Monday, August 31, 2009

Can Dreams be Precognitive?

One of the most confusing and curious elements of the dreaming mind is that dreams appear to be precognitive at time. That is, that someone will have a dream that then manifests itself in waking day at some point in the future. Can this really be happening?

One explanation for this is that the dreamer has the images in a dream and then tries to match them with events in waking day. Therefore, it appears that they have had the dreams before the event but they have not. Research has shown that people can be brought into a sleep lab and can then dream about a very specific event that they could not possibly have known about or tried to create. Also, when someone has a truly precognitive dream the details of the dream to the waking day are so specific that the dreamer could not possibly create that. For example, a dreamer has an image of a squirrel with no tail running in front of his path as a group of women in red hats walk by. The next day this event occurs in waking day (the red hat society are going to lunch at a local restaurant). The possibility of that even occurring is quite rare.

People have always reported precognitive dream images and research is now trying to unravel that mystery. A recent study (Smith, unpublished data) has shown that approximately 10% of dream images appear to be precognitive. Often they are of everyday events such as a friend calling out of the blue or a parcel showing up. None the less, people continue to report on these dreams and research continues to try and understand them.

Perhaps these are more common and typical then once thought but more research is required to shed light on this phenomena.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Technical Difficulty....

My internet service has been very unrealiable for the past week or so due to bad lightening storms.......I will update my blog as soon as the service is fixed!
Stay well,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jumping around With Anxiety

In a recent study (Jones & DeCicco, 2009) a colleague and I have found that people who were mild to moderately high in anxiety tended to have more scene changes. The participants in the study reported going from one scene to the next, where people high in depression did not. This finding implies that people who are anxious in their waking day bring thoughts and feelings into sleep time that may affect the images that are being created. That is, the images do not appear to finish out a scene entirely but rather, scenes are quickly changed with unfinished story lines. For example, a man may be running down a road in one dream scene and then suddenly, finds himself at a friend's house. These abrupt scene changes were correlated with waking day anxiety.

Another interesting finding from the study is that people high in waking day anxiety did not have as much "discovery" with dream interpretation. Perhaps it is the fact that the dreams are so abruptly changing scenes that it is difficult to relate this to any one waking day life with interpretation. Nevertheless, many scene changes in a dream may be altering us to the possibility of waking day anxiety. This could help in self-guided dream work and in professional practice since jumping scenes may be an important element of the dreaming landscape.