New theory of why our dreams are so weird

Obviously, @Surprise_Puma is a pony.



That is pretty accurate, since I’m guesstimating I’d clock in at about 33.33% butter by volume.

A white-presenting guy of mixed ancestry doesn’t really fit the meter, but it’s close enough for government work.


I’m at least willing to suit up and pretend, because ponies seem to know how to party.



An old dusty theory walks into the bar: sleep is necessary for resetting various cellular machinery for the wakeful state, (neurotransmitter levels, membrane potentials …etc). So there is a lot of random mental static happening while the cleaning cycle is underway. Yet a large part of brain function (currently with no external sensory input) is as always trying to make sense of the current mental state. So a “story”, based upon experience and memory, is concocted of the noise. And that’s what dreams are made of. hey, it’s just an old theory, but it makes Ockham smile.



TIL- The definition of perserverating (perserveration):,injury%20or%20other%20organic%20disorder.

They are, after all, explicitly false information

I don’t think that’s true.

This sounds interesting, but might also be another example of the scientific community ignoring or being unaware of cultural differences. The fact is, the way a culture treats dreaming effects the types of dreams its members recall.
Some cultures basically ignore dreams (mine, for example) and we have a wide range of dreams, from those who never remember them, to the wild ones mentioned here.
Some cultures place importance on their dreams and discuss them each morning as a family, and then act on some of them. They seem to have more “reasonable” dreams, in the context of the OP.
Patricia Garfield wrote a really readable treatise about this that I happily stumbled across in college:

If you’re into trying stuff out, I found the tricks for lucid dreaming and the trick about asking “bad characters” in dreams for favors (different chapters) were very effective.


On the role of fiction (and the arts) I totally disagree.
What we look for in fiction (and the arts) is what is True.

People who think that fiction is “just made up stuff” really
get on my nerves.


Not a new idea at all. Back in 1988 or '89, while studying neural networks for a project in college, I wrote a spec-script for ST:TNG that included this idea. After an accident, Data acquires the ability to dream. This leads to several discussions among the crew (and debates between Data and Dr. Pulaski) about why we dream. The theory that dreams are a neural network’s way of “unlearning” false minima caused by overfitting is one of the leading theories they explore.

This was all happening against a backdrop of a Ferengi and sabotage in the warp nacelles. I don’t remember much else about it. I’ll have to dig that out and re-read it.


Editing for velocity and agency, yeah! There’s this signal tracing study in the last few days that says because we -do not- sort activities in our hippocampus in forming memories (where mice rather would) that’s human memory stink.

Now I can’t even remember how it’s possible it was a signal tracing study. Some of 'em are from doing minimal harm in fixing epilepsy…gah, stupid firehose.



1 Like

Was eating cheese involved?

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.