• J. Allan Hobson
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


Dreaming is a distinctive mental state that occurs periodically in normal human sleep. Typical dream reports include such psychological features as hallucinations, delusions, cognitive abnormalities, emotional intensification, and amnesia. These five remarkable features of dreaming have invited its comparison to abnormal states of mind occurring during waking in certain clinical conditions, especially schizophrenia and organic syndromes. The exploration of the neurobiological basis of dreaming therefore constitutes not only an aspect of mind-body interaction but also a model approach to the study of mental illness. An obvious problem is that the unconfirmable nature of all subjective experience is compounded by difficult access to the mind in sleep. The recent development of sleep laboratory techniques has given the study of dreaming a more instrumental and systematic character, and the emerging picture encourages psychophysiological integration.


Presynaptic Inhibition Secondary Relay Dream Mentation Information Generator Model Distinctive Mental State 
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Further reading

  1. Hobson JA, McCarley RW (1977): The brain as a dream-state generator: An activation-synthesis hypothesis of the dream process. Am J Psychiatry 134: 1335–1348Google Scholar
  2. McCarley RW, Hobson JA (1977): The neurobiological origins of psychoanalytic dream theory. Am J Psychiatry 134: 1211–1221Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

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  • J. Allan Hobson

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