Friday, August 7, 2009

Understanding Dream Function Useful in Psychiatry

Researchers are writing about an exciting new link found between lucid dreaming (awareness while dreaming) and psychosis.

Lucid dreaming creates distinct patterns of electrical activity in the brain that are similar to the patterns in the brain made by psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia. In lucid dreaming, the brain is in a dissociated state. Some psychiatric conditions involve an dissociated state while awake (i.e. psychosis). This discovery offers the potential for new therapeutic tools for psychiatrists.

Implications for the future:
  • Dream researchers can apply their knowledge of dreams to psychiatric patients, building a useful tool for psychiatry.
  • Neuroscience investigators can utilize knowledge from sleep research to interpret data from acute psychotic and dissociated states of the brain-mind.

2 comments:

San said...

When I was very young, I experienced several months during which I sleepwalked quite a bit. I used to scare the daylights out of my little sisters!

As I got older, I read about this condition and learned that it was a mild dissociative state. This post reminded me of the whole thing. Make that "fragmented" thing.

Laura said...

My son used to sleepwalk for a period of six months. He was delusional and sometimes funny during his episodes. At times while awake, he would report sensations similar to the delusions he had during his sleep walking. All very interesting! Thanks for sharing.