altered states 1 dreams

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Information about altered states 1 dreams

Published on January 10, 2009

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Altered states of consciousness I : dreaming : Altered states of consciousness I : dreaming Christine Simmonds-Moore What is an altered state of consciousness? : What is an altered state of consciousness? Types of ASC: Spontaneous drowsiness daydreaming hypnagogic states sleep and dreaming Near death experiences Physiologically induced Psychological induction Induction via disease Induction via drugs Tart’s 3 steps to an ASC: Baseline state There are individual differences in waking baseline state of consciousness In between unstable state New discrete state of consciousness ‘any state of mind that differs markedly enough from that which we associate with our normal waking selves’ Alvarado (1998) When does dreaming occur? : When does dreaming occur? Dreaming is highly correlated with the REM stage of sleep Occurs every 90 minutes of the sleep cycles dreaming also occurs in NREM sleep …dreaming can also occur during wakefulness Hypnagogic dreaming can take place during the daytime and with a waking EEG Hypnagogic dreaming is no different from REM dreaming when rated by independent judges The notion of the “ultradian rhythm” (e.g., Rossi) – less activity every 90 minutes during wakefulness The phenomenology of dreams : The phenomenology of dreams Positive or negative valence – the nightmare Colour or black and white? Dreams are emotion-ridden Dreams are sometimes bizarre, i.e., unusual combinations of features in consciousness (Cicogna, Occhionero, Natale & Esposito, 2006). Dream length changes throughout the night Hallucinatory content increases as the night goes on Vividness of dreams relates to alpha Do eye movements correspond with subjective experiences? The nightmare : The nightmare The nightmare : The nightmare Pertinent symbols: the ‘alp’ or bringer of nightmares in German folklore (animal form is the ‘mart’, related to ‘maerchen’ (fairytale) and ‘mare’ (as in ‘nightmare’)) Often involves images of an old woman or hag Many breathing disorders occur, or worsen at night and involve feelings of oppression of the chest (Ziegler (1983) makes link between asthma-type experiences and ‘suffocating’ relationship with the mother nightmares : nightmares The nightmare is defined by DSMIV as an extremely frightening dream from which a person wakes up directly. Earliest remembered (childhood) dreams tend to be nightmares More nightmares reported among women (Nielson et al, 2006) Nightmares are one component of PTSD More nightmares reported after 9/11 for men only (Nielson et al, 2006) Is the nightmare pathological??!! The phenomenology of hypnagogia : The phenomenology of hypnagogia Internal attentional state More mental imagery Visual and auditory in nature Autonomous/intrusive imagery Regressive or primary process thinking Magical thinking Paralogical thinking Subjective source of imagery is external Loss of reality testing ? hallucinatory experiences The phenomenology of hypnagogia : The phenomenology of hypnagogia “Hyperspace Hypnagogia” (1994)   “I begin whirling through a vortex and speed upward.  As I start to move I hear a sound starting with a low pitch.  The faster I whirl the higher the pitch becomes.   I whirl so fast that I transform into the shape of a vertical line.  I am being lifted upward at the same time the sound is at its highest pitch.  I go straight vertically and shoot up like a rocket in the inner space. Suddenly ‘I,’ the line, burst into ‘light dots’ dispersing in all directions in space with absolute Silence.  The dots move away from each other at a very slow pace, keeping a gravitational distance from one another.  My consciousness is there, but my body is shattered into pieces of dot/energy in a vast space.  I wonder how I can get back to my body.  As soon as I have this thought, my will, like a magnet, brings all the pieces together.  Then I find myself whirling back and hear the same high-pitched sound.  I begin to feel my body as the speed slows down and the pitch becomes lower.” Fariba Bogzaran Electroencephalogram (EEG) waves : Electroencephalogram (EEG) waves What is going on in REM? : What is going on in REM? [Hypothetically] there are Pontine –geniculate-occipital (PGO) spikes Rapid eye movements Muscle paralysis Characterised by alpha and theta waves There is also increased gamma (or high beta) activity This is associated with “consciousness binding” i.e., how many elements of a sensory scene are bound together as one unified object What is going on during hypnagogia/hypnopompia : What is going on during hypnagogia/hypnopompia Associated with eye movements Alpha waves, theta waves and sleep spindles Theta waves are more associated with imagery (Tanaka, Hayashi & Hori, 1996). Used to be considered to occur in 2 stages Now considered to be a 9 stage process (Tanaka, Hayashi & Hori, 1996). The left hemisphere falls asleep first Depth psychological approaches: Freud : Depth psychological approaches: Freud Freud’s theory of dreams generated from 3 strands: Romantic views – the dream contains an important but hidden message from another world Rationalist view – the manifest dream (content of the dream) was a jumble of nonsense (but this could be deciphered by the analyst) Somatic view – dream reflected somatic processes (sexuality and sleep) Hillman, 1979 Depth psychological approaches: Freud : Depth psychological approaches: Freud The dream was a temporary psychosis, a “turning away from the real external world” Building blocks of the dream are the residues of the day: “experience has taught us that in almost every dream is incorporated a memory trace of, or an allusion to, an event of the previous day; and if we follow up these links we often discover all of a sudden the bridge from the apparently remote dreamworld to the real life of the patient…” The dream is a compromise between the daytime and nighttime consciousness Slide 15: Dreams belong to the underworld even though they make use of dayworld images “…it would be misleading to say that dreams are concerned with the tasks of life before us or seek to find a solution for the problems of our daily work. Useful work of this kind is remote from dreams…There is only one useful task…that can be ascribed to a dream and that is the guarding of sleep..” The dayworld provides the raw materials for the dream to work on Even though the dream belongs to sleep the interpretation of dreams serves to bring them into the light of rationality, to reclaim them, to “undo the dreamwork” Dreams as psychopathology : Dreams as psychopathology Freud emphasised that dreams were alien to rationality Dream images are bizarre and otherworldly Dream logic, morality and time is out of step with ordinary consciousness For Freud, dreams epitomised the pathology of the psyche; its narcissism, obsessionality, hysteria, psychosis, sexual conflicts etc Jung’s approach to dreams : Jung’s approach to dreams Like Freud, Jung suggested that it is the ego of the dayworld that must interpret the strange language of the dream (making the unconscious conscious) But for Jung, this process is natural to the development of the psyche/individual…the dream demands to be interpreted and understood Dream interpretation is a bridge between the conscious and unconscious, inner and outer life Metaphors of psychoanalysis : Metaphors of psychoanalysis Depth psychology – implies the mapping of orientational space onto psychological space The unconscious is the repository for repressed images and instincts (the Id) As the Underworld it resemblances Hades, the other, the older, primitive, more dangerous part of experience Interpreting dreams – Hillman’s approach : Interpreting dreams – Hillman’s approach James Hillman – problem in over-interpreting the dream image We must work with what the dream resembles: images, metaphors, meanings, myths This means analysing the dream in a way that preserves its ‘other-worldly’ nature Biological/evolutionary theories of dreaming : Biological/evolutionary theories of dreaming Revonsuo’s threat simulation theory (2000) The biological function of dreaming is to simulate threatening events and to rehearse threat avoidance behaviours Partially supported by Zadra, Desjardins & Marcotte (2006) Dreams as an epiphenomenon: activation synthesis hypothesis : Dreams as an epiphenomenon: activation synthesis hypothesis Hobson & McCarley’s (1977) Activation synthesis hypothesis Muzur (2005) : “memory improvement and dreams….are clearly side effects of REM sleep” Dreaming is associated with the elimination of percepts from the waking mind – replaying of memories A dream is the fixation in memory of a part of the dreaming process A dream report is a verbalised version of a dream Cleansing the mind/brain: Do we dream to forget? : Cleansing the mind/brain: Do we dream to forget? Dreams can function to eliminate information Reverse learning process Crick and Mitchison, 1983 Dreaming results from the random stimulation of forebrain by brain stem which excites areas of the brain Reverse learning modifies the cortex, and allows us to unlearn information Trying to remember our dreams should not be encouraged! Dreaming to “reduce fantasy”? : Dreaming to “reduce fantasy”? Crick & Mitchison (1995) Support from Geisbrecht & Merckelbach (2004; 2006) Sleep deprivation is associated with increased scoring on dissociation Sleep experiences are associated with fantasy proneness and dissociation Continuity of consciousness and dreaming around the clock! : Continuity of consciousness and dreaming around the clock! Continuity between waking and sleeping thinking styles and experiences Horne – some REM sleep is dispensible, and replaceable with relaxed wakefulness meditation? Jung – humans need fantasy/dream if we reduce dreaming at night we will experience more fantasy/dreaming in the daytime as it is a human need Geisbrecht & Merckelbach (2004; 2006) Hypnagogic thinking occurs during the daytime Consciousness during dreaming I: The lucid dream : Consciousness during dreaming I: The lucid dream “Lucid” dreaming = conscious awareness of dreaming whilst one is dreaming (term coined originally by van Eeden 1913) Some level of control of imagery/events 58% (Snyder & Gackenbach, 1988) and more recently 82% (Schredl & Erlacher, 2004) 20% of people report having lucid dreams regularly Occur during REM sleep; late in sleep cycle Lucidity training is possible (e.g., Paulsson & Parker, 2006) Lucid dreaming as a therapeutic tool ? Reduction of nightmares, e.g., associated with post traumatic stress disorder Consciousness during dreaming II:psychic dreaming : Consciousness during dreaming II:psychic dreaming First reported in the literature in Gurney, Myers and Podmore’s Phantasms of the Living (1886) Rhine: large proportion of psychic dreams take place in the dream state, many precognitive First systematically studied in the 1960’s at Maimonides medical center in NYC More recent studies undertaken at University of Edinburgh and University of Northampton Many studies undertaken employing the ganzfeld method as a means of inducing a hypnagogic-like state of consciousness See later lectures on ESP! Dreaming and creativity : Dreaming and creativity Kekule’s benzene ring Salvador Dali’s use of hypnagogic imagery Regular lucid dreamers score higher on Gough’s creativity questionnaire than non lucid dreamers (Blagrove & Hartnell, 1999) Experimental explorations of dreaming and creativity Davé (1979) Walker , Liston, Hobson & Stickgold (2002) Music in dreams – Massey (2006) not distorted associated with RH dominance Evidence for the composition of novel music during dreams (Uga, Lemut, Zampi, Zilli & Salzarulo, 2005) The benzene molecule Are dream experiences associated with personality? : Are dream experiences associated with personality? People with thinner boundaries are more able to recall their dreams People with thinner boundaries are more likely to report having nightmares People who score high on “transliminality” are more likely to engage in dream interpretation (alongside many other factors) People who score high on schizotypy are more likely to experience disturbing nightmares and enjoyable dreams People who score high on schizotypy report more hypnagogic imagery and enter a hypnagogic state rapidly from a waking state Lucid dreams are associated with Internal locus of control (Blagrove & Tucker, 1994; Blagrove & Hartnell, 2000). Higher need for cognition (Blagrove & Hartnell, 2000) Creativity (Blagrove & Hartnell, 2000) Boundary thinness and absorption (Schredl & Erlacher, 2004) Dreams and spirituality : Dreams and spirituality New religious ideas may sometimes originate in dreams “Divine” dreams Cross cultural use of dreams E.g., native american Shamanic dreaming (e.g. with ayahuasca, the ‘vine of souls’) Slide 35: Zhuangzi - [Chuang Tze] One day about sunset, Zhuangzi dozed off and dreamed that he turned into a butterfly. He flapped his wings and sure enough he was a butterfly... What a joyful feeling as he fluttered about, he completely forgot that he was Zhuangzi. Soon though, he realized that that proud butterfly was really Zhuangzi who dreamed he was a butterfly, or was it a butterfly who dreamed he was Zhuangzi! Maybe Zhuangzi was the butterfly, and maybe the butterfly was Zhungzi? Which is the best dream theory? : Which is the best dream theory? What do you think? References and further reading : References and further reading Vaitl et al. (2005). Psychobiology of altered states of consciousness. Psychological Bulletin, 131 (1), 98-127. Zadra, A, Desjardins, S & Marcotte, E. (2006). Evolutionary function of dreams: A test of the threat simulation theory in recurrent dreams. Consciousness and cognition, 15, 450-463. (from sciencedirect). Muzur, A (2005). Toward an integrative theory of sleep and dreaming. Journal of Theoretical Biology, Volume 233,103-118. (from Sciencedirect). - This is Stephen Laberge’s website – for lots of articles and writing on lucid dreaming – literature section. Kozmová, M, Wolman, R. N. (2006). Self awareness in dreaming. Dreaming. 16(3), 196-214. (psycharticles) Paulsson, T & Parker, A. (2006). The effects of a two week reflection intention training program on lucid dream recall. Dreaming. 16(1), 22-35. (psycharticles) Nielsen, T A.; Stenstrom, P; Levin, R (2006). Nightmare frequency as a function of age, gender and September 11th : findings from an internet questionnaire. Dreaming. Vol. 16(3) 145-158 (from Psycharticles). References and further reading : References and further reading Adams, Kate (2005). Voices in my dream: Children’s interpretation of auditory messages in divine dreams. Dreaming. Vol. 15(3), 195-204. Article on Freud and Jung by Domhoff (2000) Hillman, J. (1979) The dream and the Underworld. Harper Collins Hancock, G. (2005). Supernatural: Meetings with the ancient teachers of mankind. Century Shanon, B. (2003) The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience. Oxford University Press. Shulman, D. & Stroumsa, G. (1999) Dream Cultures: Explorations in the Comparative History of Dreaming. OUP

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