13 DREAMS FREUD NEVER HAD: The New Mind Science

J. Allan Hobson, Author . Pi $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-13-147225-9

In an autobiographical tour de force that melds memoir with sophisticated science writing, eminent Harvard psychiatrist and neuroscientist Hobson (The Dreaming Brain , etc.) analyzes 13 of his own dreams while recalling his pioneering career researching brains and dreaming. Hobson is well known for contradicting Freud's theory of why dreams are so "bizarre": he accepts the emotional salience of dreams, but sees the current neuroscientific understanding of brain function as rendering the Freudian model of id censorship defunct. In presenting and discussing his own dreams, Hobson demonstrates his preferred approach to dream interpretation, drawing alike on modern neuroscience and his own role in it, and on pragmatic self-knowledge. Examining a dream that features, for example, himself heading to an illicit Italian tryst and encountering his family on the way, he considers the neurochemical similarity of dreaming and delirium, the rarity of erotic feelings in dreams and the rooting of his "sensuality and sociability in [his] early family life." Hobson seamlessly blends candid personal confession with hard science, moving effortlessly from describing the appearance of the cerebellum and the function of neurons and REM sleep to reflecting on past relationships and personal associations. He shares unabashedly subjective perspectives on the individuals and institutions that have formed his professional world. His intricate personal account will intrigue all those interested in the history of science and in dream theory. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/15/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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