Research Topic

Brain Activity Patterns during Dreams

About this Research Topic

Dreaming is frequently associated with affective states, behavioral patterns and cognitive styles in humans, as well as with normal or disordered personality traits. Over the past 20 years, recording and imaging studies such as EEG-based recordings or fMRI-based experiments have brought us to further deepen ...

Dreaming is frequently associated with affective states, behavioral patterns and cognitive styles in humans, as well as with normal or disordered personality traits. Over the past 20 years, recording and imaging studies such as EEG-based recordings or fMRI-based experiments have brought us to further deepen our knowledge on sleep phases, sleep waves and related brain activity. While we do have some knowledge as regards sleep patterns, the physiological aspects of dreaming are still debated.
Previous studies have identified the cerebral structures, such as anterior cingulate and activities of individuals who have common and specific types of dreams (such as nightmares) that intrude into their waking state. This disordered intrusion of dreams into the waking state gives rise to the dream continuum and compensatory hypotheses between dreams and reality. However, cerebral activities’ pattern underlying other types of dreams, still lack, together with the either inhibitory or excitatory brainstem activity in these peculiar circumstances.

Many developmental factors and clinical conditions can affect dreams. For instance, sexual dreams are prevalent in youngsters who are sexually active, and are developing their sexual characteristics, whilst increased dreaming activity is found in patients affected by sleep problems, while nightmares are frequently reported in post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia patients. In addition, therapeutic medication, surgical anesthesia and illicit drug-abuse can initiate or exaggerate dreams of several kinds. Finally, dreams might exert an impact on sleep quality and produce significant physical and psychological effects during the waking-state.

There are several ways to keep record of and measure dreaming activities. Dreams can be noted down by retrospective sleep diary, dream experience can be quantified by inventories, and sleep incidences including dreaming can be measured or hypothetically measured by using neurophysiology (polysomnography), neurochemistry, and neuroimaging techniques, among others. Measuring epochs of different stages during sleep might be performed concurrent with a dreaming state and waking state, but that is less practical.
However, physiological correlates of the dreaming state can be monitored across an ongoing/ concurrent dreaming period, and during the waking-state as well, supporting the continuity theory, i.e., the disordered information-processing style across the dreaming and waking-states. Besides the dream continuum consideration, the compensatory theory also contributes to the dream development. Moreover, the dream experience itself or the emotion after a dream may have transient or even persistent effects in individuals. The former can be reflected during dreaming, and the latter might be expressed by individual’s personality, affective state, unique behavior, and inner cognition, which can be measured during waking-state.

This Research Topic aims to welcome manuscripts focusing on the comparison of different brain activity patterns (both during either sleep phase-associated dreaming and waking-states), to further our understanding of the dream continuum and compensatory hypotheses. We welcome studies performed in both healthy individuals and patients under normal conditions or under clinical interventions such as medication (including anesthesia) or psychotherapy.
We will welcome studies using:
• Neurophysiological recordings and/or neuroimaging studies during on-going dreaming and waking-state;
• Neurochemical recordings both during on-going dreaming and waking-state;
• Recordings of brain activities of both healthy people and patients affected by clinical conditions or under clinical interventions such as medication (including anesthesia) or psychotherapy.

We will also welcome translational studies from various specialists such as neurobiologists, neurophysiologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, neuroimaging specialists, psychologists, personality specialists, sleep health specialists, and behavioral neuroscientists.


Keywords: Dream, Cerebral activation, Nuerobehavioral, Neurochemistry, Neuropsychology


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Submission Deadlines

21 September 2020 Manuscript
01 October 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

21 September 2020 Manuscript
01 October 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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