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Lecture 10

PSY4327 Lecture 10: Twilight Zone

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University of Ottawa
Stuart Fogel

PSY 4327: LECTURE 10 TWILIGHT ZONE OF DREAMS Monday, March 27, 2017 PART I: LUCID DREAMS History of Lucid Dreaming • 18th century- Tibetan Buddhists pursued the cultivation of dream lucidity. 
 • Achieving mastery of lucid dreams considered a prerequisite to seeking 
 • Monks practiced increasing the frequency of lucid dreaming and developed the 
ability to modify their dream imagery by willing it to change. 
 • They gradually recognized the illusory nature of the dream. 
 • The monk would then recognize consciousness, which continues in both waking and
dreaming states. 
 • Islam also encouraged its followers to train themselves in the skills of lucid dreaming. 
 • A 12th century Spanish Sufi, Ibn El-Arabi -"greatest master" in the Arab world- exhorted his followers: "A person must control his thoughts in a dream. The training of this alertness… will produce great benefits for the individual”. 
 • Dreams were granted a special status in early Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, and Islam. 
 • Late 19th / early 20th century Dutch psychiatrist Frederik Van Eden coined the term "lucid dream“. • He used the term to describe dreams in which he was “fast asleep yet had full recollection of [his] day-life, and could act voluntarily”. • Meanwhile in England, Hugh Callaway (Pen name: Oliver Fox) independently discovered lucid dreaming - 16 yr old student of science and electrical engineering when he experienced his first lucid dream. o "dreams of knowledge," because one had in them the knowledge that one was really dreaming. o Fox felt "free as air, secure in the consciousness of my true condition and the knowledge that I could always wake if danger threatened. 
 o Authored: “A Record of Out-of-the-Body Experiences” (1939). 
 • Carlos Castanda – authored “The Art of Dreaming”, describing “The Gates of Dreaming” • 1st Gate of Dreaming (stabilization of the dreaming body): o Arrived at when one perceives one's hands in a dream. 
 o Solved when one is able to shift the focus from the hands to another dream object and return it to the hands, all repeated a few times (this process will make you more self-aware) o Crossed when one is able to induce a state of darkness and a feeling of increased weight while falling asleep. • 2nd Gate of Dreaming (utilizing the dreaming body): o Arrived at when one's dream objects start changing into something else. 
 o Solved when one is able to isolate a “Scout” and follow it to “the realm of Inorganic Beings” (spiritual realm) o Crossed when one is able to fall asleep without losing consciousness (can enter into lucid state immediately after sleep onset – fall asleep with the intention of lucid dreaming) • 3rd Gate of Dreaming (traveling, aka "out of 
body experience”): o Arrived at when one dreams of looking at oneself. 
 o Solved when the dreaming and physical bodies become one. 
 o Crossed when one is able to control the dreaming body in the physical realm and move around at ease (in and out-of-body experiences) • 4th Gate of Dreaming (sharing): o Arrived at / solved when one has gathered enough strength into the dreaming body through the previous gates in order to travel to other people's dreams. 
 o Crossing it consists of being able to share the intended dream reality of other people. 
 • Patricia Garfield: published 10 books covering a broad range of dream topics o These topics include: nightmares, children’s dreams, healing through dreams and dream-related art • Her best-known work is “Creative Dreaming.” In it, she describes how to: o Plan and control your dreams o To develop creativity overcome fears o Solve problems o Create a better self Sensory Enhancement in Lucid Dreams • Lucid Dreams are often characterized by sensory enhancement: o Changes in kinesthetic sensations- flying dreams, exhilarating, blissful sensations o Enhanced auditory elements - beautiful, vivid music o Sexual feelings enhanced o Heightened awareness of external environment o Awareness of self o Altered/unusual/atypical state of dreaming Techniques for Developing Lucidity • It is possible to develop the ability to become lucid in dreams: o Keeping a dream journal o Through meditation - better dream recall, more lucid dreams o LaBerge – "MILD " technique (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams). ▪ involves waking up from a dream, visualizing yourself back in that same dream, seeing yourself becoming lucid, and telling yourself, "Next time I'm dreaming, I want to recognize I'm dreaming.“ o Females better able to achieve lucidity • “Dream Light" - mask that picks up eye movements with an infrared detection device • Computer determines when in REM by counting eye movements, flashing red lights are turned on within the mask. 
 • Signal to the dreamer that a REM period is occurring 
 • The recognition of inconsistency (e.g. red lights flashing) is the most common factor leading to awareness of dreaming 
 Recent Research: Inducing Lucidity • Stumbrys, Erlacher & Schredl (2013) used Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) o Lucid dreaming might be linked to increased frontal brain activity during REM sleep. 
 o By applying tDCS researchers activated the DLPFC (Prefrontal cortex) during REM sleep 
 o According to the self-reports, tDCS increased dream lucidity. 
 o The effects, however, were not strong and found only in frequent lucid dreamers. 
 o Attach electrodes to your head, which is attached it a battery – can produce a current Using Lucid Dreams Therapeutically • Can be used to change imagery in disturbing nightmares • Can be used to learn about / gain introspection of aspects of personality • Can be used to overcome phobias / recurring traumatic events (e.g., PTSD) • Therapeutic caveat: o Caution against being lucid too frequently without proper guidance o Blurred distinction between dreaming and waking life Laboratory Studies of Lucid Dreaming • Difficult to study... • How to communicate to researchers in the lab if you are lucid dreaming? • Needed a technique whereby a lucid dreamer could signal to the observing scientist that he or she was experiencing lucidity 
 • During REM sleep – they reasoned if conscious awareness occurs than very specific voluntary eye movements (different from involuntary) could be made 
 • After using hypnosis to induce lucid dreams, 14/15 hypnotized subjects had experienced at least one lucid dream. 
 • 7 out of 15 controls experienced lucidity 
 • Special placement of electrodes around the eyes enabled subjects 
to signal lucidity with eye movements 
 • Needed to do this every 30 seconds, or they were awoken 
 Study: Dreamed movement elicits activation in the sensorimotor cortex • To combine the use of o Luciditiy o Polysomnography o fMRI 
 • Predefined motor task performed during dreaming elicits neuronal activation 
in the sensorimotor cortex 
 • Participants experienced in Lucid Dreaming were to signal onset of lucidity with ocular movement 
 • Motor Task: hand clenching in 3 conditions o Waking o Imagined o Lucid dreaming 
 Motor Task • Left-Right-Left-Right eye movements 
 • Clench Left hand 10x 
 • Left-Right-Left-Right eye movements 
 • Clench right hand 10x 
 • Repeat as long as possible in lucidity signaling switch with eye movements 
 • Verbal dream report given upon awakening to confirm 
 Wakefulness Real Movement Wakefulness Imagined Movement • Greater activation in the right hemisphere when left hand is • Activation from wake and imagined movement during wake clenched, and vice versa (contralateral brain) • Smaller activation because you’re imagining doing the • Regular modulation of the signal over time movement • Additional activations in the visual cortex (while you’re imagining it) Lucid Dreaming Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) • The lucid dreaming and imagining results look very similar • Similar pattern of activation when they have signaled vs. not signaled • You can see the head on top left, and then close up • Shows oxygenation levels • Hemodynamic response: you have blood flow that goes to part of the brain (because neurons are fired - activation), and then there is a deoxygenated period NIRS: Time courses NIRS Results – Summary • NIRS measures Hemodynamic response • Increased oxygenation (actiation) over sensorimotor cortex in LD less activation than WE • Sensorimotor region: you would expect the Wake executed condition (WE) to be highest • Similar amplitude (or stronger) response in Supplementary Motor o WI (wake imagined) is in the middle Area (SMA) compared to WE • SMA important/implicated in imagined motor movements for o LD (lucid dreaming): is lowest o Timing preparation • Lucid dreaming: LD is higher than WE and WI o Monitoring of movements o Learned motor sequences o Planning/programming area active in complex movements PART II: DREAMS AND HEALTH SOMATIC CONTRIBUTIONS TO DREAMS Prodromal Dreams • Physical illness and dream content dates back to the early Greeks • Believed dreams signaled the oncoming of illness • “Prodromal dreams”- dreams which herald the onset of a physical illness (M. Macario, mid-19th century) • Symptomatic- dreams which occurred during the course of a disease after it had been detected • Bernard Siegel - cancer surgeon at Yale School of Medicine • Case reports: o Patient dreamed of fire under his chin and his wife of lying in a bed of his blood – later diagnosed with throat cancer o Patient dreamed of shaved head with cancer written on it – later diagnosed with breast cancer, that spread to the brain • Link between dream imagery, type and location of illness • Theoretical explanation: "bioplasma" in each cell of the body sends signals "via chemical and 'other codes' " to a "paraconscious" mind – reflected in dreams forewarning disease (not fully understood – may not be entirely true) • Evidence of o Compressed chest imagery - tuberculosis 
 o Heat imagery - inflammation 
 o Feces, dirty water, spoiled food, intestinal worms, or raw fish - gastrointestinal 
 o Head imagery - cerebral conditions 
 o Imagery of still characters (e.g. ghostlike unmoving characters) – coma/disorder of consciousness 
 • Robert Smith - Michigan State University College of Human Medicine case reports of medical inpatients reporting dreams: o Significant association between death references in the dreams of males and a subsequent deterioration in their medical condition 
 o Women's medical condition deteriorated when their dreams contained references to separation 
(gender difference) o Patients who were undergoing cardiac catheterization, severity of cardiac dysfunction was related to the number of dream references to death for males and to separation for women 
 Kasatkin’s Research • Vasily Kasatkin, a psychiatrist at the Leningrad Neurosurgical Institute. • Dream reports spanned four decades • Theory of Dreams (1967) - findings based on 10,240 dreams from ~1200 subjects • Rejected psychoanalytic interpretations and focused on manifest dream content (instead of latent content) • Felt content depended on interior physiological s
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