Dreaming: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Apr 21, 2005 - Medical - 153 pages
What is dreaming, and what causes it? Why are dreams so strange and why are they so hard to remember? Replacing dream mystique with modern dream science, J. Allan Hobson provides a new and increasingly complete picture of how dreaming is created by the brain. Focusing on dreaming to explain the mechanisms of sleep, this book explores how the new science of dreaming is affecting theories in psychoanalysis, and how it is helping our understanding of the causes of mental illness. J. Allan Hobson investigates his own dreams to illustrate and explain some of the fascinating discoveries of modern sleep science, while challenging some of the traditionally accepted theories about the meaning of dreams. He reveals how dreaming maintains and develops the mind, why we go crazy in our dreams in order to avoid doing so when we are awake, and why sleep is not just good for health but essential for life. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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User Review  - dioxynucleic - LibraryThing

Dreams as a function of brain activity during sleep is the central thesis of this short sharp intro to the subject. An informative & good humoured, if pleasently dull work. Read full review


1 What is dreaming?
2 Why did the analysis of dream content fail to become a science?
3 How is the brain activated in sleep?
4 Cells and molecules of the dreaming brain
5 Why dream? The functions of brain activation in sleep
6 Disorders of dreaming
sleep and mental illness
8 The new neuropsychology of dreaming
9 Dreaming learning and memory
10 Dream consciousness
11 The interpretation of dreams

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About the author (2005)

J. Allan Hobson is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award of the Sleep Research Society in 1988.

His major research interests are the neurophysiological basis of the mind and behaviour; sleep and dreaming; and the history of neurology and psychiatry, with his most recent work focusing on the cognitive features and benefits of sleep. He is the author or co-author of many books, including: The Dreaming Brain (1988), Sleep (1995), Consciousness (1999), Dreaming as Delirium: How the brain goes out of its mind (1999), The Dream Drugstore (2001), and Out of its Mind: Psychiatry in Crisis (2001).

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