Article

Practicing a Motor Task in a Lucid Dream Enhances Subsequent Performance: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

Nocturnal dreams can be considered as a kind of simulation of the real world on a higher cognitive level. Within lucid dreams, the dreamer is able to control the ongoing dream content and is free to do what he or she wants. In this pilot study, the possibility of practicing a simple motor task in a lucid dream was studied. Forty participants were assigned to a lucid dream practice group, a physical practice group and a control group. The motor task was to toss 10-cent coins into a cup and hit as many as possible out of 20 tosses. Waking performance was measured in the evening and on the next morning by the participants at home. The 20 volunteers in the lucid dream practice group attempted to carry out the motor task in a lucid dream on a single night. Seven participants succeeded in having a lucid dream and practiced the experimental task. This group of seven showed a significant improvement in performance (from 3.7 to 5.3); the other 13 subjects showed no improvement (from 3.4 to 2.9). Comparing all four groups, the physical practice group demonstrated the highest enhancement in performance followed by the successful lucid dream practice group. Both groups had statistically significant higher improvements in contrast to the nondreaming group and the control group. Even though the experimental design is not able to explain if specific effects (motor learning) or unspecific effects (motivation) caused the improvement, the results of this study showed that rehearsing in a lucid dream enhances subsequent performance in wakefulness. To clarify the factors which increased performance after lucid dream practice and to control for confounding factors, it is suggested that sleep laboratory studies should be conducted in the future. The possibilities of lucid dream practice for professional sports will be discussed.

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... 9% of the lucid dreamers practiced motor skills in lucid dreams and the majority (about 77%) had the impression that their skills improved as a result of lucid dream practice. In a field experiment with a pre-post design, 7 lucid dreamers showed significant improvement after practicing a coin-tossing task in the lucid dream state (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010). In an online experiment, Stumbrys et al. (2016) used a finger-tapping task to compare the performance of lucid dream practice to physical, mental, and no practice. ...
... The results of this pilot study indicate that lucid dream practice can be effective when the lucid dreamer does not experience too many distractions during rehearsal. It thus supports the results of previous field studies (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys et al., 2016). Before discussing the implications of these findings, we would like to address some methodological issues. ...
... Because the instruction for the in-between eye signals did not work, but instead seemed to have caused stress and confusion, it is advisable for future studies to keep instructions simpler. Finally, the darts task was chosen because it is a simple motor task similar to the coin-tossing task, which showed an effect of lucid dream practice in a field experiment (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010) and because studies on mental practice using darts did show positive effects in subsequent performance (Kremer et al., 2009;Mendoza & Wichman, 1978;Straub, 1989). We did find a slight improvement in the physical practice group on a descriptive level and a significant improvement for the lucid dreamers who experienced few distractions. ...
Article
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In a lucid dream, the dreamer is aware of the dream state and can deliberately practice motor skills. Two field studies indicated that lucid dream practice can improve waking performance in simple motor tasks. The present pilot study investigated the effect of lucid dream practice in a controlled sleep laboratory setting, using a pre-post design with dart throwing in the evening and morning. The experimental group practiced darts in lucid dreams. Because some participants were distracted during lucid dream practice, the group was divided into lucid dreamers with few (n = 4) and many distractions (n = 5). Change of performance was compared to a physical practice group (n = 9) and a control group (n = 9), showing a significant interaction (P = .013, η² = .368). Only the lucid dreamers with few distractions improved (18%) significantly over time (P = .005, d = 3.84). Even though these results have to be considered preliminary, the present study indicates that lucid dream practice can be an effective tool in sports practice if lucid dreamers find ways to minimise distractions during lucid dream practice. Moreover, the study emphasises the necessity to investigate lucid dream practice experiences on a qualitative level.
... As far as LD is concerned the role of reverse learning for awareness and cognitive control in dreams remains unclear. In a pilot study, Erlacher and Schredl (2010) compared a lucid dream practice group, a physical practice group, and a control group, who were asked to practice a simple motor task. Lucid dreamers, who were able to practice a motor task in a lucid dream, showed a significant improvement in performance, whereas the other lucid dreamer showed no improvement. ...
... This is reflected by the effectiveness of certain cognitive techniques (see Stumbrys et al. (2012) for a review), which show that habits developed in wakefulness are subsequently transferred to dreams. Moreover,, and -probably more convincing -the continuity between LD and wakefulness is reflected by the effect of practicing motor tasks within LD and their subsequent improved performance in wakefulness (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010). ...
... LD might be used for learning and refining sensory-motor skills and for improving the organization of the phenomenal field with respect to the execution of sports movements. Erlacher & Schredl (2010) showed that LD practice in sports has beneficial effects. In a subsequent study by Erlacher et al. (2011), the majority of their sample of athletes had the impression that rehearsal within the lucid dream improved their performance in wakefulness; the percentage of LD compared to all dreams was twice as high as in the general population. ...
Research
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The present review gives an overview on common theories of dreaming with a specific emphasis on how they are able to explain lucid dreaming. The theories are grouped either to such that describe structural or biological processes of dreams or to such that describe evolutionary and adaptive functions of dreams. This overview shows that none of the theories outlined is fully capable of explaining neither non-lucid dreaming nor lucid dreaming. With respect to the first group, the concept of “protoconsciousness” is the theory that at best explains lucid dreaming. With respect to theories with an evolutionary and adaptive function of dreams, those theories, that stress the problem solving or simulation functions of dreams are more suited to explain lucid dreaming. Further, aspects that induce or amplify lucidity and the neural mechanisms that may be involved in lucid dreaming are described.
... were identified. Six articles were published in peer-reviewed journals (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Erlacher et al., 2012;Schädlich & Erlacher, 2018a, 2018bSchädlich et al., 2017; and one record was a doctoral dissertation thesis (Grummer, 2019). Out of the quantitative studies, one was cross-sectional (i.e., online survey) and four were pre-post design investigations, three of which were field experiments. ...
... Only one study carried out controlled lucid dreaming empirical verification procedures (Schädlich et al., 2017). Participants were mostly recruited online, and their nationality was not always specified (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Grummer, 2019;Schädlich et al., 2017;. One study recruited German participants , whereas the interview studies recruited participants from different countries namely, Germany (Schädlich & Erlacher, 2018a, 2018b, Spain (Schädlich & Erlacher, 2018a, 2018b, United Kingdom (Schädlich & Erlacher, 2018b), Norway (Schädlich & Erlacher, 2018b), United States (Schädlich & Erlacher, 2018a, 2018b, and New Zealand (Schädlich & Erlacher, 2018b). ...
... The articles examined the change in performance in carrying out a prearranged task pre and post its rehearsal during LDP. Erlacher and Schredl (2010) studied the effects of LDP on the subsequent performance of a coin-tossing task. Waking performance was scored as the number of hits out of 20 tosses of a 10-cent coin into a cup. ...
... Using this knowledge lucid dreamers can decide to control the course of the events, e.g., fl ying through the air, or observing the dream to unfold (Gackenbach & Bosveld, 1989;LaBerge, 1985). In addition to be useful for the training of complex activities (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2015) and for coping with nightmares (Brylowski, 1990;Zadra & Pihl, 1997), lucid dreaming offers fascinating options to study consciousness, especially if studied in the sleep laboratory (Hobson, 2009). The pioneering work of Keith Hearne (1978) and Stephen LaBerge (1979) showed that pre-arranged eye movement patterns can be carried out in lucid dreams and measured via electrooculogram externally because dreaming of moving the eyes physically moved the eyes -as eye muscles are not subject to REM atonia. ...
... However, most fi ndings in this fi eld are based on small samples, e.g., fi ve to eight participants (Erlacher, Schädlich, Stumbrys, & Schredl, 2014) because not all invited participants are able to remember the instruction. For example, tossing a coin (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010), or carrying out the pre-arranged task successfully (Schädlich, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2017). In an online survey, (Stumbrys, Erlacher, Johnson, & Schredl, 2014), about 60% of the participants reported that they used intentions formulated in the waking state to carry out specifi c actions in the lucid dream. ...
... Thus, the success rate is relatively small. In a home setting, only 7 of 20 experienced lucid dreamers were able to become lucid on a given night (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010). Lucid dream studies in the sleep laboratory are labor-intensive as demonstrated by the fMRI-EEG study of Dresler et al. (2011), where the researcher managed only to measure two REM periods with lucid dreams of one participant -even though they spent several nights in the lab with this participant and many unsuccessful nights with other participants. ...
Article
Lucid dreaming is the phenomenon of dreaming while knowing that one is dreaming but the skills within the lucid dream, e.g., carrying out successfully pre-arranged tasks, vary considerably from dreamer to dreamer - even in frequent lucid dreamers. In order to measure inter-individual differences in lucid dreaming skills, a ten-item questionnaire was developed. The internal consistency was high. Substantial correlations with the skills score, age, and lucid dream frequency were found whereas gender did not affect lucid dreaming skills in the present sample (N = 675). The next steps would be to validate the questionnaire, i.e., demonstrating that high lucid dreaming skills (LUSK) scores are predicting better performance in sleep laboratory experiments, e.g., performing pre-arranged eye movements or specific tasks.
... Reports of performing skilful actions in dreams, such as playing sports, are common, but what these reports mean require further analysis. Dream reports suggest that, at times, we experience performing tasks skilfully (Erlacher and Schredl 2010;Schädlich and Erlacher 2018), and at others, we are woefully incapable of even the simplest activities (Hobson 2002;Rosen 2015). Because dreaming is a conscious state that occurs when one is mostly shut off from the surrounding environment, the experiences that occur in dreams can have important implications for theories of cognition. ...
... Research into the relationship between waking and dream performance suggests that practising skills such as sports in dreams improves performance (Erlacher and Schredl 2010;Schädlich et al. 2017;Tholey 1991). Imagined performance is also beneficial (Gentili et al. 2006), although likely less so (Tholey 1991). ...
... Athletes who practise their sport in lucid dreams report improved ability , however, since this is a subjective assessment, it is difficult to ascertain whether any true benefit is gained. More convincingly, practising tossing a coin into a cup in a lucid dream significantly improved waking performance (Erlacher and Schredl 2010). Interestingly, although the sample size of this study was not large enough to make a strong claim, real-life practise was only slightly more effective than dream practise, and the difference was not statistically significant. ...
Article
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The experience of skilled action occurs in dreams if we take dream reports at face value. However, what these reports indicate requires nuanced analysis. It is uncertain what it means to perform any action in a dream whatsoever. If skilled actions do occur in dreams, this has important implications for both theory of action and theory of dreaming. Here, it is argued that since some dreams generate a convincing, hallucinated world where we have virtual bodies that interact with virtual objects, there is a sense in which we can perform virtual actions. Further, we can also perform skilfully, although not all apparent skilful performance is as it seems. Since the dream world is generated by the dreamer’s own mind, it can be difficult to determine whether the dream world simply allows goals to be achieved without the abilities that would be required in a similar waking scenario. Because of this, individual dream reports alone are insufficient to determine what skills are demonstrated in a particular dream. However, taken with evidence from REM sleep behaviour disorder, incompetent dreams, lucid dreams and motor-skill practise, it is likely that skilled virtual dream performance at times involves both opportunity for virtual behaviour and the display of competence. Evidence from cognitive science suggests that dreamers can also lose competence through forgetting and other cognitive incapacities but, more surprisingly, it is possible to gain abilities in a robust sense, consistent with the idea that some dreams, at least, are virtual realities rather than imagination.
... As far as LD is concerned the role of reverse learning for awareness and cognitive control in dreams remains unclear. In a pilot study, Erlacher and Schredl (2010) compared a lucid dream practice group, a physical practice group, and a control group, who were asked to practice a simple motor task. Lucid dreamers, who were able to practice a motor task in a lucid dream, showed a significant improvement in performance, whereas the other lucid dreamer showed no improvement. ...
... This is reflected by the effectiveness of certain cognitive techniques (see Stumbrys et al. (2012) for a review), which show that habits developed in wakefulness are subsequently transferred to dreams. Moreover,, and -probably more convincing -the continuity between LD and wakefulness is reflected by the effect of practicing motor tasks within LD and their subsequent improved performance in wakefulness (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010). ...
... LD might be used for learning and refining sensory-motor skills and for improving the organization of the phenomenal field with respect to the execution of sports movements. Erlacher & Schredl (2010) showed that LD practice in sports has beneficial effects. In a subsequent study by Erlacher et al. (2011), the majority of their sample of athletes had the impression that rehearsal within the lucid dream improved their performance in wakefulness; the percentage of LD compared to all dreams was twice as high as in the general population. ...
Article
Full-text available
The present review gives an overview on common theories of dreaming with a specific emphasis on how they are able to explain lucid dreaming. The theories are grouped either to such that describe structural or biological processes of dreams or to such that describe evolutionary and adaptive functions of dreams. This overview shows that none of the theories outlined is fully capable of explaining neither non-lucid dreaming nor lucid dreaming. With respect to the first group, the concept of “protoconsciousness” is the theory that at best explains lucid dreaming. With respect to theories with an evolutionary and adaptive function of dreams, those theories, that stress the problem solving or simulation functions of dreams are more suited to explain lucid dreaming. Further, aspects that induce or amplify lucidity and the neural mechanisms that may be involved in lucid dreaming are described.
... Dreams are a representation of important psychological aspects of humans used as a key to diagnose mental troubles (Gerrans, 2012). Since when dreaming, gestures and commands and efferent nerve are stopped by nerve structure in the brain stem, the physical body is paralyzed along with the high activity of the brain (Erlacher &Schredl, 2010). A special kind of time dream is called REM, "lucid dreaming". ...
... Furthermore, among other inconsistent reasons, the difference in the dose consumed, the method of performance seasonally, and experiencing positive or negative memories can be mentioned (Smells can stimulate memory, if the smell of essential oils is associated with negative memories in patients, it may possibly lead to negative results), (Salamati, et.al, 2014). Moreover, these findings were consistent with the findings of , Schädlich and Erlacher (2012), Schredl and Elarcher (2011), Erlacher and Schredl (2010), Voss et.al (2009), LaBerge and Levitan (1995. Considering the reasons of this inconsistency can be mentioned in the following: difference in the subjects' types in Erlacher's research, Stumbrys and Schredl (2012) who were athletes, and were the subjects of the students' study; in the Schädlich and Erlacher (2012), this difference was in training the subjects to have lucid dream, and the difference in the variable under study which was the dreaming application; and in Schredl andElarcher (2011), Elarcher andSchredl (2010), the difference may be the type of study, and also the variable "physical training" and considering the difference in the type of intervention being light, the degree of ability in having lucid dream, and intervention time are mentioned (LaBerge & Levitan, 1995). ...
... Moreover, these findings were consistent with the findings of , Schädlich and Erlacher (2012), Schredl and Elarcher (2011), Erlacher and Schredl (2010), Voss et.al (2009), LaBerge and Levitan (1995. Considering the reasons of this inconsistency can be mentioned in the following: difference in the subjects' types in Erlacher's research, Stumbrys and Schredl (2012) who were athletes, and were the subjects of the students' study; in the Schädlich and Erlacher (2012), this difference was in training the subjects to have lucid dream, and the difference in the variable under study which was the dreaming application; and in Schredl andElarcher (2011), Elarcher andSchredl (2010), the difference may be the type of study, and also the variable "physical training" and considering the difference in the type of intervention being light, the degree of ability in having lucid dream, and intervention time are mentioned (LaBerge & Levitan, 1995). ...
Article
The purpose of the present research was to study the effects of red rose essential oil and lavender aromatherapy on the frequency of lucid dreaming, recalling dreams and sleep quality in female students. Forty five female students of Karaj Azad University were volunteered; and 26 individuals of them were qualified to participate in the test. The subjects were randomly selected in the three groups of red rose essential oil, lavender and control groups. The tools for carrying out the research included personal information questionnaire, lucid dream frequency scale (Schredl & Erlacher, 2011), Pittsburg sleep quality index, interviews and filling out dream notebook for recalling dreams. The experimental group underwent the treatment of aromatherapy for 7 nights. The data were analyzed by kolmogorov-smirnov and Kruskal Wallis test, the only significant difference was observed between dream recall of red rose and control group. This result shows the necessity of further studies in the field of aromatherapy and dreams. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n3s3p83
... Researchers have explored various applications of lucid dreaming in the literature, including nightmare therapy (Spoormaker & van den Bout, 2006;Zadra & Pihl, 1997), motorskill improvement (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2016), problemsolving (Stumbrys & Daniels, 2010), and creativity (Stumbrys & Daunytė, 2018). However, healing with lucid dreams has been given little attention, despite numerous people using it for this purpose. ...
... Many notable applications of lucid dreaming involve dream control to some degree: nightmare resolution (Spoormaker & van den Bout, 2006), skill improvement (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010), wish fulfillment , creative inspiration (Stumbrys & Daniels, 2010;Stumbrys & Daunytė, 2018), as well as alleviation of anxiety and fears (Frith, 1998). Thus, it follows logically that mental/physical healing, which is another popular application of lucid dreaming , would also involve dream control to some degree. ...
Thesis
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Researchers have explored various applications of lucid dreaming, but the application of healing has received little attention (Stumbrys & Erlacher, 2016). Chronic pain is a widespread health issue (Wilkerson, Kim, Windsor, & Mareiniss, 2016) and one case study purports substantial chronic pain relief from a single lucid dream (Zappaterra, Jim, & Pangarkar, 2014). The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-reported influence of lucid dreaming on chronic pain, as well as learn more about the individuals who claim to have had such an experience by examining the relationship of certain personality characteristics. A mixed-method approach was utilized in a retrospective manner. Recruitment consisted of individuals who have experienced the phenomenon of relieving or attempting to relieve chronic pain through lucid dreaming. Participants (N = 10) filled out the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS) and Plymouth Sensory Imagery Questionnaire (Psi-Q) using an online survey. Additionally, each participant completed a semi-structured interview to gather qualitative data about their subjective experience, as well as measure pain, expectation, and dream vividness using a Numeric Rating Scale-11 (NRS-11). A Wilcoxon signed rank test found a significant reduction in pain when comparing scores before the lucid dream experience (Mdn = 6.63) to after the lucid dream experience (Mdn = 1.25) (T = 45, z = -2.67, p = .004). Spearman's rho was used to test the relationship of the pain differential (i.e., pain before - pain after) and several variables: trait absorption, expectation, dream vividness, and mental imagery ability. None of these variables had a statistically significant relationship with the pain differential. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Five themes emerged: beliefs, expectations, demographics prior to experience, characteristics of the lucid dream, and positive outcomes. This study demonstrated evidence in support of using lucid dreams for chronic pain relief. Lucid dreaming abilities, such as remembering intentions and dream control, were found to be an integral component of many participants’ experiences. Future research should also look at the variable of expectation, as well as intention, positive affect, and insight.
... Lucid dreamers can utilize their dreams to practice and rehearse particular tasks, creative problem solve, ask dream characters to help them generate solutions, and overcome fears (de Macêdo et al., 2019;Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys & Daniels, 2010). For example, individuals who regularly have nightmares can use lucid dream treatment (LDT) to face their traumatic experiences, change the nightmare outcome, and therefore relieve their suffering (Gavie & Revonsuo, 2010;Spoormaker et al., 2003;Spoormaker & van den Bout, 2006;Zadra & Pihl, 1997). ...
... Lucid dreams provide an extremely vivid simulation on the environment in comparison to mental rehearsal purely in the waking or meditative state (Tholey, 1990). Therefore, lucid dreams can deliberately be used to practice skills and subsequently, skill enhancement that takes place inside the lucid dream is transferred to improve performance in the waking state (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;. Based on these findings, developing lucidity and this aspect of lucid dream practice provides an opportunity for people to develop lucidity as a tool to cope with intense negative emotions (Stumbrys & Erlacher, 2017a). ...
Article
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Lucid dreamers, who become aware within their dreams that they are dreaming, are able to use this state of consciousness for self-exploration and self-development, including the possibilities of therapeutic work. Preliminary evidence suggests that lucid dreaming may contribute to mental health. This explanatory sequential mixed methods study explored the relationship between lucid dreaming and depression . One hundred sixty-three participants, mostly lucid dreamers and many of whom had experienced depression, completed a survey investigating the relationship between lucid dreams and depression. Six survey participants then took part in in-depth qualitative interviews to elucidate how experienced lucid dreamers, who had been previously diagnosed with or prescribed medication for depression , utilized their lucid dreams to purposefully and practically access and alleviate the crux of their depression in the past . Both quantitative and qualitative data support the idea that lucid dream work may be an effective treatment for mental health issues, including clinical depression. Three major themes that emerged from the qualitative interviews – self-exploration, creativity and empowerment, spiritual and transpersonal – illustrate possible mechanisms of healing and transformation in the lucid dream state. Future studies should explore the potentials of lucid dreaming treatment for depression within a clinical or therapeutic programme.
... Česti su izvještaji u kojima sanjači cijele scene lucidnosti vide poput filma na zaslonu (11). Pri uvježbavanju određenih radnji podudaraju se obrasci aktivnosti određenih kortikalnih regija i fizioloških parametara u lucidnom i budnom stanju (11), što može objasniti rezultate istraživanja (15) koji potvrđuju da je uvježbavanje određene radnje jednako učinkovito u oba stanja. ...
... There are frequent reports in which dreamers see the whole scene of lucidity like a movie on a screen (11). When practicing specific actions, the patterns of activity of corresponding cortical regions and physiological parameters in lucid and awake states (11) coincide, which may explain the results of studies (15) which confirm that practicing certain actions is equally effective in both states. 55% of the population experience lucidity in a dream at least once in life and 23% experience it at least once a month (16). ...
... Brylowski, 1990;Spoormaker & van den Bout, 2006;Spoormaker, van den Bout, & Meijer, 2003;Zadra & Pihl, 1997), helping to reduce nightmare frequency and intensity. Lucid dreams can also be used for rehearsing motor skills and research supports that such practice is effective in improving subsequent performance in wakefulness (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2016). Further, some studies indicate that lucid dreams can be successfully applied for creative problem solving (Stumbrys & Daniels, 2010) or seeking spiritual experiences (Bogzaran, 1990;Esser, 2014). ...
... Training motor skills appears to be rarely used application (cf. Erlacher et al., 2011, although research supports the effectiveness of such training (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys et al., 2016). Therefore perhaps more publicity is needed to flag up such potentials of lucid dreaming, especially in specific populations where this is most applicable (e.g. ...
Article
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In lucid dreams the dreamers are aware that they are dreaming and can use this state for a variety of different purposes. In an online survey, 528 respondents, of whom 386 were lucid dreamers, were asked how often have they used different applications of lucid dreams lately and how did this influence their mood upon awakening. According to the reports, wish fulfilment was the most frequent application, followed by solving waking problems, overcoming fears/ nightmares, spiritual experiences, physical/mental healing, and training motor skills, with meditation being the least popular application. Younger participants, as well as men, were more likely to engage in wish fulfilment, whereas older and more experienced lucid dreamers more used their lucid dreams for inner work (solving waking problems, physical/ mental healing, meditation). Women were more likely to use their lucid dreams for overcoming fears/nightmares and healing. All applications influenced mood upon awakening positively to neutrally, with the most positive moods being after wish fulfilment, which helps to elucidate why it is the most popular application of lucid dreams. Future longitudinal studies should examine long-term effects of different lucid dream applications.
... Furthermore, athletes may receive practical gains from lucid dreaming experiences, an online survey found 21.3% of 301 frequent lucid dreamers report utilising their lucidity to practise waking skills (Schädlich & Erlacher, 2012). Exploratory research has also shown lucid dreaming practice may improve waking task performance (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2016). This evidence implies that actions performed within lucid dreams correspond to physiological arousal within the body, supporting the notion of some shared central neural structures between imagined, dreamed and executed motor actions . ...
... That 55% of the population has experienced at least one lucid dream in their lifetime suggests the capacity for lucid dreaming is widespread; an understanding of the underlying differences between these two groups may lead to many more individuals experiencing lucidity on a more frequent basis in the future. This will greatly benefit research and improve understanding by allowing larger samples for research studies looking into the experience of lucid dreaming and exploring its potential practical applications such as its use as a psychological tool for overcoming phobias (LaBerge & Rheingold, 1990), developing the ability to control and overcome nightmares (Spoormaker, van den Bout, & Meijer, 2003;Spoormaker & van den Bout, 2006;Zadra & Phil, 1997) or as a psychophysiological tool for the refinement of motor-skills (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys et al., 2016). ...
Article
We report a quality effects meta-analysis on studies from the period 1966–2016 measuring either (a) lucid dreaming prevalence (one or more lucid dreams in a lifetime); (b) frequent lucid dreaming (one or more lucid dreams in a month) or both. A quality effects meta-analysis allows for the minimisation of the influence of study methodological quality on overall model estimates. Following sensitivity analysis, a heterogeneous lucid dreaming prevalence data set of 34 studies yielded a mean estimate of 55%, 95% C. I. [49%, 62%] for which moderator analysis showed no systematic bias for suspected sources of variability. A heterogeneous lucid dreaming frequency data set of 25 studies yielded a mean estimate of 23%, 95% C. I. [20%, 25%], moderator analysis revealed no suspected sources of variability. These findings are consistent with earlier estimates of lucid dreaming prevalence and frequent lucid dreaming in the population but are based on more robust evidence.
... The lucid dreamer can then consciously steer and control some of the events or content of the dream (Snyder & Gackenbach, 1988), such as flight, transmuting the body, summoning characters, and changing scenes (Gackenbach & Bosveld, 1989;LaBerge, 1985). In addition to being a fascinating experience, lucid dreaming can be a useful application for the training of complex activities (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2016) and nightmare treatment (Brylowski, 1990;Zadra & Pihl, 1997). ...
Article
Lucid dreaming frequency varies strongly among individuals and, thus, research has focused on identifying what factors affect this phenomenon. The present study, an online survey (N = 2,492), focused on the relationship between the Big Five personality dimensions and lucid dreaming frequency. Additionally, the personality correlates of the age of the first lucid dream were investigated. In our sample, a small but substantial portion of individual differences concerning lucid dreaming frequency was explained by the Big Five personality factors. Openness to experiences correlated positively with lucid dreaming frequency, whereas the correlation was negative for agreeableness. The relationship between neuroticism and lucid dreaming frequency disappeared when nightmare frequency was controlled. Future researchers should examine the relationship of the Big Five factors with the attitudes toward and the contents of lucid dreams. Moreover, longitudinal studies should investigate the lucid dream socialization of children and the effect of age on the course of interest in lucid dreaming.
... There was a subsequent surge of research into such topics as the phenomenology (see LaBerge & DeGracia, 2000), psychophysiology (see Schredl & Erlacher, 2011a), and potential applications of lucid dreaming. Potential applications include treatment of nightmares (Holzinger, Klösch, & Saletu, 2015;Lancee, van den Bout, & Spoormaker, 2010;Spoormaker & van den Bout, 2006), improvement of physical skills and abilities through rehearsal in the lucid dream environment (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2016), creative problem solving (Stumbrys & Daniels, 2010), and research opportunities for exploring consciousness and mind-body relationships (see Hobson, 2009). However, research on lucid dreaming has been limited by a lack of effective and reliable lucid dream induction techniques. ...
Article
Full-text available
Lucid dreaming is a learnable skill and has a wide range of potential applications. However, research in this area has been limited by a lack of effective and reliable lucid dream induction techniques. The present study provides a thorough investigation into 3 of the most promising cognitive lucid dream induction techniques-reality testing, wake back to bed (WBTB), and the mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD) technique. A sample of 169 Australian participants completed a pretest questionnaire, provided baseline logbook data in Week 1, and practiced lucid dream induction techniques in Week 2. Results showed that the combination of reality testing, WBTB and the MILD technique was effective at inducing lucid dreams. Several factors that influenced the effectiveness of the MILD technique were identified, including general dream recall and the amount of time taken to fall asleep after finishing the technique. Recommendations for future research on lucid dream induction are provided.
... & Daniels, 2010) enhancing waking motor skills for athletes, musicians, dancers, and sports professionals(Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2016) or potentially as a form of motor-rehabilitation and curing nightmares(Spoormaker & Van den Bout, 2006;Spoormaker, Van den Bout, & Meijer, 2003;Zadra & Pihl, 1997). These promising avenues of inquiry will greatly benefit from access to larger samples of lucid dreaming participants. ...
Article
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This article reports an investigation of 2 proposed theories, the predispositional and experiential, regarding the association of personality variables to lucid dreaming incidence during a 12-week lucid dreaming induction program. The study found no differences between those who did and did not report lucid dreams during the program on baseline measures of field independence, locus of control or need for cognition. There was an observed significant change toward a field independent orientation between baseline and posttests for those successful at inducing a lucid dream; with no statistically significant differences for either Locus of Control or Need for Cognition. Results suggest that field independence may not be a predispositional characteristic for the successful induction of lucid dreaming, but an experiential result of having lucid dream experiences. The authors conclude that experiences within a dream state may have appreciable effects on waking cognition.
... Within the lucid dream the dreamer can control some of the events or content of the dream (LaBerge, 1985). Lucid dreaming can be a useful application for the training of skills (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2016) and help to cope with nightmares (Brylowski, 1990;Zadra & Pihl, 1997). ...
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Research that has focused on the relationship between the Big Five personality dimensions and lucid dreaming frequency has been restricted to student samples. The present study included adolescents and adults (N = 1375). i.e., the sample included a large range of ages. Lucid dreaming was more strongly related to openness to experiences compared to previous findings. The small but significant negative correlation between conscientiousness and lucid dreaming should be followed up by studies relating the Big Five personality factors to the contents of lucid dreams.
... Parte del interés actual por los sueños lúcidos se debe a que estos pueden favorecer el desarrollo del individuo, como demuestran varios estudios. Se ha encontrado, por ejemplo, que pueden facilitar el aprendizaje de habilidades deportivas complejas (Tholey, 1981); para mejorar la ejecución motora en vigilia después de practicar en el sueño lúcido (Erlacher y Schredl, 2010); para la resolución creativa de problemas (Stumbrys y Daniels, 2010); para reducir la ansiedad, aumentar la confianza y la mejora de la salud psíquica en general (LaBerge y Rheingold, 1990), o para superar pesadillas (Spoormaker y van den Bout, 2006). ...
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Resumen Introducción Los sueños lúcidos, como fenómeno particular de la consciencia en el sueño, es un campo de interés creciente en el ámbito científico y parece estar relacionado con la práctica de la meditación y el desarrollo de mindfulness. El objetivo es llevar a cabo una revisión de aquellos estudios que evidencien esta relación. Método Revisión de artículos científicos de la base de datos Pubmed, de cada uno de los campos de interés. También se recurrió a artículos publicados en la revista International Journal of Dream Research, y al análisis de las referencias bibliográficas de los artículos seleccionados. Resultados Se seleccionaron un total de 16 artículos con el criterio de poseer información sobre fundamentos neurológicos o psicológicos comunes a los campos de interés. Conclusiones Los datos muestran que existe relación entre mindfulness y lucidez en el sueño, aunque haría falta más investigación que permita concretar esta relación.
... 12; Erlacher and Schredl 2008). The participants of Erlacher and Schredl (2010) were trained in a simple task prior to sleep, i.e., tossing a coin twenty times into a cup positioned at a distance of 2 m. The coin tossing was repeated in the morning. ...
Chapter
As testing the functions of dreams directly is not possible, empirical dream research has focused on three areas providing indirect support for a relationship between dreaming and sleep-dependent memory consolidation: (1) Correlation between the activity of the sleeping brain and dreaming, (2) Effects of waking-life on dream content (continuity hypothesis), and (3) Effects of dreams on subsequent daytime behavior and performance. Findings indicate that dream content might be related to reactivation processes, with dream content reflecting learning in waking life, and a dream training effect on waking performance provided some support for the claim that dreaming is influenced by brain processes related to sleep dependent memory consolidation. The research in this area is, however, just at its beginning.
... Erlacher, 2007). Three quantitative studies demonstrated that enhancing athletic performance through LDP is possible: In two field studies lucid dreamers improved their performances in a coin-tossing task (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010) as well as a finger-tapping task (Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2016). Schädlich, Erlacher, and Schredl (2016) investigated LDP in a sleep laboratory study employing a dart throwing task: The dream reports revealed that experiences differed strongly concerning the number of distractions (e.g. by dream characters) experienced during LDP. ...
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A B S T R AC T In a lucid dream the dreamer is aware of the dream state and can carry out actions deliberately. Lucid dream practice (LDP) is the rehearsal of movements during lucid dreams and constitutes a specific form of mental practice (MP). Previous studies demonstrated that LDP can enhance physical performance. To gain deeper insight into LDP on a qualitative level, sixteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with lucid dreamers from different countries. Inductive content analysis revealed that many different sports and movements can be practiced in lucid dreams. LDP experiences were very realistic, including kinesthetic perception. Required equipment or sparring partners usually were available or could be created and adjusted by the athletes. Thirteen interviewees (81.3%) reported positive effects of LDP. In particular, 10 participants reported to have improved their physical performance through LDP, confirming findings of previous studies. Other positive effects were, for example, strengthened confidence, insights for physical practice (PP), improved flexibility, and positive emotions. The results also demonstrate the special possibilities of LDP like deliberate manipulation of practice conditions, speed, and perspective. Furthermore, problems occurring during LDP are described and how they can be dealt with. Based on the results, practical advice for interested athletes is provided. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates the great potential of LDP for sports practice. LDP could also be applied in other areas that involve motor learning, like rehabilitation, music, or surgery. The present study complements previous LDP findings and provides input and new ideas for future LDP studies. Furthermore, it is an important contribution to general MP research. Findings from LDP research-a small but growing field-should be incorporated into conceptual discussions on MP. Also, by extending LDP research, athletes and coaches could become more aware of this unique and effective method and could start to integrate it into sports practice.
... Based on qualitative data (N=6) Tholey (1981; demonstrated that motor skills can be learned and improved in lucid dreams. In a pilot field study Erlacher and Schredl (2010) showed that lucid dream practice can enhance performance in a coin tossing task. Erlacher, Stumbrys and Schredl, (2011) reported that within a sample of German athletes (n=840) 9% used lucid dreams to practice their motor skills. ...
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In a lucid dream the dreamer is aware of the dream state and can influence the dream content and events. The goal of this study was to investigate some applications of lucid dreaming. Our survey included 301 lucid dreamers who filled out an online questionnaire. The most frequent application (81.4%) was having fun, followed by changing a bad dream or nightmare into a pleasant one (63.8%), solving problems (29.9%), getting creative ideas or insights (27.6%) and practicing skills (21.3%). Women used lucid dreams significantly more often than men for both work on nightmares and problem solving. Our results show that lucid dreams have a great potential for improving one’s life in different ways. More research is needed to illuminate the possibilities of lucid dreaming, especially in the fields of nightmare treatment and practicing motor skills.
... Unfortunately, this result was not confirmed by a subsequent study using another procedural task: mirror tracing . A completely different approach was applied by Erlacher and Schredl (2010): Lucid dreamers were instructed to train for a coin-tossing task within their dreams, and those who successfully did this exhibited improved performance the next morning. ...
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This article argues that rapid eye movement (REM) dreaming is elaborative encoding for episodic memories. Elaborative encoding in REM can, at least partially, be understood through ancient art of memory (AAOM) principles: visualization, bizarre association, organization, narration, embodiment, and location. These principles render recent memories more distinctive through novel and meaningful association with emotionally salient, remote memories. The AAOM optimizes memory performance, suggesting that its principles may predict aspects of how episodic memory is configured in the brain. Integration and segregation are fundamental organizing principles in the cerebral cortex. Episodic memory networks interconnect profusely within the cortex, creating omnidirectional "landmark" junctions. Memories may be integrated at junctions but segregated along connecting network paths that meet at junctions. Episodic junctions may be instantiated during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep after hippocampal associational function during REM dreams. Hippocampal association involves relating, binding, and integrating episodic memories into a mnemonic compositional whole. This often bizarre, composite image has not been present to the senses; it is not "real" because it hyperassociates several memories. During REM sleep, on the phenomenological level, this composite image is experienced as a dream scene. A dream scene may be instantiated as omnidirectional neocortical junction and retained by the hippocampus as an index. On episodic memory retrieval, an external stimulus (or an internal representation) is matched by the hippocampus against its indices. One or more indices then reference the relevant neocortical junctions from which episodic memories can be retrieved. Episodic junctions reach a processing (rather than conscious) level during normal wake to enable retrieval. If this hypothesis is correct, the stuff of dreams is the stuff of memory.
... The underlying results also imply that, on the one hand, fewer applications of LD are considered possible than scientifi c studies have been able to show: Many of the 11 presented situations mirror scientifi c experiments conducted in the past years, e.g. practicing skills in LD (Erlacher and Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys et al., 2016), or communication between a sleeping, dreaming person and an experimenter (LaBerge, 1980;Hearne, 1978;Appel 2013). Therefore, high estimations for the latter type of situations would refl ect the current state of LD research. ...
Article
A Lucid dream (LD) is a dream in which the dreaming person knows that he or she is dreaming. Being neglected by scientific researchers and viewed as esoteric or paranormal for many decades, nowadays LD is an acknowledged research field, which also has practical clinical implications. However, the public's perception of LD has not yet been studied. This online study investigates the public's perception and evaluation of LD and its research with respect to eventual paranormal features. The underlying research question was whether the popular view reflects the change from scientific ignorance to scientific acceptance. 270 participants took part, 55 of which were members in LD internet forums. Main findings: 1. Lucid dreaming is generally viewed as a positive, non-paranormal phenomenon. Lucid dreaming forum members have an especially positive view. 2. LD research is accepted as being scientific and no longer seen as esoteric. 3. Regarding exceptionality, LD is classified as a phenomenon comparable to hypnosis, and more exceptional than normal dreaming and meditation, but less exceptional than paranormal abilities such as telepathy. 4. Applications of LD are estimated differently regarding their possibility and provability. Generally, fewer applications are evaluated as being possible than LD research has already been able to show. Several significant effects of demographic variables such as age on several dependent variables were found. The present findings show a generally positive view of the public on LD and its research and support the use of LD for scientific, personal or therapeutic purposes.
... Sleep research clearly supports that sleep is beneficial for memory (Axmacher & Rasch, 2017) and some studies (Klepel & Schredl, 2019;Wamsley & Stickgold, 2019;Wamsley, Tucker, Payne, Benavides, & Stickgold, 2010) indicate that dreaming might be related to sleep-dependent memory consolidation. Moreover, it has been shown that lucid dream training can enhance performance in subsequent waking life (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Schädlich, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2017;Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2016). Schädlich and Erlacher (2018) were able to show in a small (N = 5) qualitative study that musicians can use lucid dreams to facilitate guitar playing and enhance their confidence. ...
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The purpose of this paper is to review scientific studies of music dreams and also touch the area of creative music dreams, i.e., dreams inspiring new music. Different types of music dream categories will be defined. In large sample, the percentage of music dreams in relation to all remembered dreams ranges from 4% to 8%. The literature indicates that musicians tend to experience more music dreams than non-musicians. The positive correlation between musical activities in waking life and music dream percentage supports the continuity hypothesis of dreaming. Also in line with the continuity hypothesis are the findings that music dreams are more positively toned than dreams in general. As research regarding this topic is still in its infancy, there are several interesting topics for the future studies, e.g., incubating creative music dreams, stimulating the sleeper with music, or the relationship between music and sleep-dependent memory consolidation.
... Empirical tests have supported this notion of replay during dreaming to a limited extent (for reviews, see Smith, 2010;Wamsley and Stickgold, 2011) with several studies supporting a role for dreaming in memory improvement (Cipolli, Fagioli, Mazzetti, and Tuozzi, 2004;De Koninck, Christ, Hebert, and Rinfret, 1990;De Koninck, Christ, Rinfret, and Proulx, 1988;De Koninck, Prévost, and Lortie-Lussier, 1996;Dumel et al., 2015;Erlacher and Schredl, 2010;Fiss, Kremer, and Lichtman, 1977;Pantoja et al., 2009;Schredl and Erlacher, 2010;Wamsley, Tucker, Payne, Benavides, and Stickgold, 2010) and several others finding no such effect (Cipolli, Bolzani, Tuozzi, and Fagioli, 2001;Nguyen, Tucker, Stickgold, and Wamsley, 2013;Nielsen et al., 2015;Plailly, Villalba, Nicolas, and Ruby, 2016;Sabourin, Forest, Hebert, and De Koninck, 2006;Schredl and Erlacher, 2010;Wamsley, Perry, Djonlagic, Reaven, and Stickgold, 2010). To illustrate one positive finding, in a frequently cited study (Wamsley, Tucker, et al., 2010), participants learned to navigate a virtual maze on a computer screen and were tested following a 90-min period of either napping or wakefulness. ...
Article
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Both rapid eye movement (REM) sleep dreaming and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep spindles have been linked to processes of memory consolidation. However, relationships between the two phenomena have yet to be explored. In a heterogeneous sample of 53 healthy subjects who had participated in a memory consolidation protocol and who varied in their self-reported recall of dreams and nightmares, we assessed overnight polysomno-graphy, N2 sleep spindle density, REM dream word count, and retrospective estimates of how often they recall dreams, bad dreams (dysphoric dreams, no awakening), and nightmares (dysphoric dreams, with awakenings). Fast spindle density positively correlated with all measures of dream recall but was most robustly associated with bad dream recall and REM dream word count. Correlations with bad dream recall were particularly strong for spindles occurring in sleep cycles 2 and 3 and correlations with word count for cycles 1, 4, and 5. While slow spindle density showed opposite correlations with all of these measures, partialing out slow spindles attenuated, but did not eliminate, the fast spindle correlations. Results are largely consistent with the conclusion that fast sleep spindles are associated with a common trait factor that also influences dream recall. However, the results also raise the possibility that both spindles and dreaming are expressions of memory consolidation mechanisms, such as neural replay, that transcend sleep stage.
... LaBerge et al. (1981) and Fenwick et al. (1984) provided evidence for LD by letting participants demonstrate their lucid state during dream periods using predefined eye-movement signals. It was also found by Erlacher and Schredl (2010) that rehearsing in LD can enhance related performance in waking life. As a psychological phenomenon with a physiological basis, the objectivity of LD has been proved. ...
Article
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Dreams are usually characterized by primary consciousness, bizarreness and cognitive deficits, lacking metacognition. However, lucid dreaming (LD) is a type of consciousness state during which the dreamer is aware of the fact that he or she is dreaming, without leaving the sleeping state. Brain research has found that LD shares some common neural mechanisms with metacognition such as self-reflection. With a different metacognition level, the bizarreness of LD would also change. However, the difference in bizarreness between LD and non-LD was seldom explored, and individual differences were often neglected. In the present study, considering LD prevalence in Asia was rarely studied and related results in China and Japan were very different from each other, we first investigated the LD frequency of China in a standardized way. On that basis, we collected dreams of subjects who had relatively higher LD frequency and compared bizarreness density (BD) of LD and non-LD. Moreover, to explore the relationships of metacognition traits and BD, we also measured self-reflection and insight trait by Self-Reflection and Insight Scale. We found that 81.3% of subjects have experienced LD once or more, which is similar to findings in some western countries. Besides, BD was significantly lower in LD than in non-LD. Self-reflection and insight were inversely associated with dream bizarreness. These findings indicate that self-consciousness traits extend from waking to LD and non-LD state. As a particular consciousness state, LD may shed light on the research of consciousness and dream continuity. Future research on dream bizarreness is suggested to take dream types and metacognition differences into consideration.
... Examples include changing location and deliberately waking up (LaBerge and Rheingold, 1991;LaBerge and DeGracia, 2000;Love, 2013;Mota-Rolim et al., 2013). Lucid dreaming has many potential benefits and applications, such as treatment for nightmares (Spoormaker and Van Den Bout, 2006;Lancee et al., 2010;Holzinger et al., 2015), improvement of physical skills and abilities through dream rehearsal (Erlacher and Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys et al., 2016), creative problem solving (Stumbrys and Daniels, 2010), and research opportunities for exploring mind-body relationships and consciousness (see Hobson, 2009). However, to date the effects reported in most studies have been weak and inconsistent, and more research is needed into the applications of lucid dreaming (Baird et al., 2019;de Macêdo et al., 2019). ...
Article
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The International Lucid Dream Induction Study (ILDIS) investigated and compared the effectiveness of five different combinations of lucid dream induction techniques including reality testing (RT), Wake Back to Bed (WBTB), the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) technique, the Senses Initiated Lucid Dream (SSILD) technique, and a hybrid technique combining elements of both MILD and SSILD. Participants with an interest in lucid dreaming (N = 355) completed a pre-test questionnaire and then a baseline sleep and dream recall logbook for 1 week before practicing the lucid dream induction techniques for another week. Results indicated that the MILD technique and the SSILD technique were similarly effective for inducing lucid dreams. The hybrid technique showed no advantage over MILD or SSILD. Predictors of successful lucid dream induction included superior general dream recall and the ability to fall asleep within 10 min of completing the lucid dream induction techniques. Successful lucid dream induction had no adverse effect on sleep quality. Findings indicated that the techniques were effective regardless of baseline lucid dreaming frequency or prior experience with lucid dreaming techniques. Recommendations for further research on lucid dream induction techniques are provided.
... Identical areas of the brain are stimulated as one lucidly dreams a physical task, like clenching the fist, just as if one were performing the task in waking life (Dresler, M., et al, 2011). Moreover, rehearsing a skill or activity in a lucid dream, lucidly practicing so to speak, enhanced performance of that skill in waking hours following the dream practice more so than participants who mentally rehearsed the task during the day (Erlacher, D., and M. Schredl, 2010). ...
Article
Project Summary: This study is being done to test one aspect of how paying attention to one’s dreams may influence our waking lives. The idea was inspired by research linking the brain processes involved in long-term memory storage to qualities of dreaming, as well as the potential for learning in lucid dreams. It is hypothesized that the more conscious one is of one’s dreams and dream world, the better one will be at learning. In order to test this, the dreaming ability of 300 Cal Poly students will be analyzed via dream questionnaires with the purpose of seeing if any correlation exists between their variation in dreaming and their variation in grade point average (GPA). Dreaming will be assessed in terms of dream recall frequency and dream intensity. Data analysis will be done via three regression analyses, which will be made with respect to (1) dreaming intensity and GPA, (2) dream recall frequency and GPA, and (3) total dream score and GPA. Furthermore, an experimental group (n=25) of students will listen to a weekly dream education podcast as well as keep a daily dream journal for three quarters. A control group (n=25) will listen to weekly podcasts on random topics pertaining to dreams, but with no content about how to better improve their dreaming abilities and will be instructed to keep a journal about daily thoughts and occurrences. Both groups will retake the dream questionnaire and submit their new GPA at the end of each quarter, for a total duration of three quarters. Change in dreaming abilities as well as change in grade point average will be measured via one-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) for each group and each factor (GPA and total dream score). The experiment will cost $500 and will be completed in under a year on campus at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. The expected results will be used as evidence supporting the implementation of dreaming as a core subject in the nation’s school system.
... Sin embargo, se ha comprobado que los sueños lúcidos son más cercanos a los procesos perceptivos conscientes cuando pensamos en poder mover nuestros músculos, o cuando elaboramos una imagen mental de ello. (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stephen LaBerge, 2000;Stephen LaBerge & Zimbardo, 2000). ...
Thesis
During this research, called Prototypes and archetypes of the representation of sleep paralysis: an approach from art, we analyzed, as its title indicates, the different artistic prototypes and archetypes that have emerged around a neurological sleep disorder known as sleep paralysis. This parasomnia takes place during the transition from sleep to wakefulness, responding to common symptoms that cause great suffering and fear to those afflicted by it, primarily through visual sensory hallucinations. Due to the limited and scarce information on this sleep disorder in the field of artistic research, a medical approach has been followed in the first and second chapters, accompanied by a discussion of the relevant psychological aspects, which will enable a better understanding of the anthropological field that surrounds it. This allows us to enter in the third chapter, where the cultural evolution of this parasomnia in the anthropological context is investigated through the examination of the mythology surrounding the incubus and the succubus, both of which are figures that are frequently associated with sleep paralysis. Their respective interpretation and interiorization as real beings will provide, through the association of ideas and the collective imagination, different social behavioral values to people regarding their experience with sleep paralysis. In the fourth chapter, an exhaustive analysis of prototypes and archetypes arising from the artistic representation of sleep paralysis is presented, focusing on the study of the work The Nightmare (1781) by Henry Füssli. A categorization and methodological chronology of different works ranging from the 18th century to the present day is discovered, which allows us to understand and study their analogous corresponding representation in art. In the fifth chapter, it is provided a reflection On the artistic representation and interpretation of different concepts associated with sleep paralysis, such as identity, memory and the emotion of fear, which has forwarded our understanding of this sleep disorder. At the same time, a study specifically designed for this project involved the collection of testimonies of people who have experienced sleep paralysis, in order to study their visual patterns in hallucinations from their descriptions. In the sixth and last chapter, a new perspective on the representation of sleep paralysis is proposed through the creation of subjective visual works (based on the testimonies) using photographic techniques. The methodology used to undertake this research involved the study and analysis of ancient medical and cultural treatises, such as the Persian manuscript Hidayat by Akhawayni Bohkari from the 10th century, The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584) by Reginald Scot, the story The Night-Mare (1664) by Isbrand Van Diermerbroeck, the essay An essay on the incubus, or nightmare (1753) by John Bond and The Nightmare (1931) by Ernest Jones, among others. In additioninterviews were taken from contemporary artists who currently represent sleep paralysis very similar and were assembled in a compendium. Furthermore, an analytical and statistical study was also carried out, based on interviews of people who have suffered from this sleep disorder accompanied by a collection of written testimonies submitted through a web page created specifically for this artistic study. One of the main objectives was to develop a codified study of the myths and legends in different cultures and countries, and to understand their symbolic representation based on their popular imagery and the existing tradition in the category of the monstrous and the figure of the incubus in art. Specifically, we tracked the above mentioned work The Nightmare by Füssli, a work whose influence pertains to this day, being the most representative prototype and archetype of sleep paralysis. These research outputs will allow us to reflect on, to recreate and to question the existing representation of sleep paralysis in art until our days. The final objective is to approach the subjective representation of the experience of sleep paralysis, breaking with the prototype and archetype created over the years. To this end, new patterns of representation will be proposed through the author`s artistic creation based on the collected testimonies, in order to create a visual guide that serves as a means of understanding a society that has no prior experience with sleep paralysis. As a final conclusion, the interdisciplinary nature of this research has allowed us to understand the mythology and beliefs associated with sleep paralysis, which enables the identification and designation of possible prototypes and archetypes in the artistic representation of this parasomnia, marked by a powerful collective imagination. The artistic work presented here has created novel prototypes and archetypes of sleep paralysis, which greatly advances our understanding of this experience. As it is shown, this work is considerably better understood when is accompanied by the description of testimonies, as it connects a communication code between the text and the image. Nevertheless, despite the fact that a new proposal for the representation of sleep paralysis in art is emerging, the timeless value of the representation of Füssli’s The Nightmare is confirmed here. With this study, and with the resulting artistic works, we are able to approximate the experience of this parasomnia to a public that was unaware of it, which also reveals how the imagination operates on a collective and personal level, since it is built on each individual with components that are inherited culturally and transmitted and expressed through art.
... As a therapeutic approach, lucid dream therapy (LDT), i.e., training patients in induction techniques, has shown utility in the treatment of nightmares (e.g., Lancee et al., 2010;Holzinger et al., 2015;Macêdo et al., 2019), motor skills practice (Erlacher and Schredl, 2010;Schädlich et al., 2017), and treatment of traumatic stress (Soffer-Dudek et al., 2011). For the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although preliminary evidence was found for military veterans (Harb et al., 2016), LDT has not shown any beneficial effects for PTSD symptoms (Soffer-Dudek, 2020). ...
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Lucid dreaming, a specific phenomenon of dream consciousness, refers to the experience being aware that one is dreaming. The primary aim of this research was to validate a Spanish version of the Lucidity and Consciousness in Dreams scale (LuCiD). A secondary aim was to explore whether meditation experience and mindfulness trait were related to LuCiD scores. Data from 367 Spanish men (34.6%) and women (65.4%) who completed LuCiD, the Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) were examined. From the total sample, 40.3% indicated some experience with formal meditation (meditators), while 59.7% did not have any meditation experience (non-meditators). A random subsample of 101 participants, who completed LuCiD for a second time after a period of 10-15 days, was used for test-retest reliability analysis. The LuCiD scale comprises 28 items distributed across eight factors: insight, control, thought, realism, memory, dissociation, negative emotion, and positive emotion. Factor structure, reliability by both internal consistency and test-retest reliability, and construct and concurrent validity were tested. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) confirmed the original eight-factor model, showing goodness of fit in contrast to a single-factor model. Item 15 was deleted from the Dissociation factor as it performed poorly (i.e., skewness and kurtosis, non-normal distribution of responses, and corrected item-total correlation under 0.40). The scale showed adequate values of internal consistency (between α = 0.65 for Memory and α = 0.83 for Positive Emotion) and test-retest reliability by significant Pearson correlations (p < 0.001) for each factor. The scores of meditators were higher for the LuCiD scale Insight and Dissociation factors, in contrast to those of non-meditators. The Observing facet of mindfulness was positively associated with all LuCiD factors, except Realism and Positive Emotion, and the Acting with Awareness facet showed a negative correlation with the LuCiD factor Realism. Finally, positive and negative affects was associated with the LuCiD factors Positive Emotion and Negative Emotion. This study provides a valid and reliable measure for exploring lucidity and consciousness García-Campayo et al. Spanish Validation of LuCiD Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 2 October 2021 | Volume 12 | Article 742438 in dreams for a Spanish population, Moreover, the results suggest a relationship with meditation experience, mindfulness trait, and positive and negative affect.
... As they can also carry out pre-arranged eye signals in the dreams which can be measured by electrooculogram in the sleep laboratory, these types of dream reports can be verified . Interestingly, lucid dreaming might help to study the function of dreaming because Erlacher and Schredl (2010) found that practicing a simple motor task within a lucid dream enhances daytime performance. ...
Article
The ten commentaries to my discussion with J. Allan Hobson about the continuity and discontinuity between waking and dreaming (Hobson & Schredl, 2011) are very stimulating and I would like to thank all contributors. This reply will focus on four aspects: Defining continuity and discontinuity, how does the relationship between waking and dreaming work, possible functions of dreaming, and how to study the continuity (or lack of) between waking and dreaming empirically. Even though the question about possible functions is the most interesting one, I believe that much research is needed before this enigma can be solved. As dream research is such a small field, it is necessary that researchers discuss their theories openly and replicate each other’s findings, applying different methodological approaches for studying the same phenomena.
... Another possible explanation of the present findings is that frequent lucid dreaming experiences have a long-term impact on balance performance. Although more speculative, this possibility is supported by studies showing that practicing motor skills in lucid dreams can impact performance of the same skills in subsequent waking life [55][56][57]. But it is further possible that spontaneous experiences of controlled activities in dreams more generally, including in nonlucid dreams, have more general beneficial effects on postural stability when awake. ...
Article
Study Objectives Early research suggests that the vestibular system is implicated in lucid dreaming, e.g., frequent lucid dreamers outperform others on static balance tasks. Further, gravity-themed dreams, such as flying dreams, frequently accompany lucid dreaming. Nonetheless, studies are scarce. Methods We attempted to: 1) replicate previous findings using more sensitive static balance measures and 2) extend these findings by examining relationships with dreamed gravity imagery more generally. 131 participants (80 F; Mage=24.1±4.1yrs) estimated lucid dreaming frequency then completed a 5-day home log with ratings for dream lucidity awareness, control, and gravity sensations (flying, falling). They then performed balance tasks on a sensitive force plate, e.g., standing on one or both feet, with eyes open or closed. Center of pressure (CoP) Displacement and CoP Velocity on each trial measured postural stability. Results Findings partially support the claim of a vestibular contribution to lucid dreaming. Frequent lucid dreamers displayed better balance (lower CoP Velocity) than did other participants on some trials and lucid dreaming frequency was globally correlated with better balance (lower CoP Velocity). Lower CoP Velocity was related to flying sensations in men’s dreams and with more dream control in women’s dreams. However, body height—possibly due to its relationship to sex—and levels of sleepiness confound some of these effects. Conclusion While findings only provide a partial replication of previous work, they nonetheless support an emerging view that the vestibular system underlies basic attributes of bodily self-consciousness, such as feelings of self-agency and self-location, whether such consciousness occurs during wakefulness or dreaming.
... Besides that, all participants were able to perform the sport movements in their dreams, and all of them had the impression that their movements improved in both their dream and in waking state. In three follow-up studies we were able to demonstrate that lucid dream practice improves subsequent waking performance in a coin tossing task (Erlacher and Schredl, 2010), a finger tapping task (Stumbrys et al., 2016), and dart throwing (Schädlich et al., 2017). In a recent qualitative study, several amateur athletes reported in a semi-structured interview that they improve their skills during lucid dreams. ...
Article
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In a previous questionnaire study with German professional athletes, we showed that the prevalence of lucid dreaming in athletes is 57% and that about 5% of athletes use their lucid dreams to practice sport skills while asleep. The present study applied a Japanese translation of the same questionnaire to a Japanese sample of college athletes to explore cultural differences. We found that about 41% of Japanese athletes stated that they experienced a lucid dream at least once in their lives, 18% experienced them once a month or more frequently, while 3.6% of athletes used lucid dreams for their sport practice. The frequency of lucid dreams in Japanese athletes was lower than in the German athletes, indicating potential cultural differences. Yet lucid dream practice does appear to have a cross-cultural applicability.
... This might be explained by a possible link between dreams and sleep-dependent memory consolidation (Wamsley, Tucker, Payne, Benavides, & Stickgold, 2010). As proficient lucid dreamers are able to practice during dreaming and improving their waking-life performance (Erlacher & Schredl, 2010;Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2016), it would be interesting to study whether musicians can also improve their performance by practicing in lucid dreams. ...
Article
As expressed in anecdotal reports, dreams have provided inspiration to both classical and popular musicians. According to the continuity hypothesis, engaging in music activities in the daytime should be related to the occurrence of music dreams. One-hundred and 44 participants (mostly psychology students, music students, and choir members) were asked to complete questionnaires about music-related waking-life activities and music in dreams. As expected, the amount of time invested in music activities during the day is directly related to the percentage of music dreams, thereby confirming the continuity hypothesis. Also, composing music in waking-life is related to a higher frequency of dreams with new music. Due to possible recall biases regarding retrospective measures for eliciting the percentage of music dreams, future research should follow up this study by using dream diaries in larger samples.
Article
According to the Threat Simulation Theory (TST) dreaming has developed, and was maintained during evolution, because its function of rehearsing threats is essential for survival. The present study analyzed 1612 diary dreams reported by 425 participants (mainly psychology students). The study results indicate that threats play an important role in dreams and, thus, support the idea that dreaming might have a function of rehearsing problematic or threatening situations. Comparing the present results to previous findings shows a considerably large variability regarding the number of threats per dream, the proportion of minor threats, and the reality of threats. As neuroticism and openness to experience were related to the number of threats per dreams, future research should investigate inter-individual differences in waking life which might help explain the variability regarding the dream threat characteristics.
Thesis
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The purpose of the present investigation was to explore the potentials for motor learning in a special state of consciousness – so called lucid dreams (dreams in which the dreamers are aware that they are dreaming): its prevalence among athletes, facilitating methods and effectiveness. The contents of this dissertation are structured in the following way. The first chapter introduces the concept of mental practice in sports, reviews the evidence for its effectiveness and presents main theories explaining its effects. Further, the empirical evidence showing the correspondence between imagined and executed actions is discussed, which supports the theoretical view of a functional equivalence between covert and overt motor actions. The second chapter presents the basics of human sleep and the relation of sleep to memory consolidation, especially in terms of procedural (motor) memory. It also introduces the basics of dreams and dream research. The third chapter presents the phenomenon of lucid dreaming, its incidence and frequency rates, underlying physiology and psychology. The fourth chapter, the core of the present investigation, focuses on the application of lucid dreams in sports and, specifically, in motor learning. Anecdotal accounts and previous research is discussed and the present empirical work is introduced. The first study (Paper 1) surveyed the frequency of lucid dreaming and lucid dream practice in athletes. In the second study (Paper 2), a systematic review was conducted to examine the empirical evidence for all different methods for lucid dream induction that have been suggested in the literature. Then a sleep laboratory study followed to test one of the prospective methods suggested in the literature but not yet examined – an induction of lucid dreams via transcranial brain stimulation (Paper 3). Lastly, an online study was carried out in which the effectiveness of motor practice was compared to actual physical practice and mental practice in wakefulness (Paper 4). Finally, the last chapter provides an overall discussion of the findings and directions for future research.
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Lucid dreams are defined as dreams in which the dreamers are aware of the fact that they are dreaming as dreams continue. It has been ~12 years since the last review of the efficiency of lucid dream induction techniques was conducted. Hence, the present study aimed to review the lucid dream induction techniques published in the past decade. The second aim was to propose a modified classification for the existing lucid dream induction techniques, including cognitive techniques, external stimulation, substance intervention, and cortical stimulation. The third aim was to assess the methodological quality of the studies included in the review. It was hypothesised that, comparing with the studies included in the last review, the studies included in the present review had better overall methodological quality. A total of 19 peer‐reviewed studies were included and analysed in the present review, from which 14 lucid dream induction techniques were identified. The results indicated that the mnemonic induction of lucid dream technique was the most effective for inducing lucid dreams. Moreover, two new techniques, the senses‐initiated lucid dream technique and galantamine intervention, might also be competitive candidates for lucid dream induction but further replications are needed. As hypothesised, the overall methodological quality of the studies included in the present review was higher than that of the studies included the previous review. In all, 17 studies had moderate methodological quality, whereas only three studies had poor methodological quality.
Article
Introduction Le rêve lucide (RL) se définit comme un rêve dans lequel le sujet est conscient de rêver [1]. La capacité du rêveur lucide à rester conscient durant cette phase de sommeil lui assure la possibilité de manipuler librement le contenu de son rêve. Il est actuellement admis que le RL peut s’apprendre bien qu’aucune technique d’induction ne semble supérieure aux autres [2]. En revanche, la question de savoir si son utilisation présente des bénéfices pour la santé reste entière. L’objectif de ce travail est de savoir si le rêve lucide possède un potentiel thérapeutique pouvant être utile au kinésithérapeute. Matériel, population et méthode Une revue de la littérature a été conduite dans les bases de données Medline, Embase, IngentaConnect, et ScienceDirect en incluant des études jusqu’en aout 2016 et en recensant les utilisations du RL en tant que moyen thérapeutique ou d’amélioration de la performance physique ou mentale. Seules les études contrôlées randomisées utilisant le RL isolément à d’autres techniques étaient incluses à cette recherche. Résultats Deux essais utilisant le RL pour traiter des cauchemars récurrents [3,4], deux autres étudiant l’amélioration des performances motrices [5,6] et un l’amélioration de la performance mentale [7] ont été identifiés par notre revue. La faible qualité méthodologique de ces essais n’a pas permis de tirer des conclusions quant à l’efficacité du RL en tant que moyen thérapeutique ou d’amélioration des performances physiques ou mentales. Conclusion ou discussion Pour l’heure, il n’est pas possible de se prononcer sur l’intérêt de l’utilisation du RL en rééducation. Cependant, la littérature exponentielle concernant les bénéfices du recours à des techniques de rééducation fonctionnant sur des principes proches comme l’imagerie motrice ou la réalité virtuelle [8,9] pourrait faire du RL un outil thérapeutique prometteur pour l’avenir.
Article
During dreaming, we experience a wake-like hallucinatory reality, however with restricted reflective abilities: in the face of a bizarre dream environment, we do not realize that we are actually dreaming. In contrast, during the rare phenomenon of lucid dreaming, the dreamer gains insight into the current state of mind while staying asleep. This metacognitive insight often enables the dreamer to control own dream actions and the course of the dream narrative. Lucid dreaming allows for radically new methodological and theoretical approaches and has led to new insights in diverse scientific disciplines beyond classical sleep and dream research, including neuroscience, psychotherapy, philosophy, art, and sports sciences. Here, we review past research and the current knowledge on lucid dreaming. We present insights into the scientific work in a sleep laboratory and describe how lucid dreams can be induced through methodologies from diverse academic backgrounds including psychology, electrical engineering and pharmacology.
Thesis
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In sports practice a well-established method is mental practice which is, for example, applied in elite sports to intensify practice and to offer additional practice sessions when opportunities for physical practice are limited (Erlacher, 2007). It is also used on other areas, such as surgery and music. There is a special way of mentally rehearsing movements without physical activity: in our dreams (Stumbrys, 2014). In so called lucid dreams, the dreamer is consciously aware that he or she is dreaming and can thus decide to carry out actions deliberately (Schredl & Erlacher, 2004). In a survey by Erlacher, Stumbrys, and Schredl (2011–2012) it was shown that within a German sample 9% of all athletes who had lucid dreams used the lucid dream state to practice motor skills, for most of them with a positive impact on physical performance. Furthermore, anecdotal examples and previous qualitative and quantitative research has demonstrated that practicing movements in lucid dreams is possible and could possibly even improve performance in waking life for (overview see e.g. Stumbrys, 2014). However, the effectiveness of lucid dream practice had not yet been studies in a controlled sleep laboratory setting. The aim of this investigation was to further explore the effectiveness of lucid dream practice, and to derive practical implications for athletes. A particular goal was to assess the effectiveness of lucid dream practice using signal verified lucid dreams in a sleep laboratory. Furthermore, an extensive qualitative interview study was intended to explore the potential as well as phenomenal experience and difficulties of lucid dream practice. A similar study was planned for musicians to investigate if lucid dream practice can also be applied in this area. Since a requirement for lucid dream practice is to actually achieve lucidity in the dream state, another goal of this investigation was to test two ways of lucid dream induction by external stimulation. The first chapter of this dissertation gives an introduction into mental practice, including evidence that mental practice can improve physical performance in sport and other areas, such as music education. The second chapter first provides some information on sleep and dreams, followed by characteristics and applications of lucid dreams. Chapter three addresses lucid dream induction. The attached book chapter includes a detailed description and evaluation of induction techniques and discusses research problems. Then a study on lucid dream induction through visual and tactile stimulation is presented (Paper 1). Chapter four contains the most important contributions of this investigation: After introducing lucid dream practice, a sleep laboratory study is outlined which investigated the effectiveness of lucid dream practice using a dart throwing task (Paper 2). Then an extensive qualitative study is presented in which 16 athletes were interviewed about their experiences with lucid dream practice (Paper 3), followed by a smaller pilot study in which the potential of lucid dream practice for musicians was explored (Paper 4). Finally, in the last chapter the findings of all studies are summarized and discussed, deriving implications for both sports practice and future research.
Chapter
Lucid dreams are defined as dreams in which the dreamer knows that she/he is dreaming. This fascinating state of mind is relatively rare but there is a variety of validated induction methods to increase lucid dream frequency. For the dreamer lucid dreams are fun (e.g., flying) and helpful (coping with nightmares or training motor skills). For the researcher, lucid dreaming is fascinating because skilled lucid dreamers can produce signals by moving their eyes in a specific pattern and the recording machine can measure these movements. For example, the dreamer can signal becoming lucid, then count to ten (or taking ten steps), and signal again. The researcher can check the recoding to know how long counting to ten took in the dream. In an fMRI-EEG study, a lucid dreamer did hand clenching in the dream and activity in the motor cortex was found; a sophisticated way to demonstrate the body-mind relationship during sleep.
Chapter
Everybody is dreaming every night; so does dreaming have a function? Although a variety of hypotheses have been put forward, the question regarding the function of dreaming is still unanswered. One reason for that is that studying the function of dreaming empirically—without having to rely on recalled dreams reported in the waking state—is a very difficult task. In view of the findings regarding sleep-dependent memory consolidation, it is hypothesized that dreaming might play a role in this function of sleep or at least reflect some of these processes.
Chapter
In diesem Kapitel soll das Techniktraining im Klartraum näher erläutert werden. Das Klartraumtraining ist das planmäßig wiederholte Ausführen einer sportlichen Handlung mit dem erlebten „Traum-Körper“ in einem Klartraum, mit dem Ziel Bewegungsläufe einzuüben. Es stellt keine tradierte Trainingsmethode dar, jedoch zeigen anekdotische Berichte, Fragebogenstudien, qualitative Studien und experimentelle Untersuchungen, dass sich durch ein Training im Klartraum Bewegungsabläufe für das Wachleben verbessern lassen. Die Wirkungsweise wird dabei mit der Simulationstheorie erklärt, in der kognitive Bewegungsausführungen als eine Simulation der tatsächlichen Bewegung verstanden werden. Für das Klarträumen lässt sich hierfür auf verschiedenen Ebenen Hinweise finden, die dafürsprechen, dass Bewegungen im Traum eine Simulation darstellen. Die bisherigen Befunde sind somit recht vielversprechend, wodurch sich einige konkrete Empfehlung für die Sportpraxis ableiten lassen
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One challenge in lucid dream research executed in a laboratory setting is the reliable induction of lucid dreams. A possible way to solve this issue is the combination of already known and effective induction techniques (Stumbrys, Erlacher, Schädlich, & Schredl, 2012). The present study combines the wake-up-back-to-bed sleep protocol (WBTB) with reality testing and acoustic stimulation by music. The following question was posed: would repeating the same music presented during the waking dream work session during the subsequent REM sleep increase the chance of a lucid dream experience. In total 21 participants spent a single night in the sleep lab. The whole procedure induced in 3 participants a lucid dream (14.3%), however none of those lucid dreams were verified by LRLR eye signal. The success rate of a combination of auditory stimulation with reality testing thus lies below the success rate of other induction tech-niques. The incorporation of music as a theme was found in 9 (19.6%) out of 69 dream reports which is in accordance with previously reported incorporation rates. Beside the music presentation, other methodological adjustments were made (e.g., shortening of the first part of the night to 4.5 h), which will be discussed and hopefully help further research to increase lucid dream induction rate.
Article
Sleep facilitates memory consolidation through offline reactivations of memory traces. Dreaming may play a role in memory improvement and may reflect these memory reactivations. To experimentally address this question, we used targeted memory reactivation (TMR), i.e., application, during sleep, of a stimulus that was previously associated with learning, to assess whether it influences task-related dream imagery. Specifically, we asked if TMR-induced or task-dream reactivations in either slow-wave (SWS) or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep benefit whole-body procedural learning. Healthy participants completed a virtual reality (VR) flying task prior to and following a morning nap or rest period during which task-associated tones were readministered in either SWS, REM sleep, wake or not at all. Findings indicate that learning benefits most from TMR when applied in REM sleep compared to a Control-sleep group. REM dreams that reactivated kinesthetic elements of the VR task (e.g., flying, driving) were also associated with higher improvement on the task than were dreams that reactivated visual elements (e.g., landscapes) or that had no reactivations. TMR did not itself influence dream content but its effects on performance were greater when coexisting with task-dream reactivations in REM sleep. Findings may help explain the mechanistic relationships between dream and memory reactivations and may contribute to the development of sleep-based methods to optimize complex skill learning.
Article
Is it ever wrong to cheat in a dream? It has been argued that the conjunction of reasonable claims about dreams with Evaluational Internalism (the view that moral evaluation is determined by factors ‘internal’ to agency, such as intentions) entails a positive answer. This implausible result seemingly provides reason to favour an alternative theory of moral evaluation. I here argue that a wide range of Evaluational Externalist views (which base moral evaluation on factors ‘external’ to agency, such as harms produced) are similarly committed to morality in dreams. I end by identifying implications for theorising about dreams and morality.
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„Luzide Träume“ oder auch „Klarträume“ bezeichnen Träume, in denen der Träumende weiß, dass er träumt. Noch bis in die jüngste Vergangenheit galt ein solcher mentaler Zustand bei einem Gros der Philosophen als unmöglich. Dabei folgten viele der Analyse des Wittgenstein-Schülers Norman Malcolm, der das sog. Traumargument aus Gründen verwarf, die auch die Existenz von Klarträumen ausschließen. Mittlerweile ist durch eine Reihe empirischer Befunde Malcolms Position kaum mehr haltbar. Jedoch erweist sich sein Ansatz als nicht gänzlich obsolet, sondern für Traumforschung und Epistemologie weiterhin instruktiv. Zudem eröffnet ein Blick in die Philosophiegeschichte – zu dem Psychologen Nietzsche – Positionen, die das Phänomen des Klartraums in größeren Zusammenhängen erfassen und ihm dadurch neue Facetten abgewinnen.
Chapter
Das wissenschaftliche Interesse an Träumen wird vorwiegend von zwei Strömungen gespeist: zum einen ist dies die neurowissenschaftliche Seite, die sich für die physiologischen Vorgänge während des Schlafens und des Träumens interessiert, und zum anderen die akademische Psychologie, die sich Trauminhalten und anderen Traumvariablen wie Traumerinnerungshäufigkeit, Umgang mit Träumen usw.
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Lucid dream and nightmare frequencies vary greatly between individuals and reliable instruments are needed to assess these differences. The present study aimed to examine the reliability of eight-point scales for measuring lucid dream and nightmare frequencies. The scales were administered twice (with a four-week interval) to 93 sport students. A re-test reliability r=.89 (p<.001) for the lucid dream frequency was found and for the nightmare frequency r=.75 (p<.001). Both eight-point scales appear to be reliable measures for assessing individual differences in lucid dream and nightmare frequencies.
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The relationship between time in dreams and real time has intrigued scientists for centuries. The question if actions in dreams take the same time as in wakefulness can be tested by using lucid dreams where the dreamer is able to mark time intervals with prearranged eye movements that can be objectively identified in EOG recordings. Previous research showed an equivalence of time for counting in lucid dreams and in wakefulness (LaBerge, 1985; Erlacher and Schredl, 2004), but Erlacher and Schredl (2004) found that performing squats required about 40% more time in lucid dreams than in the waking state. To find out if the task modality, the task length, or the task complexity results in prolonged times in lucid dreams, an experiment with three different conditions was conducted. In the first condition, five proficient lucid dreamers spent one to three non-consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory. Participants counted to 10, 20, and 30 in wakefulness and in their lucid dreams. Lucidity and task intervals were time stamped with left-right-left-right eye movements. The same procedure was used for the second condition where eight lucid dreamers had to walk 10, 20, or 30 steps. In the third condition, eight lucid dreamers performed a gymnastics routine, which in the waking state lasted the same time as walking 10 steps. Again, we found that performing a motor task in a lucid dream requires more time than in wakefulness. Longer durations in the dream state were present for all three tasks, but significant differences were found only for the tasks with motor activity (walking and gymnastics). However, no difference was found for relative times (no disproportional time effects) and a more complex motor task did not result in more prolonged times. Longer durations in lucid dreams might be related to the lack of muscular feedback or slower neural processing during REM sleep. Future studies should explore factors that might be associated with prolonged durations.
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While the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory has been widely used, there have been few studies assessing its factorial validity. There is evidence that the original instructions and response options are difficult to understand. Using simplified instructions and response options, the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory was administered on a sample of 1514 participants using an online questionnaire. In accordance with previous research, a model of the 10-item inventory had poor fit for the data. This study also detected model misspecification in the previously-proposed 7-item modification. A 4-item Edinburgh Handedness Inventory - Short Form had good model fit with items modelled as both continuous and ordinal. Despite its brevity, it showed very good reliability, factor score determinacy, and correlation with scores on the 10-item inventory. By eliminating items that were modelled with considerable measurement error, the short form alleviates the concern of the 10-item inventory over-categorising mixed handers. Evidence was found for factorial invariance across level of education, age groups, and regions (USA and Australia/New Zealand). There generally appeared to be invariance across genders for the 4-item inventory. The proposed Edinburgh Handedness Inventory - Short Form measures a single handedness factor with an inventory that has brief and simple instructions and a small number of items.
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Mental practice is the cognitive rehearsal of a motor task in the absence of overt physical movement. A different and rather unknown kind of mental rehearsal is practice in lucid dreams. Within lucid dreams, the dreamer is able to control the ongoing dream content and for athletes it is possible to use the dream state to deliberately practice sport skills while physically asleep. In this study, 840 German athletes from various sports were asked about their experience with lucid dreams. About 57% of the athletes stated that they experienced a lucid dream at least once in their lives, 24% are frequent lucid dreamers (having one or more lucid dreams per month) and 9% of the lucid dreamers used this dream state to practice sport skills and the majority of those athletes had the impression that the rehearsal within the lucid dream improved their performance in wakefulness. The prevalence rate of lucid dreaming in professional athletes is similar as in general population, however the rough estimate of the percentage of lucid dreams compared to all dreams in athletes was found to be nearly twice as high as in general population (14.5% vs. 7.5%). The possibilities of lucid dream practice for professional sports will be discussed.
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A longstanding research question in the sport psychology literature has been whether a given amount of mental practice prior to performing a motor skill will enhance one's subsequent performance. The research literature, however, has not provided any clear-cut answers to this question and this has prompted the present, more comprehensive review of existing research using the meta-analytic strategy proposed by Glass (1977). From the 60 studies yielding 146 effect sizes the overall average effect size was .48, which suggests, as did Richardson (1967a), that mentally practicing a motor skill influences performance somewhat better than no practice at all. Effect sizes were also compared on a number of variables thought to moderate the effects of mental practice. Results from these comparisons indicated that studies employing cognitive tasks had larger average effect sizes than motor or strength tasks and that published studies had larger average effect sizes than unpublished studies. These findings are discus...
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Mental practice is the cognitive rehearsal of a task prior to performance. Although most researchers contend that mental practice is an effective means of enhancing performance, a clear consensus is precluded because (a) mental practice is often defined so loosely as to include almost any type of mental preparation and (b) empirical results are inconclusive. A meta-analysis of the literature on mental practice was conducted to determine the effect of mental practice on performance and to identify conditions under which mental practice is most effective. Results indicated that mental practice has a positive and significant effect on performance, and the effectiveness of mental practice was moderated by the type of task, the retention interval between practice and performance, and the length or duration of the mental practice intervention.
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To investigate the neural correlates of lucid dreaming. Parallel EEG/fMRI recordings of night sleep. Sleep laboratory and fMRI facilities. Four experienced lucid dreamers. N/A. Out of 4 participants, one subject had 2 episodes of verified lucid REM sleep of sufficient length to be analyzed by fMRI. During lucid dreaming the bilateral precuneus, cuneus, parietal lobules, and prefrontal and occipito-temporal cortices activated strongly as compared with non-lucid REM sleep. In line with recent EEG data, lucid dreaming was associated with a reactivation of areas which are normally deactivated during REM sleep. This pattern of activity can explain the recovery of reflective cognitive capabilities that are the hallmark of lucid dreaming.
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Our neurobiological knowledge about human dream organisation results primarily from the study of Rapid-Eye-Movement (REM) sleep. In humans, functional neuroimaging techniques, using H215O or 18FDG positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), allowed the mapping of the regional cerebral activity during this sleep stage, which is dominated by the activation of the pons, the thalamus, temporo-occipital and limbic/paralimbic areas (including the amygdala, the hippocampal formation and the anterior cingulate cortex), along with a relative quiescence of dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal cortices. These results are in agreement with animal neurophysiological data about REM-sleep generation. They may also explain several hallmarks of dreaming experience that are found in dream reports after awakening from REM sleep. For instance, amygdala activation is consistent with the predominance of threat-related emotions. Temporo-occipital activation is in keeping with visual dream imagery. Prefrontal deactivation is suggestive of the lack of orientational stability, the alteration in time perception, the delusional belief of being awake, the decrease in volitional control and the fragmented episodic memory recall. Inferior parietal deactivation may contribute to the lack of distinction between first- and third-person perspectives. Conversely, specific cognitive and emotional features in individual dreams could be used to predict some aspects of the regional functional organisation of the human brain during dreams, and also inspire the design of future dedicated neuroimaging studies by offering constraints to the analysis and interpretation of sleep data acquired just before dream reports. Therefore, we suggest that future functional brain imaging in humans should be combined with a careful neuropsychological analysis of dream reports, and especially their categorisation based on the presence of specific bizarre features, to test hypotheses about the brain correlates of dreams. As little is known about the physiology of non-REM sleep dreaming, future neuroimaging studies should also attempt to link dreaming experiences during this sleep stage with patterns of regional cerebral activity. Overall, although many questions arising from the study of oneiric behaviour remain unanswered, recent neurophysiological and neuroimaging research about REM sleep offers an increasingly detailed picture of the cerebral correlates of dreaming that might also provide new insights into dream functions.
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Sleep is known to enhance performance following physical practice (PP) of a new sequence of movements. Apart from a pilot study, it is still unknown whether a similar sleep-dependent consolidation effect can be observed following motor imagery (MI) and whether this mnemonic process is related to MI speed. Counterbalanced within-subject design. The laboratory. Thirty-two participants. PP, real-time MI, fast MI, and NoSleep (control) groups. Subjects practiced an explicitly known sequence of finger movements, and were assigned to PP, real-time MI, or fast MI, in which they intentionally imagined the sequence at a faster pace. A NoSleep group subjected to real-time MI, but without any intervening sleep, was also tested. Performance was evaluated before practice, as well as prior to, and after a night of sleep or a similar time interval during the daytime. Compared with the NoSleep group, the results revealed offline gains in performance after sleep in the PP, real-time MI, and fast MI groups. There was no correlation between a measure of underestimation of the time to imagine the motor sequence and the actual speed gains after sleep, neither between the ease/difficulty to form mental images and performance gains. These results provide evidence that sleep contributes to the consolidation of motor sequence learning acquired through MI and further suggests that offline delayed gains are not related to the MI content per se. They extend our previous findings and strongly confirm that performance enhancement following MI is sleep dependent.
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G*Power is a free power analysis program for a variety of statistical tests. We present extensions and improvements of the version introduced by Faul, Erdfelder, Lang, and Buchner (2007) in the domain of correlation and regression analyses. In the new version, we have added procedures to analyze the power of tests based on (1) single-sample tetrachoric correlations, (2) comparisons of dependent correlations, (3) bivariate linear regression, (4) multiple linear regression based on the random predictor model, (5) logistic regression, and (6) Poisson regression. We describe these new features and provide a brief introduction to their scope and handling.
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This paper addresses the correlation of dreamed and actual actions. This issue is related to the theory of neural simulation of action. The simulation theory postulates that, in general, covert actions are actual actions relying on the same brain regions, except for the fact that they are not executed. By reviewing studies conducted in the field of dream and lucid dream research on REM sleep it will be shown that correlations between dreamed and actual actions can be found for central nervous activity, autonomic responses and time aspects. Recent findings from research on lucid dreaming and motor learning further support the notion that actions in dreams are represented on higher cognitive levels - equivalent to actual movements - and therefore share, to some extent, the same central structures. The reviewed findings will be discussed and future directions will be given.
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This is an electronic version of an article published in the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology© 2001 Copyright Taylor & Francis; Journal of Applied Sports Psychology is available online at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/10413200.asp This paper supports the contention that the brain stores memories in the form of a central representation that is accessed by both physical preparation and execution and, more importantly, by motor imagery associated with this preparation and execution. Considerable evidence in support of shared central and vegetative structures suggests that sport psychologists should consider more closely aspects of the performer's responses to the physical skill when providing imagery interventions and not rely on "traditional," more clinically orientated, methods of delivery. Many texts provide a schedule of factors and techniques for psychologists, athletes, and coaches to consider but with a limited theoretical explanation of why these factors are the crucial concerns. We, therefore, propose an evidence-based, 7-point checklist that includes: physical, environmental, task, timing, learning, emotional, and perspective elements of imagery delivery highlighting the minimum requirement areas in which sport psychologists should monitor the equivalence to the physical task in order to enhance the efficacy of their practice.
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The goal of the study was to seek physiological correlates of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a dissociated state with aspects of waking and dreaming combined in a way so as to suggest a specific alteration in brain physiology for which we now present preliminary but intriguing evidence. We show that the unusual combination of hallucinatory dream activity and wake-like reflective awareness and agentive control experienced in lucid dreams is paralleled by significant changes in electrophysiology. 19-channel EEG was recorded on up to 5 nights for each participant. Lucid episodes occurred as a result of pre-sleep autosuggestion. Sleep laboratory of the Neurological Clinic, Frankfurt University. Six student volunteers who had been trained to become lucid and to signal lucidity through a pattern of horizontal eye movements. Results show lucid dreaming to have REM-like power in frequency bands delta and theta, and higher-than-REM activity in the gamma band, the between-states-difference peaking around 40 Hz. Power in the 40 Hz band is strongest in the frontal and frontolateral region. Overall coherence levels are similar in waking and lucid dreaming and significantly higher than in REM sleep, throughout the entire frequency spectrum analyzed. Regarding specific frequency bands, waking is characterized by high coherence in alpha, and lucid dreaming by increased delta and theta band coherence. In lucid dreaming, coherence is largest in frontolateral and frontal areas. Our data show that lucid dreaming constitutes a hybrid state of consciousness with definable and measurable differences from waking and from REM sleep, particularly in frontal areas.
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This paper addresses the issue of the functional correlates of motor imagery, using mental chronometry, monitoring the autonomic responses and measuring cerebral blood flow in humans. The timing of mentally simulated actions closely mimic actual movement times. Autonomic responses during motor imagery parallel the autonomic responses to actual exercise. Cerebral blood flow increases are observed in the motor cortices involved in the programming of actual movement (i.e. premotor cortex, anterior cingulate, inferior parietal lobule and cerebellum). These three sources of data provide converging support for the hypothesis that imagined and executed actions share, to some extent, the same central structures.
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Behavioral and neurophysiological studies suggest that skill learning can be mediated by discrete, experience-driven changes within specific neural representations subserving the performance of the trained task. We have shown that a few minutes of daily practice on a sequential finger opposition task induced large, incremental performance gains over a few weeks of training. These gains did not generalize to the contralateral hand nor to a matched sequence of identical component movements, suggesting that a lateralized representation of the learned sequence of movements evolved through practice. This interpretation was supported by functional MRI data showing that a more extensive representation of the trained sequence emerged in primary motor cortex after 3 weeks of training. The imaging data, however, also indicated important changes occurring in primary motor cortex during the initial scanning sessions, which we proposed may reflect the setting up of a task-specific motor processing routine. Here we provide behavioral and functional MRI data on experience-dependent changes induced by a limited amount of repetitions within the first imaging session. We show that this limited training experience can be sufficient to trigger performance gains that require time to become evident. We propose that skilled motor performance is acquired in several stages: "fast" learning, an initial, within-session improvement phase, followed by a period of consolidation of several hours duration, and then "slow" learning, consisting of delayed, incremental gains in performance emerging after continued practice. This time course may reflect basic mechanisms of neuronal plasticity in the adult brain that subserve the acquisition and retention of many different skills.
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Converging evidence and new research methodologies from across the neurosciences permit the neuroscientific study of the role of sleep in off-line memory reprocessing, as well as the nature and function of dreaming. Evidence supports a role for sleep in the consolidation of an array of learning and memory tasks. In addition, new methodologies allow the experimental manipulation of dream content at sleep onset, permitting an objective and scientific study of this dream formation and a renewed search for the possible functions of dreaming and the biological processes subserving it.
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Investigations into the process of mentally practicing a perceptual motor skill began about 30 years ago. However, there has been a marked increase in the amount of interest in this area of research in the last 10 years. This is the first of two articles, which together aim to present a critical review of work so far completed, possible explanations of the phenomenon, and an indication of the directions that future research might take. In this article the evidence for improvement under conditions of mental practice is reviewed.
Article
Lucid dreaming has been said to be within the capability of all individuals (LaBerge, 1985). Based on analyses of the incidence of this dream experience among university students and among persons with an expressed interest in dreaming, a majority have reported experiencing at least one lucid dream during their lifetime, and about 20% have reported experiencing lucid dreams with relative frequency. Our goal in this chapter is to describe and to integrate what has been learned through research about individuals who experience lucid dreams. To this end we will present data derived from the study of four separable but not unrelated functional domains for which subject differences associated with lucid dreaming, or lucidity, have been found. These functional domains are (1) oculomotor/equilibratory; (2) visual/imaginal; (3) intellectual/creative, and (4) personal/interpersonal. The extent of individual differences in lucid dreaming and the methods by which these differences have been investigated will also be discussed. Because methodology is an integral part of research into individual differences, methodological considerations will first be presented.
Chapter
With these words, anthropologist Castaneda describes a technique for developing the art of dreaming. By focusing attention on the objects of one’s dreams, according to the Yaqui shaman Don Juan, one can learn to “awaken” within the dream, thereby transcending the limited world of the senses. Similar accounts of attaining “waking” consciousness within the dream state and exerting willful control over dream events are sprinkled throughout ancient philosophical and religious treatises (Chang, 1977; de Becker, 1968; Evans-Wentz, 1967). These writings describe a state of expanded dream awareness remarkably similar to what we now call “lucid dreaming.”
Article
Lucid dreaming is a learnable, but difficult skill. Consequently, we have sought methods for helping dreamers to realize that they are dreaming by means of external cues applied during REM sleep, which if incorporated into dreams, can remind dreamers that they are dreaming. Here we report on an experiment testing the validity and effectiveness of a portable computerized biofeedback device (DreamLight®) designed to deliver light cues during REM sleep. The 14 subjects used DreamLights on 4 to 24 nights. They were unaware that the DreamLights were specially programmed to deliver cues only on alternate nights. Eleven subjects reported 32 lucid dreams, 22 from nights with light cues, 10 from nights without cues. All lucid dreams scored (by judges blind to DreamLight condition) as being "cued" by the DreamLight’s stimuli occurred on nights when the DreamLight was actually delivering cues. Subjects reported seeing in their dreams what they believed to be DreamLight cues significantly more often on light cue nights (73 total) compared to nights without light cues (9). The conclusion is that cueing with sensory stimuli by the DreamLight appears to increase a subject’s probability of having lucid dreams, and that most of the resulting lucid dreams are due to the specific effect of light cues rather than general "placebo" factors.
Book
Ch. 1. Introduction : the power of imagination -- Ch. 2. Definitions : what is imagery? -- Ch. 3. Theories : how does imagery work? -- Ch. 4. Imagery-ability and imagery-use assessment -- Ch. 5. Imagery research -- Ch. 6. Imagery perspectives -- Ch. 7. Psychophysiological research on imagery -- Ch. 8. Strategies for applying imagery -- Ch. 9. Uses for imagery -- Ch. 10. Technical aids to imagery -- Ch. 11. Injury rehabilitation and imagery -- Ch. 12. Exercise and imagery -- Ch. 13. Future directions in research and practice<br /
Article
Jeannerod (2001) hypothesized that action execution, imagery, and observation are functionally equivalent. This led to the major prediction that these motor states are based on the same action-specific and even effector-specific motor representations. The present study examined whether hand and foot movements are represented in a somatotopic manner during action execution, imagery, and action observation. The experiment contained ten conditions: three execution conditions, three imagery conditions, three observation conditions, and one baseline condition. In the nine experimental conditions, participants had to execute, observe, or imagine right-hand extension/flexion movements or right-foot extension/flexion movements. The fMRI results showed a somatotopic organization within the contralateral premotor and primary motor cortex during motor imagery and motor execution. However, there was no clear somatotopic organization of action observation in the given regions of interest within the contralateral hemisphere, although observation of these movements activated these areas significantly.
Motor imagery (MI) is the cognitive rehearsal of an action without overt motor execution. Among the prerequisites that are important in developing MI training programs, the timing of imagined movements has received a growing body of attention over the last two decades. Nowadays, researchers frequently measure the temporal congruence between actual and MI times, and the difficulty in preserving the temporal features of the actual movement during MI has often been taken as imagery impairment. Interestingly, some data provided evidence that real-time imagery is not the only way to improve performance, while others demonstrated that voluntarily changing the timing of MI can alter the subsequent actual movement speed. The purpose of this review is to provide a complete overview of the variables both being affected and influencing the timing of MI. Differences and similarities between actual and MI times are examined, while the importance of real-time MI and the determination of the factors that may lead athletes to under- or overestimate the actual time during MI are discussed. Finally, practical applications, limits, and future directions regarding measurements of MI times are considered.
Article
Previous studies have demonstrated intriguing psychophysiological correspondences when lucid dreamers carried out specific tasks during lucid dreams (e.g., eye movements and EMG activities). But only a few studies have investigated cardiovascular changes during dreamed physical activities. This study tests the hypothesis that physical activity (performing squats) carried out in a lucid dream increases cardiovascular parameters in the sleeping body. Therefore, 5 proficient lucid dreamers experienced with the eye-signaling method during lucidity spent 2 to 4 nonconsecutive nights in a sleep laboratory. Instructed to carry out specific tasks (counting and performing squats) while lucid dreaming, the participants reported becoming lucid and signaling in 11 REM periods recorded. Fourteen complete lucid dream tasks were verified by eye signaling. The results showed a statistically significant increase of heart rate between the preexercise and exercise periods and the postexercise period. The results for respiration rate were less clear. Even though respiration rate during the exercise period was higher than during the pre- and postexercise period, statistical significance was only found for the second comparison. Overall, the results support the hypothesis that lucidly dreamed motor action causes increases at the level of peripheral effectors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In a single participant physiological responses to dreamed motor performance in REM lucid dreams (LD) were studied. Electroencephalographic (EEG) alpha power over motor areas (C3, Cz, C4) has been recorded while the participant performed specific motor tasks (hand clenching vs. counting) in a LD. The lucid dreamer marked those dream events by pre-arranged eye movement patterns evident in the recorded electrooculogram (EOG). Results showed that EEG alpha power over bilateral motor areas decreased while the lucid dreamer executed left or right hand clenching in contrast to dream counting, which supports the hypothesis that motor performance during lucid dreaming involves the same cortical areas as during waking performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
39 male college students learned 2 novel perceptual motor tasks differing in demand across a cognitive–motor continuum, under conditions of physical practice (PP), mental practice (MP), or no practice (NP). On each task, the PP group was given 12 actual trials; the MP group received 1 actual, 9 mental, then 2 actual trials; and the NP group received 1 actual trial, 10 min rest, then 2 actual trials. Results show no difference in learning between MP and NP groups on the predominantly motor task, with the PP group significantly superior to both. On the predominantly cognitive task, however, the MP group performed as well as the PP group, and both were significantly superior to the NP group. Two additional questions concerning the influences of imaging ability and relative frequency of mental practice rendered equivocal results. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Lucid dreaming provides a test case for theories of dreaming. For example, whether or not “loss of self-reflective awareness” is characteristic of dreaming, it is not necessary to dreaming. The fact that lucid dreamers can remember to perform predetermined actions and signal to the laboratory allows them to mark the exact time of particular dream events, allowing experiments to establish precise correlations between physiology and subjective reports, and enabling the methodical testing of hypotheses. [Hobson et al.; Solms]
Article
This study was based on a survey of a representative sample of 1000 Austrians who were questioned about their sleep and dream behavior. About two-thirds of the respondents reported that they generally recalled at least one dream per month. Dream recall frequency decreased with advancing age, but did not differ between men and women. Fifty-five percent of the respondents characterized the affective content of their dreams: 29% reported neutral, 20% positive, and 6% negative dreams. Four percent of the sample reported suffering from nightmares. These respondents more frequently reported snoring, interrupted sleep, daytime somnolence, anxiety and nervousness, depression, high dream recall, recurrent dreams, and dreaming in color. Twenty-six percent of the total sample reported that sometimes they realized during their dreams that they were dreaming. These respondents more frequently reported family problems, high dream recall, positive dream content, recurrent dreams, dreaming in color, and nightmares.
Article
This paper reviews studies on neurophysiological and behavioral methods used to evaluate motor imagery accuracy. These methods can be used when performed in the field and are based on recordings of peripheral indices such as autonomic nervous system or electromyographic activities, mental chronometry and psychological tests. Providing physiological signs that correlate to these types of mental processes may be considered an objective approach for motor imagery analysis. However, although autonomic nervous system activity recording has been shown to match motor imagery in real time, to evaluate its accuracy qualitatively and the individual ability to form mental images, the relationship between physiological responses and mental processes remains an inference. Moreover, electromyographic recordings may be associated with postural control data, but due to inconsistent results, they remain insufficient to solely evaluate motor imagery accuracy. Other techniques traditionally used in psychology and cognitive psychology are questionnaires, "debriefing" with subjects and mental chronometry. Although such methods lead to interesting results, there remains an important part of subjectivity as subjects perform an auto-evaluation of motor imagery accuracy. Similarly, mental chronometry gives information on the ability to preserve temporal organization of movement but does not allow the evaluation of the vividness of mental images. Thus, several methods should be combined to analyze motor imagery accuracy in greater detail. Neurophysiological recordings cannot therefore be considered an alternative but rather a complementary technique to behavioral and psychological methods. The advantages and inconvenient of each technique and the hypotheses that could be tested are discussed.
In 33 adults, discrete periods of rapid eye movement potentials were recorded without exception during each of 126 nights of undisturbed sleep. These periods were invariably concomitant with a characteristic EEG pattern, stage 1.Composite histograms revealed that the mean EEG, eye movement incidence, and body movement incidence underwent regular cyclic variations throughout the night with the peaks of eye and body movement coinciding with the lightest phase of the EEG cycles. A further analysis indicated that body movement, after rising to a peak, dropped sharply at the onset of rapid eye movements and rebounded abruptly as the eye movements ceased.Records from a large number of nights in single individuals indicated that some could maintain a very striking regularity in their sleep pattern from night to night.The stage 1 EEG at the onset of sleep was never associated with rapid eye movements and was also characterized by a lower auditory threshold than the later periods of stage 1. No dreams were recalled after awakenings during the sleep onset stage 1, only hypnagogic reveries.
Article
Motor imagery is viewed as a window to cognitive motor processes and particularly to motor control. Mental simulation theory [Jeannerod, M., 2001. Neural simulation of action: a unifying mechanism for motor cognition. NeuroImage 14, 103–109] stresses that cognitive motor processes such as motor imagery and action observation share the same representations as motor execution. This article presents an overview of motor imagery studies in cognitive psychology and neuroscience that support and extend predictions from mental simulation theory. In general, behavioral data as well as fMRI and TMS data demonstrate that motor areas in the brain play an important role in motor imagery. After discussing results on a close overlap between mental and actual performance durations, the review focuses specifically on studies reporting an activation of primary motor cortex during motor imagery. This focus is extended to studies on motor imagery in patients. Motor imagery is also analyzed in more applied fields such as mental training procedures in patients and athletes. These findings support the notion that mental training procedures can be applied as a therapeutic tool in rehabilitation and in applications for power training.
Article
The term lucid dream designates a dream in which the dreamer is––while dreaming––aware that she/he is dreaming. Within an unselected student sample, 82% of the participants reported the occurrence of at least one lucid dream. In this sample, lucid dreaming frequency was not associated with the Big Five personality factors and, thus, theories linking lucid dreaming with introversion or well-being, that is, low neuroticism scores have not been supported. However, substantial but small correlations have been found for two openness facts (“fantasy”, “ideas”) and for dimensions which are associated with the openness to experience factor: Thin boundaries, Absorption and Imagination. Since these correlations are similar to corresponding correlations to dream recall frequency and the relationships between lucid dreaming frequency and these personality dimensions are mediated by dream recall frequency, it might be concluded that the direct relationship between lucid dreaming frequency and personality is rather small. Other variables such as meditation experience, field independence on a perceptual level, performance of the vestibular system should be included in future models explaining interindividual differences in lucid dreaming frequency. Nightmare frequency was moderately associated with lucid dreaming frequency. Although partialling out dream recall frequency reduced the magnitude of the correlation, the still significant partial correlation supports the reports of lucid dreamers that nightmares can trigger lucidity. Controlled studies investigating the effect of training the technique of lucid dreaming on nightmare frequency have not yet been carried out.
Article
This paper concerns how motor actions are neurally represented and coded. Action planning and motor preparation can be studied using a specific type of representational activity, motor imagery. A close functional equivalence between motor imagery and motor preparation is suggested by the positive effects of imagining movements on motor learning, the similarity between the neural structures involved, and the similar physiological correlates observed in both imaging and preparing. The content of motor representations can be inferred from motor images at a macroscopic level, based on global aspects of the action (the duration and amount of effort involved) and the motor rules and constraints which predict the spatial path and kinematics of movements. A more microscopic neural account calls for a representation of object-oriented action. Object attributes are processed in different neural pathways depending on the kind of task the subject is performing. During object-oriented action, a pragmatic representation is activated in which object affordances are transformed into specific motor schemas (independently of other tasks such as object recognition). Animal as well as human clinical data implicate the posterior parietal and premotor cortical areas in schema instantiation. A mechanism is proposed that is able to encode the desired goal of the action and is applicable to different levels of representational organization.
Article
Since the discovery of the close association between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and dreaming, much effort has been devoted to link physiological signatures of REM sleep to the contents of associated dreams [1-4]. Due to the impossibility of experimentally controlling spontaneous dream activity, however, a direct demonstration of dream contents by neuroimaging methods is lacking. By combining brain imaging with polysomnography and exploiting the state of "lucid dreaming," we show here that a predefined motor task performed during dreaming elicits neuronal activation in the sensorimotor cortex. In lucid dreams, the subject is aware of the dreaming state and capable of performing predefined actions while all standard polysomnographic criteria of REM sleep are fulfilled [5, 6]. Using eye signals as temporal markers, neural activity measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was related to dreamed hand movements during lucid REM sleep. Though preliminary, we provide first evidence that specific contents of REM-associated dreaming can be visualized by neuroimaging.
Article
Lucid dreams occur when a person is aware that he is dreaming while he is dreaming. In a representative sample of German adults (N = 919), 51% of the participants reported that they had experienced a lucid dream at least once. Lucid dream recall was significantly higher in women and negatively correlated with age. However, these effects might be explained by the frequency of dream recall, as there was a correlation of .57 between frequency of dream recall and frequency of lucid dreams. Other sociodemographic variables like education, marital status, or monthly income were not related to lucid dream frequency. Given the relatively high prevalence of lucid dreaming reported in the present study, research on lucid dreams might be pursued in the sleep laboratory to expand the knowledge about sleep, dreaming, and consciousness processes in general.
Article
The study of lucid dreams is a very sophisticated method to explore the ongoing dream from a first person perspective. The present study explores the ability of lucid dreamers to recall previously learned words in their dreams. For this field study 12 lucid dreamers finished the experimental protocol in a home setting. The results indicate that lucid dreamers are able to recall about 5 out of 7 previously memorised words in their dreams. The recall rate showed a high variation from none to all words. Taking into account that four of the participants couldn’t finish the task within the dream the recall rate in the lucid dream seems to be rather high. To control for confounding factors it is suggested to conduct in the future sleep laboratory studies. It also will be promising to study the impact of a lucid dream rehearsal in order to find out if this might be a new method for active learning during the night.
Article
In der vorliegenden Arbeit wird untersucht, inwiefern motorische Lernprozesse durch ein Training innerhalb luzider Träume angeregt werden können. Luzide Träume sind Träume, in denen sich der Träumende seines Zustands bewusst ist und damit Einfluss auf das Traumgeschehen nehmen kann. Das luzide Träumen ist grundsätzlich ein Phänomen des Schlafs, d.h., dass das Training im luziden Traum während des Schlafs stattfindet und somit den kognitiven Strategien im sportlichen Training zugewiesen werden kann. Innerhalb der Arbeit werden Parallelen zwischen dem Training im luziden Traum und dem mentalen Training bzw. der Bewegungsvorstellung herausgearbeitet. Die Theorie der neuronalen Simulation bietet aufgrund zahlreicher empirischer Befunde eine Grundlage, um die Äquivalenz zwischen tatsächlichen und vorgestellten Bewegungen zu beschreiben. Weiterhin werden die für das Verständnis notwendigen Grundlagen des luziden Träumens geliefert (Definition, Häufigkeit, Einflussfaktoren, physiologische Grundlagen, etc.) und Bezüge zwischen der Schlafforschung bzw. Traumforschung und der Sportwissenschaft dargestellt. In einer Reihe von Studien werden grundlagenbezogene, effektorientierte sowie anwendungsbezogene Implikationen des Trainings im luziden Traum untersucht. In den grundlagenbezogenen Studien wird gezeigt, dass Zusammenhänge zwischen zentralnervösen, peripher-physiologischen (z.B. Herzrate) sowie zeitlichen Parametern und Aktivitäten im luziden Traum bestehen. In den effektorientierten Studien wird nachgewiesen, dass das gezielte Üben einer motorischen Fertigkeit im luziden Traum möglich ist. Darüber hinaus bieten die Studien erste Hinweise dafür, dass das Training im luziden Traum zu motorischen Lerneffekten führt. In den anwendungsbezogenen Studien wird gezeigt, dass das luzide Träumen bereits von Sporttreibenden für die Leistungsverbesserung eingesetzt wird. Dies wird anhand von Einzelfällen und zwei Befragungen im Feld verdeutlicht. Zusammenfassend eröffnen die Ergebnisse der vorliegenden Arbeit verschiedene Möglichkeiten für die Sportpraxis als auch für die Sporttheorie und erweisen sich als ein fruchtbares Gebiet für die Sportwissenschaft. In the present doctoral thesis the possibility of motor learning in lucid dreams is examined. The term lucid dream designates a dream in which the dreamer is – while dreaming – aware that she/he is dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a phenomena of sleep and therefore, practice in lucid dreams happens during sleep. Within this doctoral thesis parallels between practice in lucid dreams and mental practice respectively mental imagery will be presented. The theory of neural simulation offers on the basis of various empirical findings a framework for a central nervous equivalence between actual and mental simulated actions. Furthermore general information about lucid dreaming (definition, prevalence, psychological factors, etc.) and relations between sleep research respectively dream research and sport science will be given. In a series of experiments different aspects about practice in lucid dreams were examined. The sleep laboratory studies focus on the equivalence between dreamed and actual executed motor actions: measuring central nervous activity, monitoring autonomic response and using mental chronometry. In the experimental studies it was shown that it is possible to practice different motor tasks in lucid dreams. Furthermore, preliminary findings suggest that the practice in lucid dreams enhances performance also during actual execution. The questionnaire studies showed that practice in lucid dreams is known and used in sport practice among amateur and professional athletes. To summarize, the results of the present doctoral theses provide different opportunities for the practical field of sport and sport theory.