why do some people not remember their dreams
No one knows exactly why we dream, or whether our dreams hold any meaning. A new study, though, takes one step closer to understanding the peculiarities of dreaming. It explains why some people seem always to remember their dreams, while others are left completely in the dark. Researchers recruited 41 people to take part in a study in which the participants' brains were monitored while they dreamed,. About half the participants considered themselves dream-rememberers. After waking, the 41 subjects were asked whether they recalled their dreams. On average, the self-identified rememberers said they recalled their dreams about five times per week, while the non-rememberers reported knowing what they had dreamed just twice per month. The brain imaging revealed a difference, too. The part of the brain invovled in information processing was more active in the dream-rememberers. IBT explains:
"High dream recallers" have more activity in the temporo-parietal junction, which the researchers believe may allow the dreamer to focus more attention on external stimuli, promoting intrasleep wakefulness, which means dreams are better embedded into the sleeper's memory. Previously, the researchers found high dream recallers have twice as much time of wakefulness during sleep as their low recalling counterparts. Low dream recallers are also far less reactive to auditory stimuli during sleep and wakefulness, suggesting time awake may facilitate the ability to remember dreams.
Whether wakefulness and sensitivity to outside stimuli are responsible for the differences between people, however, is not clear. It could be that people who frequently remember their dreams also tend to have more dreams, IBT points out. When one of the scientific mysteries surrounding dreams closes, it seems, another opens. People who tend to remember their dreams also respond more strongly than others to hearing their name when they re awake, new research suggests. Everyone dreams during sleep, but not everyone recalls the mental escapade the next day, and scientists aren t sure why some people remember more than others. To find out, researchers used electroencephalography to record the electrical activity in the brains of 36 people while the participants listened to background tunes, and occasionally heard their own first name. The brain measurements were taken during wakefulness and sleep. Half of the participants were called high recallers, because they reported almost every day, whereas the other half, low recallers, said they only remembered their dreams once or twice a month. When asleep, both groups showed similar changes in brain activity in response to hearing their names, which were played quietly enough not to wake them.
However, when awake, high recallers showed a more sustained decrease in a called the alpha wave when they heard their names, compared with the low recallers. It was quite surprising to see a difference between the groups during wakefulness, said study researcher Perrine Ruby, neuroscientist at Lyon Neuroscience Research Center in France. The difference could reflect variations in the brains of high and low recallers that could have a role in how they dream, too, Ruby said. [ Who remembers their dreams A well-established theory suggests that a decrease in the alpha wave is a sign that brain regions are being inhibited from responding to outside stimuli. Studies show that when people hear a sudden sound or open their eyes, and more brain regions become active, the alpha wave is reduced. In the study, as predicted, both groups showed a decrease in the alpha wave when they heard their names while awake. But high recallers showed a more prolonged decrease, which may be a sign their brains became more widely activated when they heard their names. In other words, high recallers may engage more brain regions when while awake, compared with low recallers, the researchers said. While people are asleep, the alpha wave behaves in the opposite way it increases when a sudden sound is heard.
Scientists aren t certain why this happens, but one idea is that it protects the brain from being interrupted by sounds during sleep, Ruby said. Indeed, the study participants showed an increase in the alpha wave in response to sounds during sleep, and there was no difference between the groups. One possibility to explain the lack of difference, the researchers said, could be that perhaps high recallers had a larger increase in alpha waves, but it was so high that they woke up. Time spent awake, during the night The researchers saw that high recallers. They were awake, on average, for 30 minutes during the night, whereas low recallers were awake for 14 minutes. However, Ruby said both figures are in the normal range, it s not that there s something wrong with either group. Altogether, the results suggest the brain of high recallers may be more reactive to stimuli such as sounds, which could make them wake up more easily. It is more likely a person would remember their dreams if they are awakened immediately after one, Ruby said. However, waking up at night can account for only a part of the differences people show in There s still much more to understand, she said. The study is published online today (Aug. 13) in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Email. Follow LiveScience,. Original article on.
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