There are differences in brain waves between people who recall dreams and those who don’t
2013-08-16 0:00

By Bob Yirka | Medical XPress

Researchers at Lyon Neuroscience Research Center and University Lyon in France, have found that people who regularly recall their dreams have different alpha brain wave patterns than do people who rarely recall their dreams. They have published a paper describing their research in Frontiers in Consciousness Research.

Despite hundreds of years of study, scientists still know very little about why people dream, how it comes about or why some recall their dreams quite vividly while others rarely remember them at all. To find out if there are any measurable differences between groups of people who recall their dreams and those that don’t, the researchers in this latest effort enlisted the assistance of 36 young volunteers—half of whom were described as high recallers (those that remember their dreams almost every night) and half whom were described as low recallers (those that remember their dreams just once or twice a month). Each was connected to an EEG machine and given headphones to wear while they slept. As they did so, the researchers monitored their brain waves, but added a stimulus as well. Each of the volunteers had their first name spoken to them while they were sleeping to see how their brains reacted. To provide an example to compare against, each was also monitored while hearing their name spoken to them while wide awake.

In studying the data, the researchers found that both groups responded when their names were called when they were sleeping, but the high recallers responded more. Quite unexpectedly, the same group also showed brain wave spikes when hearing their name spoken when wide awake. The team also found that the high recallers spent more time awake on average during their sleep cycle than did low recallers (30 minutes compared to 15).


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