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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 09, @08:26AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the perchance-to-dream dept.

Study finds novel evidence that dreams reflect multiple memories, anticipate future events:

Dreams result from a process that often combines fragments of multiple life experiences and anticipates future events, according to novel evidence from a new study.

Results show that 53.5% of dreams were traced to a memory, and nearly 50% of reports with a memory source were connected to multiple past experiences. The study also found that 25.7% of dreams were related to specific impending events, and 37.4% of dreams with a future event source were additionally related to one or more specific memories of past experiences. Future-oriented dreams became proportionally more common later in the night.

"Humans have struggled to understand the meaning of dreams for millennia," said principal investigator Erin Wamsley, who has a doctorate in cognitive neuroscience and is an associate professor in the department of psychology and program in neuroscience at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. "We present new evidence that dreams reflect a memory-processing function. Although it has long been known that dreams incorporate fragments of past experience, our data suggest that dreams also anticipate probable future events."

According to Wamsley, the proportional increase of future-oriented dreams later in the night may be driven by temporal proximity to the upcoming events. While these dreams rarely depict future events realistically, the activation and recombination of future-relevant memory fragments may nonetheless serve an adaptive function.

Journal Reference:
Wamsley, Erin. 034 Dreaming as Constructive Episodic Future Simulation, Sleep (DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsab072.033)


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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @09:57AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @09:57AM (#1143474)

    Sounds like a Runaway episode. Except not a prediction, more of any apocalypse!!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @12:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @12:56PM (#1143501)

      So you dream about Runaway? Maybe we don't want to hear the details.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by crafoo on Wednesday June 09, @10:33AM (2 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Wednesday June 09, @10:33AM (#1143478)

    How does that saying go? The future is anxiety. The past is an illusion. Now stop waking me up and let me sleep!

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday June 09, @02:25PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 09, @02:25PM (#1143523) Journal

      The saying I remember is:

      "The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us." -- Centauri Emperor Turhan

      --
      Biden needs to mandate an official static TCP port for running 'finger' with TLS 1.3.
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @08:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @08:06PM (#1143684)

      the saying i remember is:

      "what is was. what was will be. what will be *was*, but will be again." -- arnold horshack

  • (Score: 3, Disagree) by driverless on Wednesday June 09, @11:28AM (5 children)

    by driverless (4770) on Wednesday June 09, @11:28AM (#1143485)

    So it's random fragments of junk floating around in your memory combined with the Forer Effect plus random coincidence.

    I could have told you that without any kind of study.

    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday June 09, @02:09PM (1 child)

      by Tork (3914) on Wednesday June 09, @02:09PM (#1143519)

      I could have told you that without any kind of study.

      Sigh.

      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @03:49PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @03:49PM (#1143557)

      You could have, but it would have been guesswork. These people can back up claims with data.

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Thursday June 10, @04:37AM (1 child)

        by driverless (4770) on Thursday June 10, @04:37AM (#1143805)

        I'm going to run a study to count the number of clouds that look like frogs. For everyone else this would be guesswork, but I'll be able to back up my claims with data.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @04:50AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @04:50AM (#1143809)

          Congratulations. You are an incredibly small-minded person.

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday June 09, @11:33AM (1 child)

    by looorg (578) on Wednesday June 09, @11:33AM (#1143488)

    We are the creators/dreamers of our own parallel universes then? Also I don't want to know what nightmares are then if they are the anticipated outcome for future events. Brain be on drugs or something.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @12:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @12:26PM (#1143496)

      I don't want to know what nightmares are then

      Are you sure? Nightmares have long been understood to be a result of subconscious anxieties - a mental rehearsal. I had terrible nightmares as a child and would frequently, through fear, switch into a lucid dream state to take control of the outcome. I'd like to see a study on potential correlation between those who failed to do this and those who suffered from anxiety and / or depressive learned helplessness later in life.

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday June 09, @03:06PM (5 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 09, @03:06PM (#1143537) Journal

    Anyone else dream about code?

    Dreams seem to be about things that one has anxiety about.

    Untangling some ugly XML file.

    Or just solving problems.

    How to rework this loop. Or improve a SQL query. Or some deployment issue. Or database upgrade issue.

    When I was a teen I remember having a dream about connecting a small one inch speaker to some circuit. No longer remember the details of that.

    Just a week or so ago, dreamed I was on a ride at Walt Disney World. With my brother. Strapped in. Ready to ride. All of a sudden my dog walks around the corner and jumps up into an empty space in the seat. I am thinking "Oh no!" I'm going to have to hold her very tight. Then a ride attendant is coming, and I have this internal feeling that I've got to conceal that I have my dog on the ride. But then realize the best thing is to tell the attendant so that I can get off the ride and let my brother actually go on the ride without me. Then I wake up, not in panic, but a little anxious.

    Other strange dreams include: a truck crashing and overturning in my block, my dog rushes out and starts eating all of the cargo spilled all over the road, and when I get there, I realize it was a truck load of dog treats.

    If I think about it, there are probably other strange ones I can recall.

    I think dreams are a lot about solving real or potential problems. Dealing with anxieties, which are related to problem solving. Preparing for problems that might occur -- how would you solve it.

    --
    Biden needs to mandate an official static TCP port for running 'finger' with TLS 1.3.
    • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Wednesday June 09, @06:47PM (2 children)

      by fliptop (1666) on Wednesday June 09, @06:47PM (#1143638) Journal

      Anyone else dream about code?

      I do that sometimes, but not often b/c I usually try to separate work from sleep by at least a few hours and throw in something like woodworking and reading to break it up. I do solve a lot of code (more logic, actually) problems while doing something mundane like mowing my lawn.

      I still have dreams about college though, being late for a class, unprepared for an exam, etc. which seems strange b/c I graduated 25 years ago. I do remember dreaming about Calculus though, probably b/c I'd usually go right to bed after working on homework and would wake up in the middle of the night w/ an answer to a problem I couldn't solve at the time. That happened often.

      I've journaled about my [soylentnews.org] dreams [soylentnews.org] too.

      --
      It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide.
      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday June 09, @07:39PM (1 child)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 09, @07:39PM (#1143662) Journal

        I still have dreams about college though, being late for a class, unprepared for an exam, etc. which seems strange b/c I graduated 25 years ago.

        I had those dreams for about 20 years after college, but they eventually went away.

        Let's not forget the common "showing up to class then discovering you are naked, or somehow very improperly dressed". That probably falls under the anxiety, and 'how would you solve this problem?' type dream.

        --
        Biden needs to mandate an official static TCP port for running 'finger' with TLS 1.3.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @03:17AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @03:17AM (#1143788)

          The funny thing about those kind of dreams for me is that I seem to be the only one in my dream that notices or cares that I am naked or improperly dressed, so it isn't really an anxiety dream for me. My dreams are really odd, odd things happen, odd situations happen, but it all seems somehow not odd. And the "scene" changes unnoticeably, where I'm in one place, then I'm in a new situation and I never noticed the transition.

          Now: sex dreams. Why can't I have those?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by looorg on Wednesday June 09, @08:21PM (1 child)

      by looorg (578) on Wednesday June 09, @08:21PM (#1143695)

      Anyone else dream about code?

      Those would normally fall under the nightmare category. Other peoples code are horrific. Mine is perfect, for me ... as long as nobody else see it.

      In general I think most of my dreams are weird and I am having a hard time connecting them to anything real. I don't even remember most of them beyond fragments. The main thing I wonder about is how time appears to be very different in dreams compared to reality. Then there are things that I can never remember or recall. The dreams are rarely very specific in some regards.
      That said I do know that I am somehow processing things when I sleep cause I sometime wake up with solutions to problems that I have been thinking about. So now I have a notepad at bed, and have had for years. The drawback is that sometimes I do wake up, write things down but then when I wake up again later I have no idea what the hell I have written or what it was about. My dreamy self really needs to work on his penmanship.

      I don't think I have ever, or can recall having, had that nude at work/school dream that is apparently supposed to be so common.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @03:26AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @03:26AM (#1143792)

        The drawback is that sometimes I do wake up, write things down but then when I wake up again later I have no idea what the hell I have written or what it was about.

        "Fax me some halibut"?

        "Don't-mess-with-Johnny"?

        "Salami, salami, bologna"?

        "Cleveland 117, San Antonio 109"?

        I know what it was! "Flaming globes of Sigmond!"

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @06:07PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @06:07PM (#1143613)

    I think there are somewhat separate waking and sleeping memories/though processes. There is some communications between the two as you are waking which gives the waking side (the conscious 'me') a glimpse at the sleeping side.

    The glimpses show that there is a continuity of thought between dreams (memory) and some familiarity with the waking world on the dream side, that sort of works assuming the same physical world, but is not so much ruled by the physics or common sense. (Like a dream about flying or getting stuck in a easy to think your way out of situation.)

    Some dreams seem anchored in conscious experiences, but I don't buy it that all are. Some dreams seem completely from another place or time or something else. (But the 'not so much rules by physics or common sense' part makes them seem perfectly plausible.) I wonder if some of the better plots for SiFi come from dreams?

  • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Wednesday June 09, @07:00PM

    by bart9h (767) on Wednesday June 09, @07:00PM (#1143642)

    I once dreamed that the opened door of my bedroom was being pushed by the wind, and closed with a loud bang.

    I woke up with a jolt to find the door midway to actually close with a bang.

    The point is, I was dreaming what was about to happen. One could think that the dream predicted the future. A more simple explanation could be that I heard the creak of the door as it began moving, and on the dream my mind played what would follow, but the dream went by in an instant, and I woke up before the door actually closed.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @08:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @08:06PM (#1143683)

    Sleep with TV/radio on. Find out what programs were on while you were sleeping.

    Check them against the dreams you had.

  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday June 09, @09:25PM (2 children)

    by sjames (2882) on Wednesday June 09, @09:25PM (#1143717) Journal

    I don't remember ever having tiger cubs in my coat closet. I don't anticipate having tiger cubs in my coat closet at any time in the future. I have never seen a picture of someone's coat closet with tiger cubs in it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @12:21AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @12:21AM (#1143748)

      The tiger cubs represent your mother. You subconsciously want to marry your mother. Psychology!

      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday June 10, @07:19PM

        by sjames (2882) on Thursday June 10, @07:19PM (#1144016) Journal
        After careful analysis, we conclude that Freud had a really screwed up childhood.
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