Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 323–331 | Cite as

Nightmares, Neurophenomenology and the Cultural Logic of Trauma

  • Laurence J. KirmayerEmail author

The papers in this special section of CMPexplore new terrain in the cultural shaping of traumatic experience. The authors describe nightmares occurring in association with trauma across diverse settings. The innovative ethnographic work presented in these papers circles around basic questions about dreams and nightmares. What kind of experiences are nightmares? To what extent does their function, form and content follow from the neurobiology of dreaming? Put another way, what accounts for the admixture of biology, personal experience and cultural content in dreams? More specifically, in the case of nightmares related to trauma, how much of their content follows from the neurophenomenology of dreaming, how much reflects specific trauma memories and experiences and how much is a result of the dreamer’s imagination and interpretation operating either during the dream experience itself or on later recollection and recounting to others? Answers to these questions are crucial for any...


Emotion Regulation Traumatic Event Memory Reconsolidation Frequent Nightmare Dream Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Social & Transcultural PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Culture & Mental Health Research Unit, Institute of Community & Family PsychiatryMontrealCanada

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