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Dreaming: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780192802156

J. Allan Hobson
168 ページ
112 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions



  • Looks at the new scientific facts about dreaming and possible answers to long-held questions about the activation, function, and interpretation of dreams
  • Relates the science of dreaming and sleep to their interpretation in history and in psychoanalysis
  • Investigates the relationships between dreaming, learning, memory, and consciousness
  • Explores how discoveries in the science of dreams have advanced our understanding of mental illness

What is dreaming, and what causes it? Why are dreams so strange and why are they so hard to remember? Replacing dream mystique with modern dream science, J. Allan Hobson provides a new and increasingly complete picture of how dreaming is created by the brain. Focusing on dreaming to explain the mechanisms of sleep, this book explores how the new science of dreaming is affecting theories in psychoanalysis, and how it is helping our understanding of the causes of mental illness. 
J. Allan Hobson investigates his own dreams to illustrate and explain some of the fascinating discoveries of modern sleep science, while challenging some of the traditionally accepted theories about the meaning of dreams. He reveals how dreaming maintains and develops the mind, why we go crazy in our dreams in order to avoid doing so when we are awake, and why sleep is not just good for health but essential for life.


1: What is dreaming?
2: Why dream content analysis failed to become a science
3: How is the brain activated in sleep?
4: Cells and molecules of the dreaming brain
5: Why dream? The functions of brain activation in sleep
6: Disorders of dreaming
7: Dreaming as delirium: sleep and mental illness
8: The new neuropsychology of dreaming
9: Dreaming, learning and memory
10: Dream consciousness
11: The interpretation of dreams


J. Allan Hobson is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award of the Sleep Research Society in 1988. His major research interests are the neurophysiological basis of the mind and behaviour; sleep and dreaming; and the history of neurology and psychiatry, with his most recent work focusing on the cognitive features and benefits of sleep. He is the author or co-author of many books, including: The Dreaming Brain (1988), Sleep (1995), Consciousness (1999), Dreaming as Delirium: How the brain goes out of its mind (1999), The Dream Drugstore (2001), and Out of its Mind: Psychiatry in Crisis (2001).