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Faces in our dreams are always faces of real people - true or false?

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Typical "top 10" facts about dreaming:

http://www.boredpand...reams-dreaming/

 

Our mind is not inventing faces – in our dreams we see real faces of real people that we have seen during our life but may not know or remember. We have all seen hundreds of thousands of faces throughout our lives, so we have an endless supply of characters for our brain to utilize during our dreams.

How can they say that with such certainty? Where is the research and evidence? Are there any good articles about this topic (I couldn't find any)?

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Yeah, I'd like to see the evidence backing that one up, as well as "Dreams are Symbolic." Certainly we can attach symbolism, but that's not the same thing.

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The thesis doesn't make any sense. Certainly we see many things in our dreams that we have never seen before, such as strange buildings, unique situations, bizarre creatures, etc., so what would be so special about faces that the only ones we could see in dreams would have to come from the store of facial memories?

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Because with current technology there is absolutely no way to verify that dream content represents anything, assertions to the contrary are just unsupported opinion and speculation. SM

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why read anything into you dreams. its just your mind taking a mental dump. sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Typical "top 10" facts about dreaming:

http://www.boredpand...reams-dreaming/

 

How can they say that with such certainty? Where is the research and evidence? Are there any good articles about this topic (I couldn't find any)?

 

This website is not a resource for scientific issues. It claims - "Boredpanda.com is a highly visual oddities magazine dedicated to showcasing the world’s most creative artworks, offbeat products and everything that’s really weird or wonderful."

http://www.boredpanda.com/about/

So please wake up.

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Typical "top 10" facts about dreaming:

http://www.boredpand...reams-dreaming/

How can they say that with such certainty? Where is the research and evidence? Are there any good articles about this topic (I couldn't find any)?

Because there is none. As SMF commented, such assertions are merely "unsupported opinion and speculation." However, congenital blindness suggest that the brain can't envision or visually construct what it hasn't seen without some visual experience as a reference base. Conceivably, the myriad of unfamiliar faces in our dreams could be composites gleaned from the likely thousands of faces we've seen. However, yet again, the most reliable evidence in brain study of dreaming suggests that such composite gleaning is the result of a synthesis rather than an inventive process. Simply stated, the dreaming brain appears to be interpreting rather than inventing.

 

Yeah, I'd like to see the evidence backing that one up, as well as "Dreams are Symbolic." Certainly we can attach symbolism, but that's not the same thing.

As would I. The most legitimate evidence in recent research associated with the dreaming brain suggests that dreams are, in part, the result of a neural process involving the synthesis of wave impulses (PGO waves) originating in the pontine brainstem and extending to the occipital via the lateral geniculate.

why read anything into you dreams. its just your mind taking a mental dump. sit back and enjoy the ride.

And here we have another assertion that is "unsupported opinion and speculation." answers(OP)--if it is legitimate answers you seek--there is plenty of peer reviewed science suggesting the true nature of dreams and dreaming, which you can readily find through Google Scholar with just a little effort rather than rely on obviously unstudied views likely rooted in subjective experience.

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Our mind is not inventing faces – in our dreams we see real faces of real people that we have seen during our life but may not know or remember.

 

You're totally right to be skeptical, and you should keep carrying that skepticism to the point where you say, "BS."

 

Something I have told students many times: one of the best ways to evaluate a claim, if you don't have direct access to the evidence that might be used to test it, is to simply ask yourself how on earth somebody could possibly know it to be true or false. This is really a great example of a claim that can't be falsified very well. If I were to tell you: "think of an imaginary face," you say OK, and then I say, "actually, you didn't just imagine that face; you saw it some time in the past." How would you possibly go about proving me wrong? What positive evidence would I possibly have with which to establish something like this? We just don't have good access to the massive evidence we'd need--I haven't had anybody following you around snapping pictures of everyone you've ever looked at. I may as well be talking about the invisible unicorns in the room. Of course we can't measure them--they're invisible, stupid.

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You're totally right to be skeptical, and you should keep carrying that skepticism to the point where you say, "BS."

 

Something I have told students many times: one of the best ways to evaluate a claim, if you don't have direct access to the evidence that might be used to test it, is to simply ask yourself how on earth somebody could possibly know it to be true or false. This is really a great example of a claim that can't be falsified very well. If I were to tell you: "think of an imaginary face," you say OK, and then I say, "actually, you didn't just imagine that face; you saw it some time in the past." How would you possibly go about proving me wrong? What positive evidence would I possibly have with which to establish something like this? We just don't have good access to the massive evidence we'd need--I haven't had anybody following you around snapping pictures of everyone you've ever looked at. I may as well be talking about the invisible unicorns in the room. Of course we can't measure them--they're invisible, stupid.

Although not conclusive proof, you could examine the well established indirect evidence and form a supportable and educated opinion based on that evidence. For example, if there is evidence, in well established studies of cases such as congenital blindness--that the brain cannot conceive what it has not perceived--this would provide a very good base for arguments supporting the idea of dream faces as recreations or composites of real faces; i.e., a support for the idea that dream faces are constructs from experience rather than spontaneous invention. However, from an opposite perspective, one could envision the most hideous creature and confidently say he has never seen such a thing or image. Even in this instance and argument could be made that such a creature could not be visualized without the reservoir of visual representations we've stored and are able to draw upon from a lifetime of visual experiences.

 

Because with current technology there is absolutely no way to verify that dream content represents anything, assertions to the contrary are just unsupported opinion and speculation. SM

I disagree; current technology tells us that dreaming is a product of neural processes--occuring amid sleep--whose purpose is becoming increasingly defined through continuing study. If we believe that technology, dream content interprets what the dreaming brain believes it is experiencing as a result of those mid-sleep neural processes.

Edited by DrmDoc

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There is a odd creature i see in my dreams a lot, a chicken with wings, four legs, teeth and a long tail, I'm pretty sure i never actually seen one....

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There is a odd creature i see in my dreams a lot, a chicken with wings, four legs, teeth and a long tail, I'm pretty sure i never actually seen one....

 

why are you dreaming about me? im scared

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There is a odd creature i see in my dreams a lot, a chicken with wings, four legs, teeth and a long tail, I'm pretty sure i never actually seen one....

Would you have been able to describe that creature as "a chicken with wings, four legs, teeth and a long tail" without the visual experiences and references in your life that enabled such a description? Would you even know what a chicken is without experiencing a reference, visual or otherwise, for such an animal? Isn't a creature such as the one in your dream merely a composite of animal attributes that your dreaming brain likely culled together from your memory store of animal references you have visually or otherwise experienced in some form? That odd dream creature is likely how your dreaming brain visually synthesizes or interprets something it believed it experienced as a result of the neural activations and influences it experienced amid the sleep process.

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It is certainly possible to experience in imagination things you have never seen or experienced before. For example, certain brain injuries, such as severe hypoglycemia, can stimulate the areas of the brain which simply alert the subject to the fact that something is present in front of him, so the patient has a strong sensation of seeing something 'there' right before his face, but he can't say what it is or what it looks like, which causes great consternation. The first time this happens to someone (say, from the occurrence of a new insulinoma), it is the experience of 'seeing' something in imagination which was neither seen before and resynthesized from imagination, nor is it seen now.

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It is certainly possible to experience in imagination things you have never seen or experienced before. For example, certain brain injuries, such as severe hypoglycemia, can stimulate the areas of the brain which simply alert the subject to the fact that something is present in front of him, so the patient has a strong sensation of seeing something 'there' right before his face, but he can't say what it is or what it looks like, which causes great consternation. The first time this happens to someone (say, from the occurrence of a new insulinoma), it is the experience of 'seeing' something in imagination which was neither seen before and resynthesized from imagination, nor is it seen now.

I am not aware of any report of the congenitally blind having the ability to visualize faces under any circumstance, injury, or illness. Congenital blindness provides the strongest evidence that the brain cannot visually synthesize what it has not visually experienced. In your example of the hypoglycemic patient, the patient's sensation of seeing something without the ability to visually describe what that something may have been suggests a proximal tactile perception rather than a visual construct. If the patient truly experienced something visual, what were the visual attributes that convinced the patient his experience was indeed visual? Whatever visual description the patient provided was likely predicated on his ability to identify previously known or experienced visual attributes. For example, the patient likely could not have rendered a facial description without having previous knowledge of what constitutes such descriptions. It is likely that whatever we are able to imagine is culled from the reservoir of visual experiences amassed through life experience.

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Would you have been able to describe that creature as "a chicken with wings, four legs, teeth and a long tail" without the visual experiences and references in your life that enabled such a description? Would you even know what a chicken is without experiencing a reference, visual or otherwise, for such an animal? Isn't a creature such as the one in your dream merely a composite of animal attributes that your dreaming brain likely culled together from your memory store of animal references you have visually or otherwise experienced in some form? That odd dream creature is likely how your dreaming brain visually synthesizes or interprets something it believed it experienced as a result of the neural activations and influences it experienced amid the sleep process.

 

 

I am pretty sure the dream image comes from being a toddler and being flogged by a banty rooster and in the same time frame a snarling little dog that was also in the yard.

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There are interesting cases of people born blind who were then later restored to sight by an operation on the optic nerve. Some of these people, like the famous blind geometer of the late 18th century, Cheselton, were able to do geometry quite well while blind, but upon being restored to sight could not tell the difference between simple geometric models without touching them. This makes you wonder how they were constructing a logical model of geometrical relations in their mind, which somehow allowed them to extract inferences from it such as can be detected by sight in people who are not blind, yet without having any experience with vision. (They also reveal other interesting dissonances between the assumptions of the blind and the sighted, such as the fact that blind people assume that a 'quarter moon' is a quarter like a quarter of a pie, which they know by touch, rather than what the sighted know it to be.) Gregory, 'Eye and Brain,' has a lot of interesting information on this topic.

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There are interesting cases of people born blind who were then later restored to sight by an operation on the optic nerve. Some of these people, like the famous blind geometer of the late 18th century, Cheselton, were able to do geometry quite well while blind, but upon being restored to sight could not tell the difference between simple geometric models without touching them. This makes you wonder how they were constructing a logical model of geometrical relations in their mind, which somehow allowed them to extract inferences from it such as can be detected by sight in people who are not blind, yet without having any experience with vision. (They also reveal other interesting dissonances between the assumptions of the blind and the sighted, such as the fact that blind people assume that a 'quarter moon' is a quarter like a quarter of a pie, which they know by touch, rather than what the sighted know it to be.) Gregory, 'Eye and Brain,' has a lot of interesting information on this topic.

Is tactile perception the same as visual perception? Does tactile perception require visualization? Is it necessary to see an object to understand its tactile shape? What you have described here is tactile perception rather than visualization. Visualization is not required to build logical models or forms with the dimensional perception tactile sensory provides. With tactile perception, we can determine textures and relative dimensions in size, spacing, and shape without benefit of sight or mental visualization. Although tactile forms can be reproduced from tactile perception, there simply isn't sufficient credible evidence suggesting that the brain can identify or, by extension, create visual forms without a reference base of real visual experiences.

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Most dream imagery I experience involves some composite images of recognizable entities or places. I'm sure it's the same with faces. The problem with the OP is that it assumes that every face is perceived as a totally independent image. I think it is far more likely that all new faces are perceived as variations of known faces combined with relatively new or less familiar elements. The best proof of this I can think of involves seeing a new type of animal and having a sense of what that animal's personality is from its facial structure and/or expression. E.g. I couldn't remember the name of proboscis monkeys but all I had to do was google, "jimmy durante monkey," and I immediately got links to proboscis monkeys. If I had known this type of monkey before learning about jimmy durante, I would probably think of him as "the proboscis monkey actor" instead of the reverse. Cognition/perception works through associations.

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Most dream imagery I experience involves some composite images of recognizable entities or places. I'm sure it's the same with faces. The problem with the OP is that it assumes that every face is perceived as a totally independent image. I think it is far more likely that all new faces are perceived as variations of known faces combined with relatively new or less familiar elements. The best proof of this I can think of involves seeing a new type of animal and having a sense of what that animal's personality is from its facial structure and/or expression. E.g. I couldn't remember the name of proboscis monkeys but all I had to do was google, "jimmy durante monkey," and I immediately got links to proboscis monkeys. If I had known this type of monkey before learning about jimmy durante, I would probably think of him as "the proboscis monkey actor" instead of the reverse. Cognition/perception works through associations.

Exactly! I couldn't agree more.

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