[Press release] Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking — awareness of dreaming
January 20, 2015To control one’s dreams and to live out there what is impossible in real life – a truly tempting idea. Some persons – so-called lucid dreamers –can do this. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich have discovered that the brain area which enables self-reflection is larger in lucid dreamers. Thus, lucid dreamers are possibly also more self-reflecting when being awake.
Lucid dreamers are aware of dreaming while dreaming. Sometimes, they can even play an active role in their dreams. Most of them, however, have this experience only several times a year and just very few almost every night. Internet forums and blogs are full of instructions and tips on lucid dreaming. Possibly, lucid dreaming is closely related to the human capability of self-reflection – the so-called metacognition.
Neuroscientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry have compared brain structures of frequent lucid dreamers and participants who never or only rarely have lucid dreams. Accordingly, the anterior prefrontal cortex, i.e., the brain area controlling conscious cognitive processes and playing an important role in the capability of self-reflection, is larger in lucid dreamers.
The differences in volumes in the anterior prefrontal cortex between lucid dreamers and non-lucid dreamers suggest that lucid dreaming and metacognition are indeed closely connected. This theory is supported by brain images taken when test persons were solving metacognitive tests while being awake. Those images show that the brain activity in the prefrontal cortex was higher in lucid dreamers. “Our results indicate that self-reflection in everyday life is more pronounced in persons who can easily control their dreams,” states Elisa Filevich, post-doc in the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.
The researchers further want to know whether metacognitive skills can be trained. In a follow-up study, they intend to train volunteers in lucid dreaming to examine whether this improves the capability of self-reflection.
- Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking – awareness of dreaming
- Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking – -awareness of dreaming
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January 26, 2015 - Posted by Janice Flahiff | Psychiatry, Psychology | Developmental psychology, dreams, introspection, Lucid dream, lucid dreaming, lucid dreams, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Metacognition, Prefrontal cortex
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This blog presents a sampling of health and medical news and resources for all. Selected articles and resources will hopefully be of general interest but will also encourage further reading through posted references and other links. Currently I am focusing on public health, basic and applied research and very broadly on disease and healthy lifestyle topics.
Several times a month I will post items on international and global health issues. My Peace Corps Liberia experience (1980-81) has formed me as a global citizen in many ways and has challenged me to think of health and other topics in a more holistic manner. (For those wishing to see pictures of a 2009 Friends of Liberia service trip to this West African country, please visit www.fol.org. My photo album is included).
This blog is a companion site to my Health and Medical News and Resources Web site with…
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My professional work experience and education includes over 10 years experience as a medical librarian and a Master’s in Library Science. In my most recent position I enjoyed contributing to our library’s blog, performing in depth literature searches, and collaborating with faculty, staff, students, and the general public.
While I will never be be able to keep up with the universe of current health/medical news,
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- Krafty (Medical)Librarian,” a collection of writings from Michelle Kraft on items of interest to medical librarians. She tends to write on technology and medical libraries but she also writes about things in general on librarianship, medicine and health”
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- Library Journal – Breaking News
- librarian.net by librarian consultant Jessamyn West
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- Scout Report, a “weekly publication offering a selection of new and newly discovered Internet resources of interest to researchers and educators”
- Latest from Brookings Institute, independent research reports on social and political issues
- KevinMD.com -“Social Media’s leading physician voice”
- EurekAlert-Medicine and Health
- FTC sanctions yet another digital health product, a vision training app, over claims about effectiveness [Reblog]
- St. Louis Plan4Health Traffic Calming Demonstrations [YouTube]
- Made ya look: Moviegoers may have little control over their eye movements during Hollywood-style films, study finds [news release]
- Articles focus on OTC medications, dietary supplements & complementary/alternative medicine
- The Invisible World of Human Perception [news release]
- Atlas of the Human Body from the American Medical Association & Additional Anatomy Links
- TOXMAP: Learn about toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing & Update [Wyoming water wells very likely contaminated by fracking]
- Database of Promoting Health Effectiveness Reviews (DoPHER)
- Behind the fetish of vitamin B12 shots
- Birth Control Pills Online Pamphlet
- Do Cell Phones Make Us Less Socially Minded?
- [Interactive chart] Snake oil? Scientific evidence for popular nutritional supplements
- Letting Doctors Make the Tough Decisions
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