On the surface is consciousness which consists of those thoughts that are the

On the surface is consciousness which consists of

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“On the surface is consciousness, which consists of those thoughts that are the focus of our attention now, and this is seen as the tip of the iceberg. The preconscious consists of all which can be retrieved from memory. The third and most significant region is the unconscious. Here lie the processes that are the real cause of most behavior. Like an iceberg, the most important part of the mind is the part you cannot see. The unconscious mind acts as a repository, a ‘cauldron’ of primitive wishes and impulse kept at bay and mediated by the preconscious area” (McLeod 2018). Freud’s theory contributed to the popularity of dream interpretation , which remains popular today. Since then, technological advancements have allowed for the development of other theories. The neuroscience of dreaming is a relatively new enterprise but has quickly become
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the major paradigm of experimental dream research today. “One prominent neurobiological theory of dreaming is the “activation-synthesis hypothesis,” which states that dreams don’t actually mean anything: they are merely electrical brain impulses that pull random thoughts and imagery from our memories” (Linden 2011). The activation-synthesis theory is a neurobiological explanation of why we dream . “The question of why people dream has perplexed philosophers and scientists for thousands of years, but it is only fairly recently in history that researchers have been able to take a closer look at exactly what happens in the body and brain during dreaming” (Cherry 2018). Activation synthesis theory is the most accurate because we have both seen people or experienced an event that we later dream about that night. We have experienced events that seem meaningless but later recap in our dreams. The activation-synthesis model of dreaming was first proposed by J. Allan Hobson and Robert McClarley in 1977. According to this theory, circuits in the brain become activated during REM sleep, which causes areas of the limbic system involved in emotions, sensations, and memories, including the amygdala and hippocampus , to become active. The brain synthesizes and interprets this internal activity and attempts to find meaning in these signals, which results in dreaming (Cherry 2018). In the article, Allan Hobson and the neuroscience of dreams, Hobson argues that “dreams are clumsy narratives stitched together by the forebrain to make sense of the activation of biochemical changes and erratic electric pulses originating in the brainstem” (Hurd 2010). According to Hobson and other researchers, circuits in the brain stem are activated during REM sleep. “Once these circuits are activated, areas of the limbic system involved in emotions, sensations, and memories, including the amygdala and hippocampus , become active. The brain synthesizes and interprets this internal activity and attempts create meaning from these signals, which results in dreaming” (Cherry 2018).
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  • Spring '12
  • cynthiasloan

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