Sleep & Dreaming

Origins, Nature and Functions


  • D. Cohen, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA

Sleep and dreaming are manifestations in higher organisms of a fundamental 'circadian rhythm' of inactivity-activity. During the past thirty years, research has provided a great deal of new information about the phenomenom and phenomenology of sleep, and the relationship between sleep and wakefulness. This book aims to describe, organise and interpret some of this new knowledge in order to stimulate a greater appreciation of the role of sleep and dreaming in human adaptation. The study of sleep and dreaming provides a very special perspective on human functioning. It stands in direct contrast to more traditional paradigms utilised in psychology that place the locus of explanation of human behaviour in the 'external environment'
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Book information

  • Published: January 1981
  • Imprint: PERGAMON
  • ISBN: 978-0-08-027400-3


Ambitious and well-written...has clarity of expression and a range of knowledge...also sufficiently comprehensive and lucid to serve as a broad introduction to the whole area and as a textbook for advanced undergraduate or graduate students.

Contemporary Psychology

Table of Contents

(partial) Physiological nature of REM sleep

Origin and development of REM sleep

Information processing during REM sleep

Motivational characteristics of REM sleep

Theoretical implications

Determinants of dream recall

Physiological context of REM dreaming

Pre-sleep determinants of dream content

Individual differences in dream content

Dreaming as a determinant of adaptation