The theory of dreams

Sleep is an activity that can be considered the most important psycho-biological function in human life, since it occupies almost 30% of daily time. They are a very complicated field of study that has been studied for more than 50 years and has caused fascination, controversy and speculation for many years. the theory of dreams

The dream cannot be analyzed directly, but through the dreamer; For this reason, it is difficult to carry out a correct analysis, since the dreamer every minute that passes, forgets more and more details of what he has dreamed of. the theory of dreams

For years, there has been a lot of discussion about the meaning of dreams because the memories of people, places, activities we do or the emotions we feel are reflected in them, but in such a fragmentary way that we cannot predict how they will appear. and its meaning. the theory of dreams

Historical antecedents in the psychological analysis of dreams the theory of dreams

Dreams are natural phenomena that have been studied by researchers from various disciplines such as physiology, psychology, and anthropology. the theory of dreams

In primitive societies they were unable to distinguish between reality and the world of dreams. In Greek and Roman times, dream interpreters accompanied military leaders in battle since dreams were understood as messages from the gods. The dreams had a prophetic quality and were sought in them for warning signs and advice.
At the end of the 18th century, dreams ceased to have importance and to give meaning since they were understood as a product of anxiety or simple indigestion. the theory of dreams

Later, in the 19th century, Sigmund Freud revolutionized the study of dreams and revived the importance of dreams, their meaning and the need for interpretation.

At present, cognitive sciences and modern neuroscience deny that Freud’s model has empirical validity and, in particular, Allan Hobson and Rober McCarley, based on the physiological evidence available to research, have proposed a rational theory that highlights that dreams correspond to brain processes and that their content is transparent. the theory of dreams

Thus, historically, it has gone from magical analysis, independent of the dreamer, to forms of analysis based on scientific theories about the brain function of each dreamer.

It is possible that people believe in the hidden meanings of dreams and give importance to these stories because they arise from random associations and our brain has a tendency to overvalue irrelevant and casual information. Despite the scientific evidence and the fact that statistics say that it is normal for certain coincidences to exist from time to time, our brain, many times; he refuses to believe it. the theory of dreams

Dreams from the psychoanalytic stream

The Viennese psychologist Sigmund Freud was the father of psychoanalysis and according to him, dreams were the royal way to the secrets of the unconscious. According to Freud, the ego’s defenses are relaxed while we sleep and impulses that are normally repressed are brought back to consciousness through dreams. the theory of dreams

The method used by Freud to investigate dreams is based on the associations of ideas. Freud distinguishes between two types of content in dreams:

  • Manifest content: it is the story or events as the dreamer experiences them. It is a material made from daily experiences and repressed desires through the different dream-making processes. The manifest content is not at the level of meaning, but of the symbol.
  • Latent content: It is the true meaning of the dream, the psychoanalyst strives to interpret the manifest content of the dream that the patient tells him, to reveal the latent content, its meaning. the theory of dreams

Freud estimates that it is with the study of the latent content that the psychoanalyst can discover the stimuli that cause the dream, the origin of the psychic material, the eventual meaning of the dreamed and the reasons for its forgetfulness.
According to Freud, all dreams represent the realization of a wish on the part of the dreamer, even nightmares; therefore, all dreams are interpretable and meaning can be found for them.

Desire appears disguised in dreams, a process called “dream deformation.” This deformation is intentional and is due to the censorship that the subject exercises against the free expression of desires, for finding them censored for some reason.
For Freud, childhood is a key period in our psychic life, to the extent that most dreams as adults are related to childhood wishes, traumas and memories.

Dreams from the neurobiological stream

Neurobiology maintains that sleep is not a cessation of brain activity, as certain passive theories postulated that anticipated that sleep was a progressive reduction of biological functions that need to be recovered. Neurobiology has discovered that sleep is a different type of activity that is due to differential functions of some nuclei of the brain. During sleep, these nuclei alternate activation and inhibition processes, generating the different stages of sleep. the theory of dreams

To study the physiology of sleep, the EEG is a very important technological tool. The EEG is the graphic and digital representation of the oscillations that shows the electrical activity of the brain, as it is recorded by electrodes placed on top of the skin in different regions of the head.

Sleep phases the theory of dreams

During sleep, characteristic changes in brain electrical activity occur that are the basis for dividing sleep into several phases:

  • Sleep DOES NOT DIE: It appears as the systems that maintain wakefulness are turned off and the sleep generators are activated. It is made up of four phases; the first three stages are characterized by the record of Theta waves and the fourth, the deepest, presents delta waves.
  • REM sleep: Despite the fact that at this time the muscle tone is null (with the exception of the respiratory muscles and the bladder and anal sphincters) and the responsibility to the outside is minimal, there is a great oculomotor activity, as well as a great cortical activity, variations in blood pressure and erections. During this phase most of the daydreams occur, and people who wake up during this phase often vividly remember the content of the daydreams.

Neuroscience explains that in the initial phase, most of our dreams review our daily activities and those concerns that occupy our mind. In the REM phase, our brain shows great activity and dreams often illogical and charged with emotions occur.

These theories consider that what happens is a symphony of neurotransmitters in which increases in acetylcholine stimulate emotional centers while falls in serotonin and norepinephrine turn off the brain areas that govern reason, memory and attention. That is, the centers that control emotions are accelerated while those that control logical thinking are slowed down. In these circumstances, our brain generates a story, from random information and dreams are built.

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