Document Detail

New findings on the neurological organization of dreaming: implications for psychoanalysis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7753944     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A recent clinico-anatomical study of the dreams of 332 neurological and neurosurgical patients suggests that the essential psychological processes of dreaming are mediated by higher forebrain structures (inferior parietal and mediobasal frontal lobes in particular) rather than the primitive brainstem nuclei which regulate REM sleep. The fundamental neuropsychological mechanisms involved in dreaming appear to be (1) inhibitory mental control, (2) spatial thought, and (3) quasi-spatial (symbolic) operations. The essential factor in REM sleep, by contrast, is basic arousal. These neuropsychological findings call into question prevailing theories (based on physiological evidence) of the relationship between dreaming and REM sleep. Dreams and REM appear to unfold over different anatomical structures, and they involve different psychological mechanisms. The implications of these findings for psychoanalysis are discussed in this paper.
M Solms
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Psychoanalytic quarterly     Volume:  64     ISSN:  0033-2828     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychoanal Q     Publication Date:  1995 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-06-21     Completed Date:  1995-06-21     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0226661     Medline TA:  Psychoanal Q     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  43-67     Citation Subset:  IM    
Neurosurgical Unit, Royal London Hospital (Whitechapel), England.
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MeSH Terms
Arousal / physiology
Brain / physiopathology*
Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
Brain Mapping
Brain Stem / physiopathology
Dreams / physiology*
Frontal Lobe / physiopathology
Neural Inhibition / physiology
Parietal Lobe / physiopathology
Psychoanalytic Interpretation*
Psychoanalytic Therapy*
Sleep, REM / physiology

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