cannot access the notebook while asleep.

  • The passage proposes a thought experiment of an enhanced “Wi-Fi Otto” who has an external memory device connected wirelessly that he can access even while dreaming. This could indicate a higher level of integration than Otto’s normal notebook.

  • It discusses how such a device could potentially retrieve memories for Otto in dreams in a transparent way, making it indistinguishable from internal memory retrieval. This would demonstrate several factors of integration like accessibility, reliability and speed.

  • The key point is that this scenario of enhanced dreaming presents an interesting case that could distinguish the potential integration of an external memory device versus something like Otto’s normal notebook. It pushes the boundaries of what could potentially be considered cognitively coupled or extended into dreaming states.

  • Devices that can offload cognitive functions like memory could potentially compensate for conditions like Alzheimer’s, even while dreaming. However, current technology cannot allow for reliable, seamless integration during dreams.

  • Experiments have allowed two-way communication between dream researchers and lucid dreamers, but achieving this regularly during dreams with the features needed for a robust cognitive system is unlikely.

  • Someone with RBD (REM sleep behavior disorder) could potentially manipulate external objects while dreaming, but they would still be subject to the “input blockade” and unable to reliably access information.

  • For a dreaming cognitive system to work, it would require a direct wireless connection that can feed information to the dreamer without waking them. This level of integration is not currently possible.

  • Notebooks may form less well-integrated hybrid cognitive systems when awake compared to futuristic memory devices. More analysis is needed to determine the threshold of integration required for something to be considered a cognitive system. Cognitive integration exists on a scale, and different systems can be considered more or less cognitive depending on factors like accessibility, reliability, transparency, etc.

  • The passage discusses whether systems coupled with external objects or tools can be considered cognitive or forms of extended cognition. It examines the cases of Otto and his notebook, as well as dreams.

  • It argues that dreams provide an interesting case study for hybrid extended cognition because they involve internal cognitive processes that are isolated from the external environment due to input/output blockades during dreaming.

  • However, it is possible that these blockades could be overcome by using devices like Wi-Fi to enhance or allow two-way communication with dreams. This could potentially integrate dreams into a hybrid cognitive system.

  • A robust integration between internal dream cognition and external inputs/outputs via a device would likely form an extended cognitive system. But two-way communication alone is unlikely to do so.

  • Whether Otto’s use of his notebook qualifies as an extended cognitive system depends on the level of integration required to cross the threshold into extended cognition. If cognition is graded, tool use may be less cognitive than a device allowing accessibility.

  • Dreams do not clearly support or refute the theory of extended cognition, but they provide an interesting case study for coupled internal-external systems. In contrast, the theory of an extended conscious mind becomes less plausible given dreams and their isolation from the environment.

  • Noë argues that dreaming differs from waking consciousness in that dreams lack stability, richness of detail, and groundedness in the external world. Details in dreams shift and change rather than remaining stable.

  • For the enactive view, conscious perception depends on being dynamically coupled to the external world, where details are found. Dreams lack this coupling and anchoring, so they are more unstable and lack rich detail.

  • Some argue dreams can be vivid replications of reality, contradicting Noë’s description. However, Noë argues dreams still differ phenomenologically from waking experience due to their lack of grounding and interaction with the world.

  • Differences between dreams and waking may be due more to changes in brain activity during sleep rather than isolation from the world per se. Detailed, realistic dreams show full-blown consciousness can occur without environmental coupling.

  • Noë’s view rests on dreams necessarily being impoverished due to isolation, but evidence of detailed dreams weakens this claim. Changes in brain function, not just isolation, likely impact dream phenomenology. Noë’s thesis should allow consciousness can occur without environmental coupling.

  • Hobson argues that many aspects of sleep like reduced memory and rationality are due to changes in neuromodulation from aminergic dominance in waking to cholinergic dominance in REM sleep. This lowers the likelihood of exteroceptive, logical, and mnemonic consciousness and raises the likelihood of interoceptive, illogical, and amnesic consciousness.

  • However, not all dreams show reduced cognition. Dreams with good attention and control can have consistent narratives. The continuity hypothesis that dreams reflect waking life is only sometimes accurate.

  • Noë argues dreams cannot be full-blown consciousness due to reduced cognition. But cognition is not always reduced, and dreams can accurately simulate waking experiences like in false awakenings.

  • For Noë, hallucinations and perceptions differ fundamentally, but indistinguishability from the first-person view does not determine experience type. The author disagrees, citing realistic dreams.

  • Metzinger views both dreams and waking as “virtual” - our brains generate world models based on interaction predictions. For the author, some dreams similarly generate convincing virtual environments.

  • The Phenomenal Self-Model view describes dreams as virtual realities replicating the external environment convincingly. This counters Noë’s extended substrate thesis by showing full consciousness can occur internally.

  • While waking experience offers detail availability, dreams can also generate richly detailed virtual environments, as seen in lucid dream reports. Not all dreams are distinguishable from waking once conscious.

  • Alva Noë argues that lucid dreams seem problematic for his view that dreaming involves reduced cognition. However, lucid dreams can involve clear reasoning, memory, planning, and other cognitive functions associated with waking consciousness.

  • Dream reports provide evidence that dreams can be vivid and realistic, involving multiple senses in a way that is nearly indistinguishable from reality. This contradicts Noë’s view that dreams involve impaired cognition and lack vividness.

  • Text can be read clearly in dreams, contrary to Noë’s claim that dream objects like writing lack fine detail and consistency. While text may shift in some dreams, this is not a universal feature.

  • Dream objects are often experienced as present, accessible, and available to interact with. While dream objects shifting form does occur, this is not a defining feature of all dreams. Even constantly shifting objects could possibly provide a full phenomenal experience.

  • Dreams can involve rich detail, according to dream reports. Lucid dreamers note convincing detail. Noë’s view requires dreams to lack detail, but strong evidence is needed to counter subjective reports of vivid dreams.

  • If dreams involve full consciousness for Noë, it must be because dreams are partially constituted by the external environment, similar to Foulkes’ view that dreaming develops with experience of the waking world in early childhood.

  • The passage discusses Noë’s thesis that experiences are partially constituted by past real-world experiences and memories.

  • It argues that while past experiences may be causally necessary for dreams and memories, they are not necessarily constitutive of them. Memories in particular involve recreation rather than just replaying the past.

  • Dreams can involve novel experiences that are not based on anything from waking life. Reports of indescribable dream experiences provide some empirical support for this.

  • Even if dreams involve temporal aspects of past experiences through memory, they do not require dynamic entanglement with the external environment according to the extended mind criteria. Dream worlds are internally generated simulations.

  • Therefore, while dreaming does not disprove extended cognition, it does provide a reason to reject Noë’s stronger version of the extended mind thesis that requires interaction with external objects for full consciousness. Dreams can involve rich conscious experiences detached from the environment.

  • The author argues that dreaming is an important phenomenon for theories of consciousness to account for, as what we learn about dreaming can impact theories of consciousness and vice versa.

  • Some theories imply that at least some dreaming is unconscious. The “clout” or spotlight view suggests dreams involve limited working memory and integration, so many would be unconscious or involve only retroactive consciousness.

  • Higher-order thought (HOT) theory also implies much dreaming may be unconscious due to diminished cognitive capacities preventing higher-order thoughts. However, it fails to allow for retroactive consciousness for reported dreams.

  • Global workspace theory views dreams as a form of minimal or semi-consciousness, not equivalent to normal waking consciousness. However, it provides an unsatisfying account and overlooks similarities/differences between dreaming and waking.

  • The access/phenomenal consciousness distinction fits with dreaming experiences despite the originator rejecting this view. Some dreams have phenomenal but not access consciousness, gained upon waking. Dreaming supports the possibility of P without A.

  • In general, the author argues theories must provide a plausible account of dreaming to be seen as strong theories of consciousness. Dreaming is too common an experience to be ignored.

  • Dennett’s view is that consciousness occurs when mental states achieve enough “clout” or integration through working memory to be recognized. Without memory, a state cannot become conscious.

  • If memory of dreams is regularly wiped before states achieve consciousness threshold, then much of what we consider dreaming may actually be unconscious processing.

  • Evidence suggests memory is often poor within and after dreams. Most dream contents are forgotten.

  • This leads to a version of Dennett’s cassette theory - dreaming involves mostly unconscious processing, with consciousness only achieved if woken at the right moment to prevent memory wiping.

  • Most of what is currently considered hours of conscious dreaming per night may actually involve only retroactive consciousness, as waking prevents further memory loss. True consciousness during sleep would be rare.

  • This thesis that dreaming often involves unconscious processing without memory would be controversial and not accepted by most theorists who consider dreaming to inherently involve consciousness.

So in summary, it proposes dreaming involves more unconsciousness than assumed, based on Dennett’s view linking consciousness and memory, which has implications for how we understand the nature and extent of consciousness during sleep. But this is a thesis that challenges common assumptions and would be rejected by most.

  • According to higher-order thought (HOT) theory, a mental state is conscious only if it is accompanied by a higher-order thought about that mental state. HOTs are necessary for consciousness on this view.

  • Some dreams appear to show highly diminished cognitive capacity, lacking reflective awareness, metacognition, attention, and rationality. In such cognitively deficient dreams, the dreamer may be unable to have HOTs about their mental states.

  • If HOTs are truly absent in some dreams, then HOT theory would classify those dreams as unconscious states, even though they involve vivid perceptual experiences. This is a counterintuitive implication.

  • However, completely ruling out the possibility of HOTs during dreams may be an oversimplification. More nuanced consideration is needed of the relationship between brain activity during sleep and the potential for HOTs.

  • While dreams do pose challenges for HOT theory, the author argues characterizing all dreams as necessarily lacking HOTs goes too far. HOT theory does not necessarily imply that dreams are always unconscious. But it does highlight an area where the theory could be further developed.

  • The debated issue is whether dreams can be considered conscious experiences given that neural theories of consciousness like HOT and GW seem to struggle to account for dreams.

  • Specifically, the DLPFC, an important region for consciousness according to HOT theory, shows variable levels of activation across sleep stages and even within dreams, questioning the claim that it is consistently deactivated during dreams.

  • Some dreams appear to involve complex cognition and metacognition, suggesting the occurrence of HOTs. But others seem to display impoverished cognition, challenging HOT theory.

  • GW theory considers dreams as a form of consciousness, but GW theorists have not fully developed how dreams fit into their framework. Describing dreams as an “early form of consciousness” lacks clarity.

  • For HOT theory to account for dreams, they need to explain how unconscious processing could be reported after waking, perhaps via retroactive HOTs upon waking. But the mechanism is unclear.

  • GW theory implies dreams are simply a type of conscious experience in sleep, even if not the same as wakeful consciousness. But GW theorists need to more fully integrate dreams into their theory.

  • In summary, while neural theories are challenged by dreams, GW theory may have more potential to accommodate them if further developed, though both require more work to fully account for dreaming experiences.

  • According to global workspace (GW) theory, consciousness arises from information being broadcast widely across the brain through a global workspace. Unconscious processes are modular and limited in scope.

  • Dreams seem to engage in rich conscious experiences despite features like deficient cognition and deactivated prefrontal cortex areas. GW theory suggests dreams may utilize an alternative type of workspace compared to waking consciousness.

  • Attention is key to consciousness according to GW theory. Stimuli in dreams may or may not be conscious depending on whether they are sufficiently accessible to the global workspace network, whatever form that takes in dreams.

  • While prefrontal areas important for self and voluntary cognition are deactivated in dreams, dreams may involve a more primitive form of consciousness based on spontaneous sensory imagery rather than purposeful use of imagery. This early form of consciousness may not require distribution to higher prefrontal areas.

  • More research is needed to better understand what specific brain areas or functions may be necessary or sufficient for dream consciousness according to the global workspace framework. Dreams could provide insights into this puzzle.

  • The passage argues that dreaming consciousness does not fit neatly into global workspace theory or higher-order thought theory.

  • It introduces Block’s distinction between phenomenal consciousness (P-consciousness) and access consciousness (A-consciousness). P-consciousness refers to subjective experience, while A-consciousness refers to information being available for reasoning, reporting, controlling behavior, etc.

  • The author argues that in dreams, we can have P-consciousness without A-consciousness. Some dreams involve rich, complex experiences while lacking rationality or the ability to access and report on the dream content.

  • This contrasts with global workspace theory which views dreaming consciousness as “primitive” or “early” forms of consciousness not fully accessible to the global workspace. It also contrasts with higher-order thought theory which requires meta-awareness for consciousness.

  • Examples like the Sperling experiment are cited as evidence we can have P-consciousness without A-consciousness. The passage argues dreams provide a better example of this than experiments used by Block himself.

  • In summary, the author proposes viewing dreaming consciousness through Block’s framework of sometimes having P-conscious experience in dreams without full A-conscious access or rational control, as a way for these theories to better account for dreaming.

  • The passage discusses the debate around whether dreams can provide an example of phenomenal consciousness (P-consciousness) without access consciousness (A-consciousness).

  • It argues that cognitively impaired dreams, which lack features like metacognition, rationality, agency, etc., demonstrate P-consciousness without A-consciousness. Whereas Block claims dreams are still weakly A-conscious.

  • Three criteria for A-consciousness are discussed - inferential promiscuity, rational control of actions, and reportability. The passage argues these can all be reduced or absent in dreams.

  • Dreams often lack the ability to make inferences, rational decision making, control over thoughts and behaviors. Memory access and retention is also reduced.

  • This meets the conditions for P-consciousness without A-consciousness. However, being woken during a dream allows the dream contents to become retrospectively A-conscious upon waking.

  • In summary, it argues cognitively impaired dreams provide a better example of P without A than other examples like the Sperling experiment, contradicting Block’s view that all dreams involve some level of A-consciousness.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding consciousness in dreams from the passage:

  • Dreams may involve phenomenal consciousness (P-consciousness) without access consciousness (A-consciousness), analogous to the idea that we are briefly P-conscious of all letters in the Sperling experiment but only A-conscious of the cued letters.

  • During dreams, frontal areas like the DLPFC are often deactivated, which could disrupt feedback loops needed for A-consciousness. Areas in the back of the brain may still be highly activated, allowing for P-consciousness.

  • Upon waking, frontal areas activate and the strong activation from dream content can feed forward, allowing dreams to sometimes become accessible and reportable.

  • Highly irrational, bizarre dreams and forgotten dreams provide the best examples of potential P-consciousness without A-consciousness in dreams.

  • However, not all dreams lack A-consciousness - “mundane” dreams may involve both. And some theories, like Block’s, reject the idea of P-without-A consciousness in dreams.

  • The level of frontal lobe activation may determine whether a dream involves only P-consciousness or both P- and A-consciousness. Dreams likely exist on a spectrum from highly cognitive to wake-like.

So in summary, the passage argues that some dreams may involve phenomenal consciousness without access consciousness, analogous to interpretations of the Sperling experiment, though this view is debated. The level of cognitive processing in dreams can vary.

  • HOT theories of consciousness do not have a good explanation for dream reports, as dreams seem to involve consciousness without higher-order thoughts. They need to either show how retrospective consciousness can occur in dreams or offer an alternative explanation.

  • GW theory may fare better as it allows that dreams can be conscious states, consistent with the received view of dreams. However, dreams’ poor cognitive capacities may mean they are a primitive form of consciousness according to GW.

  • Baars’ description of dreams involving spontaneous imagery fits some but not all dreams. It’s unclear if GW would distinguish different types of consciousness in dreams or allow “early” consciousness awake.

  • Block’s access/phenomenal consciousness distinction allows dreams to be consciously experienced despite impaired cognition. But Block rejects the view that cognitively impaired dreams lack access consciousness.

  • Cognitively impaired dreams may provide an example of phenomenal consciousness without access, depending on the neural and cognitive changes in dreams.

  • Dreaming has implications for theories of consciousness given its varied experiences and neural activation detached from the external environment. More work is needed to account for dreaming in theories of consciousness.

Here is a summary of the key points from the documents:

  • Dreaming involves a broad array of experiences that occur while we are shut off from the external environment. This presents puzzles regarding consciousness, cognition and the self that require an interdisciplinary approach combining empirical research and theory.

  • Dream reports are prone to confabulation, especially for dreams with severe cognitive impairment. However, report accuracy can be improved through techniques like immediate reporting upon awakening.

  • Theories that dreaming is merely imagination or hallucination are overly reductive, as dreams exhibit a wide variety in terms of content, cognition and characteristics. Dreams can involve both imaginative and hallucinatory elements.

  • Dreaming has implications for debates on the mind, self, cognition and consciousness. It has received insufficient attention in theories of consciousness, the extended mind, psychological continuity of the self, and the relationship between access and phenomenal consciousness.

  • Dreaming shows our cognitive abilities can equal waking levels internally, though there is little evidence dreams exceed waking capacities. Dreaming deserves greater focus in interdisciplinary research given its prevalence and variety.

My summary aimed to discuss the key topics and conclusions presented while avoiding direct copied passages. Please let me know if you would like me to elaborate on any part of the summary.

  • Consciousness and dreams are studied using subjective reports, questionnaires, dream diaries, and neuroimaging techniques like EEG, fMRI, PET.

  • Lucid dreaming involves becoming conscious that one is dreaming while the dream is still occurring. It can be studied using techniques like REM sleep awakenings and signal-verified lucid dreaming.

  • Different theories of consciousness include global workspace theory, higher-order thought theory, extended mind theory. These aim to explain features like meta-cognition, rationality in dreams.

  • Reality monitoring challenges involve distinguishing memories, imaginations, and hallucinations from perceived reality. Imagination inflation shows memories can become inflated over time.

  • Phenomenal consciousness refers to subjective experience, while access consciousness allows information to be verbally reported and rationally used. Some argue only humans have access consciousness.

  • Embodiment and enactivism view cognition as deeply embodied and situated rather than purely computational. Extended mind theory argues cognition extends beyond the brain using environmental resources.

  • Phantom limbs, out-of-body experiences, and body integrity identity disorder involve dissociations between subjective experience of one’s body and its current physical state.

  • Personal identity over time is debated, with views focusing on continuity of body, personality, character traits, or first-person perspective. Autobiographical memory plays a role in self-concept.

  • Metacognition allows monitoring and controlling one’s own mental states and processes. It is reduced or absent in some dream and altered states but still possible to some degree.

Here is a summary of the key points from the provided paragraphs:

  • Dreaming occurs during REM sleep when brain activity increases and is similar to waking life. Dream content can be scanned and recalled upon waking through dream reports.

  • Dreaming involves unconscious narrative processing and perceptual experiences similar to waking. Unconscious processing shapes dream content along with memory consolidation and threat simulation. Lucid dreaming involves conscious awareness during dreaming.

  • Dream content shows both discontinuity/bizarreness and mundane/continuous elements. Results conflict due to individual differences and memory/reporting factors. Dreaming involves imagination but cognition is still impaired compared to waking.

  • Dreaming involves both perceptual/hallucinatory experiences and imaginative thought. It shares features with imagination and extended cognition but is still an enigmatic phenomenon. The dream body and bodily sensations are represented through body schemas during dreaming.

  • Vicarious dreams involve imaginatively experiencing oneself as another person or character. They challenge views that dreaming must involve one’s subjective self and psychological identity. Extended mind approaches have tried to characterize dreaming cognition and consciousness as involving integration with the external environment.

  • Dreaming likely involves some level of consciousness but it may be impoverished, lackmetacognition, and involve unconscious narrative processing. Consciousness in dreams can be characterized in terms of global availability of information and phenomenal experiences, though access is limited compared to waking.

Author Photo

About Matheus Puppe