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Dreaming From A Biological Perspective

Dreaming from a Biological Perspective

Research papers on dreaming from a biological perspective look at the function of dreams and how they serve a biological function. Paper Masters will custom write any research paper on dreaming you need.

Countless research studies have failed to provide all of the answers into the mysteries of sleep, what triggers and stops it, and how individuals move from one phase of sleep to another. The study of sleep and sleep patterns is important to understanding the biological causes of dreams. During the 1960's and 1970's modern neuroscientists began linking dreams to the firing of neurons and oscillation of chemicals in primitive parts of the brain during the arousal of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. These theories conflict with earlier psychological theories and heighten the debate as to the causes, meaning, and functions of dreams.

Stages of Sleep - Dreaming

A science research paper defines a dream as "the recall of mental activity that has occurred during sleep". Sleep is characterized by several stages:

  • Stage 1 or sleep onset
  • Stage 2 or light sleep
  • Stages 3 and 4 or deep sleep stages

REM sleep is associated with high brain activity, rapid eye movements, and suppressed voluntary motor activity. Eighty percent of individuals awakened during the REM stages report dreaming compared to 40 percent of individuals awakened during the deep stages of sleep.

Dreams in stage 1 and 2 of sleep are less detailed and have fewer associations than dreams in other sleep stages. Dreams during REM phases tend to be highly bizarre and detailed with story and plot themes . REM sleep is further characterized by irregular breathing, increased heart rate and brain temperature and physiological arousal. During REM phases the brain is saturated in acetylcholine and serotonin levels plummet . The acetylcholine stimulates nerve cells at the same time as it strips muscles of tension and tone. In deep sleep, individuals are more likely to experience dreams associated with color or emotion. Dreams easiest to recall occur in the stages where electroencephalographic patterns are most like those in the waking state.

Many theories exist as to the purpose and function of dreams:

  • Some neuroscientists believe that dreams serve no function
  • Dreams are part of continuous thought processing or reprogramming of the central nervous system for the next day's conscious functioning.
  • Other researchers espouse that dreams function to solve both cognitive and emotional concerns.
  • A researcher from Paper Masters suggests that dreams are the body's natural healing system in that they reveal the individuals truest emotions.

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