The Dreaming Brain

J. Allan Hobson, Author Basic Books $22.95 (319p) ISBN 978-0-465-01703-4
Dismissing both Freudian and Jungian dream analysis as unscientific, Hobson claims dreams are the vast maintenance task of the brain, an enormously complex information processing machine. In his physiological theory, sensory and motor signals generated by the brain during sleep are the driving forces behind the dream plot; the sleeper's past experiences, wishes and attitudes then come into play, shaping the dream material. Hobson draws on clinical studies of sleep and a scientist's 1939 dream journal for support. His ""activation-synthesis'' model of dreaming leaves room for creativitydreams facilitate comparison of old and new information and the consolidation of memories. In this study, the author, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, rejects Freud in favor of Spanish anatomist Santiago Ramon y Cajal, founder of modern neurobiology, for whom the unconscious was an intrinsic part of the brain-mind system. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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