Sleep is an essential need for all human beings across all cultures. Throughout history, various religions and societies have tried to interpret what dreams during unconscious sleep really mean. Are they really prophetic messages or windows into a hidden compartment of the mind? And what are our brains doing during sleep? Are our emotions in dreams the same as emotions in a conscious, awake state? Does the brain process the emotion as a real “feeling” or is it just an illusion our brain creates to make the stories of dreams more realistic?
Understanding this idea can help us to define what an emotion is more precisely. It can give us an understanding if emotions are always correlated to the same brain region in different conscious states. Also, it gives psychologists more of a window into the importance of dreams themselves. Dreams could prove to increase emotional intelligence if emotions are in fact proven to not to be cranial illusions or they could give a broader purpose to why we dream in the first place. If dreams are in fact delusions created in the brain during REM, why? Research can be pursued to understand the evolutionary need for these illusions in the brain and what purpose they really do serve.
This experiment serves to prove if the emotions we experience in our dreams actually correlate with emotions during conscious and semi-conscious states. Using fMRI machines, experimenters will record brain activity to see where induced emotions occur in the brain and their specific brain regions. A sleep clinic will be used prior to any emotional induction to measure the amount of sleep movement subjects perform to see which individuals move too much for accurate reads so they can be retrained if need be in the...
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... emotion: A meta-analytic review.
Payne, J., & Nadel, L. (2004). Sleep, dreams, and memory consolidation: The role of the stress hormone cortisol.
Robert, S., & P, W. M. (2006, January). Sleep, Memory, and Plasticity. (Annual Review of Psychology) Retrieved November 25, 2013, from http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070307
Van Gulick, R. (2011, August). Consciousness. Retrieved December 1, 2013, from Stanford Encyclopedia of Consciousness: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness/#4
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Yaso, M., Nuruki, A., Tsujimura, S.-i., & Yunokuchi, K. (2006). Detection of REM sleep by heart rate. Retrieved from http://www.psycho.hes.kyushu-u.ac.jp/~lab_miura/Kansei/Workshop/proceedings/P-205.pdf
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