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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).

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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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Six years later, in Il principe di Homburg (1997), an adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist's 1809 play of the same name, the oneiric returns.
The text welds together a surrealist ("oneiric"), highly allusive, and intertextual sort of metafiction, a roman a clef swarming with Romanian exiles, and urgent cultural and political concerns such as globalization, the new societies of Central and Eastern Europe, the role of old and emerging diasporas, the dramas of peripheral cultures, languages, and their writers, and so forth.
Perhaps - and this may indeed be a strategic weakness not uncommon to oneiric fiction - the writer/dreamer, like some of his surrealist confreres, has fallen prey to his own hypnotic trance.
Maybe that's why, although the Aphex Twin of Syro has traveled a long way from the oneiric, particulate atmospherics of his breakthrough record, Selected Ambient Works Volume 11 (1994), he hasn't necessarily traveled into the future.
From the opening pages we get the sensation that the author is describing some strange or perhaps oneiric and surrealistic first-person accounts of daily experiences in the life of a journalist.
Leal's palette of striking greens and blues in this work appeared at once melancholic and oneiric, in a style rem i-niscent of both Peter Doig and Victor Man.
Nature opens into an oneiric world of transcendence and enlightenment.
precarious but plausible equilibrium, oneiric yet pregnant with meaning.
Zoco Chico can be read and enjoyed for its oneiric qualities.
The two musicians will hold an album launch show on September 6 at Sarah's Jazz Club and promise to take the audience on an oneiric journey through the duet's musical and personal imagery.
Mahdavi said, "I sought to bring an oneiric dimension to Nespresso's world where these new capsules appear as imaginary delights, floating like sweet clouds in the sky.
FFI is a hereditary autosomal dominant prion disease, which is mainly characterized by prominent sleep impairment accompanied by a series of neuropsychiatric disorders, dysautonomia, motor dysfunction, and episodes of peculiar oneiric behaviors (oneiric stupor).[24] Irregular breathing, hypnic jerks, propriospinal myoclonus at the wake-sleep transition, and quasi-purposeful limb gestures are considered to be core features of FFI.