I found the dream theories to be very interesting. I've always thought of dreams the way Sigmund Freud took sides with the Native Americans. Freud created the Dream Protection Theory which was an idea that our dreams are our guardians while we are sleeping. The mental censor in our brain, the ego, isn't able to repress the sexual and aggressive instincts we have as well when we're sleeping, as when we're awake so dreams protect us from these instincts disturbing our sleep. Dream-work turned the instincts into symbols and pictures which are also known as wish-fulfillment, simply, how we wish things to be. In order to find the true meaning of your dream Freud proposed that you had to reverse the dream-work. On the contrary, Hobson and McCarley came up with activation-synthesis theory which said that dreams were simply the brain activation during sleep, not an unconscious wish. They said that dreams showed the brain trying to make sense of the random and internally generated neural signals during REM sleep. More specifically, REM sleep is activated by surges of the neurotransmitter acetylocholine while serotonin and norepinephrine shut down. Acetylcholine activates the cells located in the pons and since serotonine and norepinephrine are responsible for thought, reasoning, attention and memory the pons sends out incomplete signals. The forebrain does it's best to put the signals together into a story, the result, dreams. After learning about the Activation-Synthesis Theory, I'm not sure which I agree more with. Freud's theory is what I expected dreams to be, but Activation-Synthesis makes more sense realistically.
What do your dreams mean?
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