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dream,

mental activity associated with the rapid-eye-movement (REM) period of sleep. It is commonly made up of a number of visual images, scenes or thoughts expressed in terms of seeing rather than in those of the other senses or in words. Electroencephalograph studies, measuring the electrical activity of the brain during REM sleep, have shown that young adults dream for 1 1-2 to 2 hours of every 8-hour period of sleep. Infants spend an average of 50% of their sleep in the REM phase (they are believed to dream more often than adults) a figure which decreases steadily with age. During dreams, blood pressure and heart rate increase, and breathing is quickened, but the body is otherwise immobile. Studies have shown that sleepers deprived of dream-sleep are likely to become irritable and lose coordination skills. Unusually frightening dreams are called nightmares, and daydreams are constructed fantasies that occur while the individual is awake. Studies have demonstrated the existence of lucid dreaming, where the individual is aware that he is dreaming and has a degree of control over his dream.

Sigmund FreudFreud, Sigmund
, 1856–1939, Austrian psychiatrist, founder of psychoanalysis. Born in Moravia, he lived most of his life in Vienna, receiving his medical degree from the Univ. of Vienna in 1881.

His medical career began with an apprenticeship (1885–86) under J.
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, in his pioneering work The Interpretation of Dreams (1900, tr. 1913), was one of the first to emphasize dreams as keys to the unconscious. He distinguished the manifest content of dreams—the dream as it is recalled by the individual—from the latent content or the meaning of the dream, which Freud saw in terms of wish fulfillment. C. G. JungJung, Carl Gustav
, 1875–1961, Swiss psychiatrist, founder of analytical psychology. The son of a country pastor, he studied at Basel (1895–1900) and Zürich (M.D., 1902).
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 held that dreams function to reveal the unconscious mind, anticipate future events, and give expression to neglected areas of the dreamer's personality. Another theory, which PET scan studies appear to support, suggests that dreams are a result of electrical energy that stimulates memories located in various regions of the brain.

Bibliography

See J. A. Hobson, The Dreaming Brain (1988); M.-L. von Franz, Dreams (1991).

dream

[drēm]
(psychology)
An involuntary series of visual, auditory, or kinesthetic images, emotions, and thoughts occurring in the mind during sleep or a sleeplike state, which take the form of a sequence of events or of a story, having a feeling of reality but totally lacking a feeling of free will.

dream

1. 
a. mental activity, usually in the form of an imagined series of events, occurring during certain phases of sleep
b. (as modifier): a dream sequence
2. 
a. a sequence of imaginative thoughts indulged in while awake; daydream; fantasy
b. (as modifier): a dream world
References in classic literature ?
She saw the door open into the other room; saw the supper-table, with its snowy cloth; heard the dreamy murmur of the singing tea-kettle; saw Ruth tripping backward and forward, with plates of cake and saucers of preserves, and ever and anon stopping to put a cake into Harry's hand, or pat his head, or twine his long curls round her snowy fingers.
The flash of her eyes had been succeeded by a dreamy and melancholy softness; they no longer gave the impression of looking at the objects around her: they appeared always to gaze beyond, and far beyond - you would have said out of this world.
I should--like--that," he said very slowly, his eyes looking dreamy.
Whatever I had within me that was romantic and dreamy, was encouraged by so much story-telling in the dark; and in that respect the pursuit may not have been very profitable to me.
We sat in the dreamy room among the old strange influences which had so wrought upon me, and I learnt that she had but just come home from France, and that she was going to London.
Minds that have been unhinged from their old faith and love, have perhaps sought this Lethean influence of exile, in which the past becomes dreamy because its symbols have all vanished, and the present too is dreamy because it is linked with no memories.
Then I once more rebounded heavenwards, at the vision of the eager dreamy lad whose question had set going all this odd clockwork of association.
You know you believe it all," said Lord Henry, looking at him with his dreamy languorous eyes.
They also both had the same calm and dreamy little cast of mind.
And here Alice began to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of way, `Do cats eat bats?
Such ruin and desolation cast a weird poesy on the scene, filling the souls of the spectators with dreamy thoughts.
I seemed somehow to know her face, and to know it in connection with some dreamy fear, but I could not recollect at the moment how or where.