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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.


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


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.


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
a. a sequence of imaginative thoughts indulged in while awake; daydream; fantasy
b. (as modifier): a dream world
References in periodicals archive ?
In the case of this soundtrack, it mainly involves plenty of reverb, which affords the music the desired dreaminess, yet this also ruthlessly reveals its age.
The story has a kind of underwater dreaminess reminiscent of how slowly time can move when we are young, shot through with insinuating, evasive currents of mystery and dread.
With Neptune wafting through Pisces, you can drive yourself mad with dreaminess, so a lunar eclipse might be welcome, as it propels you into getting things done and dusted fast.
Lee (philosophy, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY) presents a fascinating study of four figures of alterity that appear at the very beginning of Descartes' Meditations: blindness, madness, dreaminess, and badness.
And in a wedding scene in Tijuana, slow motion and shallow focus communicate intimacy, and shift what had been an eminently realistic sequence into the registers of memory or dreaminess.
Drunk with devotion, Charlie takes the young man's watch, shakes it to bring the mercury column down, places it between his pretty teeth before feeling, with medical dreaminess, the pulse of the unconscious man.
Darling details like a posh pearl pin add a just-right hint of dreaminess.
Thus we have malice and evil intent, weakness of will and foolishness, self-deception, negligence, gullibility, self-obsession, pride and vanity, vacillation, ruthlessness, blinkeredness, willfulness, naivete, irrationality, perversity, madness, dreaminess, dithering, mental blanks, and sheer incomprehensibility.
Our next port of call was the Alsatian capital of Strasbourg, a busy metropolitan contrast to the dreaminess of the Middle Rhine.
d onwards, our next port of call was the Alsatian capital of Strasbourg, a busy metropolitan contrast to the other-world dreaminess of the Middle Rhine.
She has mastered the pizzazz of Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (above), the dreaminess of the Sleepwalker in Sonnambula, and the bold angularity of Agon.