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How do lucid dreams arise in the brain?

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I have been interested in lucid dreaming for some time. I found this forum and thought that someone can give me some answers to some questions.

Here is my whole thought process on how the brain works while lucid dreaming:http://forums.philosophyforums.com/threads/lucid-dreams-33391-2.html


I also sent some e-mails to Professor Allan Hobson on this topic, I got in reply a document attached in this topic.


I wouldn't be suprised if someone gives or doesn't have much time or will to answer this topic. Any ways thanks a lot for any replies.


"Willowz: This will be a shot, maybe a long shot at a pragmatic way of looking into the the way the


brain works while dreaming. I heard that the activity between connections in the frontal


cortex and the posterior perceptual areas of the brain during sleep are lowered


dramatically. Can arousing of these connections/areas be done chemically or maybe some


other way?... Why am I asking this? When we fall asleep our awareness falls, we just "go


with the flow". You don't realize how stupid or farfetched some things are in a dream.


These areas (Frontal cortex and posterior per. area), I think (and read) are responsible for


evaluation and eventually realizing that you are dreaming."


"Mars Man: A system is firing (a map) and exchanging signals when realizing anything, as


far as can be seen, and not any single area, really. I would say that the hippocampal and


limbric systems are major players, along with the prefrontal association areas, in


comparing ncoming sensory information (internal signals from memory too) and judging it


against memory."


"Mars Man:The prefrontal association cortical area projects, in part, to limbic association


cortex, which projects with other systems to amygdala and hippocampal formation, each


receiving dissimilar sensory information."


"Willowz:Since going into sleep the brain doesn't need the prefrontal association cortical


area(:Association areas function to produce a meaningful perceptual experience of the


world) working. But this area is probably essential in deciding and realizing that this dream


is just some mumbo jumbo. I was looking into Brodmann's 46 area because it might be the


area where the "waking"begins.Here I will site a book I found: Conclusion: "One organizing


premise of this brief update is the combined study of phenomenology , cognitive


neuroscience and neurochemistry across a wide variety of normal (e.g dreaming, waking),


alterable (e.g meditation, hypnosis)...one such hypothesis suggested here is that the


deactivation of prefrontal cortical areas and possibly, a recriprocal intensification of cortical


or subcortical limbic and posterior perceptual cortical activity may underline a wide variety


of dream-like states...as well as dream states as close as possible to waking (e.g full


lucidity in experienced practitioners of lucid dreaming).


Lucid Dreaming Revisited.doc

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I did a project on dreams and the REM cycle last year and i read something very interesting on lucid dreaming, something about being able to lucid dream takes practice. i personally lack control in my dreams and prefer it that way, but by all means try it out! more power to ya man!

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  • 3 months later...

There is scientific research being done in this field. See, e.g., P.C. Cicogna et al., "Consciousness during dreams" Conscious Cogn (2001) 10(1):26.41; M. Bosinelli, "Mind and consciousness during sleep" Behav Brain Res (1995) 69:195-201; U. Voss et al., "Lucid dreaming: a state of consciousness with features of both waking and non-lucid dreaming" Sleep (2009) 32(9):1191-200. You can also go to www.pubmed.org and type in "lucid dreaming" and check out the other three dozen articles.

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I know people are going to ridicule me for dropping this name on he but Joe Rogan talk of a chemical in the brain as well as in plants called dimethyltryptamine or DMT. It is found in you brain as well as many plants. Theoretically mass amount of it are pumped out before you die as well as when you dream. Here is a video of him talking about it, it is worth a listen.



If you want to learn about it from a more scientific point of view a book called "The spirit molecule" gets much more in depth about the chemical stating how it is synthesized in the brain, how it may be the reason for stress induced hallucinations, the flash before you die, mystical experiences from religion/meditation and dreaming. Here is a free PDF




If your real lazy there is a movie online to but haven't seen it.

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I lucid dream quite often, I would say all the time but i know there are dreams I do not remember well enough to to say. But I do dream lucid and i can change a dream I am in to lucid dreaming. These dreams can be quite realistic and seem to be complete from end to finish if someone doesn't wake me up while I am having them. You would think the dreams would be sexual but for some reason i seldom steer a dream in that direction. It's a weird thing, I am in control of the dream but the dream also often has a direction of it's own and I only alter the details, the big picture seems to have it's own direction much of the time.

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I, too, experience frequent (if not nightly) lucid dreams; as Moontanman describes, I am in control of the dream but they do have a direction of their own. In the end, I am only able to influence my own actions and perceptions of the dream itself. I also find that my lucid dreams tend to be founded solidly in the basis of reality - usually not my own, and usually not in this timeline - but there are no unusual physics involved, no odd things floating in the skies, no superpowers, and strangely, no sexuality, just like you said too. Another effect is that I typically wake up feeling exhausted afterwards, and I especially feel like the muscles I used in vigorous dreams are sore when I wake up, just like I've actually used them. My wife tells me that I talk a lot in my sleep too.


I'm sure the question has been raised before - but is it possible that dreams in some way can subconsciously access recessed or genetic memory? My most lucid dreams are always in settings in the past. I often awake from those to wonder which is the dreamworld and which is reality...

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Mine tend to be completely based in reality - ie, no dinosaurs, no aliens. Mostly medieval stuff. I constantly dream about a man who I swear is my brother, but in reality I have no brother whatsoever. Do you have sequential dreams, where it's like a story being told in sequence?

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