Chapter

The Focused-Waking-Thought–to–Dreaming Continuum. Dreaming Is One End of a Continuum

Ernest Hartmann

in The Nature and Functions of Dreaming

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199751778
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863419 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751778.003.0005
The Focused-Waking-Thought–to–Dreaming Continuum. Dreaming Is One End of a Continuum

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At first glance dreams appear so different and alien—not a part of us—that they have often been considered messages from the gods, or coded messages from some sacred place. Even those who believe dreams are created by our minds nonetheless consider dreams to be in a strange foreign language, different from the language of our normal waking minds. This chapter shows that dreaming is simply one form of mental functioning—part of a continuum. It is not an alien intrusion. It is not a distinct and isolated activity that bears little connection to other forms of mental activity. On a biological level, mental functioning refers to the functioning of the brain and especially the functioning of the cerebral cortex. The chapter proposes a continuum that runs roughly from focused-waking-thought at one end through looser thought or reverie to fantasy, daydreaming, and eventually to dreaming.

Keywords: cerebral cortex; mental functioning; continuum

Chapter.  4815 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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