Schizophrenia is a chronic psychotic disorder with unknown etiology that causes cognitive impairment, affecting thinking, behavior, social function, sleep and dream content. This study considered the dream content of patients with schizophrenia, siblings of patients with schizophrenia, patients with psychiatric diagnoses other than schizophrenia, and a group of healthy controls. The aim of this study was to compare the dream content of patients with schizophrenia with dream content of individuals with other mental disorders, first degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia, and community controls.
Seventy-two patients were selected and placed in 4 groups. The first group consisted of 18 inpatients with schizophrenia whose medications were stable for at least four weeks; the second group consisted of 16 nonpsychotic mentally ill inpatients; the third group consisted of 18 individuals who were siblings of patients with schizophrenia; and the fourth group consisted of 20 healthy individuals in the community with no family history of mental or somatic disorders. The four groups were matched by age and gender. A 14-item dream content questionnaire was administered for all the participants, and the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS) was also administered for the two groups of hospitalized patients.
Results showed that there were significant differences in dream content among groups included friends acquaintances, females and colorful components. No significant differences were found between the positive and negative subscales of PANSS and any of the dream questionnaire subscales.
Our results suggest that there were a few changes in the dream content of the patients with schizophrenia compare to other groups.
Dream; Psychopathology; Schizophrenia
The dream is a unique psychodynamically informative instrument for evaluating the subjective correlates of brain activity during REM sleep. These include feelings, percepts, memories, wishes, fantasies, impulses, conflicts, and defenses, as well as images of self and others. Dream analysis can be used in a variety of clinical settings to assist in diagnostic assessment, psychodynamic formulation, evaluation of clinical change, and the management of medically ill patients. Dreams may serve as the initial indicators of transference, resistance, impending crisis, acting-out, conflict resolution, and decision-making. A clinically functional categorization of dreams can facilitate an understanding of psychopathology, psychodynamics, personality structure, and various components of the psychotherapeutic process. Examples of different types of dreams are provided to illustrate their relevance and use in various clinical situations.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy; REM Sleep; Dreams
Recent studies in sleep and dreaming have described an activation of emotional and reward systems, as well as the processing of internal information during these states. Specifically, increased activity in the amygdala and across mesolimbic dopaminergic regions during REM sleep is likely to promote the consolidation of memory traces with high emotional/motivational value. Moreover, coordinated hippocampal-striatal replay during NREM sleep may contribute to the selective strengthening of memories for important events. In this review, we suggest that, via the activation of emotional/motivational circuits, sleep and dreaming may offer a neurobehavioral substrate for the offline reprocessing of emotions, associative learning, and exploratory behaviors, resulting in improved memory organization, waking emotion regulation, social skills, and creativity. Dysregulation of such motivational/emotional processes due to sleep disturbances (e.g., insomnia, sleep deprivation) would predispose to reward-related disorders, such as mood disorders, increased risk-taking and compulsive behaviors, and may have major health implications, especially in vulnerable populations.
sleep; dreaming; emotion; memory; learning; reward system; creativity
Limb amputation is followed, in approximately 90% of patients, by “phantom limb” sensations during wakefulness. When amputated patients dream, however, the phantom limb may be present all the time, part of the time, intermittently or not at all. Such dreaming experiences in amputees have usually been obtained only retrospectively in the morning and, moreover, dreaming is normally associated with muscular atonia so the motor counterpart of the phantom limb experience cannot be observed directly. REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD), in which muscle atonia is absent during REM sleep and patients act out their dreams, allows a more direct analysis of the “phantom limb” phenomena and their modifications during sleep.
Even when we are ostensibly doing “nothing”—as during states of rest, sleep, and reverie—the brain continues to process information. In resting wakefulness, the mind generates thoughts, plans for the future, and imagines fictitious scenarios. In sleep, when the demands of sensory input are reduced, our experience turns to the thoughts and images we call “dreaming.” Far from being a meaningless distraction, the content of these subjective experiences provides an important and unique source of information about the activities of the resting mind and brain. In both wakefulness and sleep, spontaneous experience combines recent and remote memory fragments into novel scenarios. These conscious experiences may reflect the consolidation of recent memory into long-term storage, an adaptive process that functions to extract general knowledge about the world and adaptively respond to future events. Recent examples from psychology and neuroscience demonstrate that the use of subjective report can provide clues to the function(s) of rest and sleep.
sleep; consciousness; dreaming; mentation; memory; cognitive neuroscience; default network
Dreams are a most remarkable experiment in psychology and neuroscience, conducted every night in every sleeping person. They show that our brain, disconnected from the environment, can generate by itself an entire world of conscious experiences. Content analysis and developmental studies have furthered our understanding of dream phenomenology. In parallel, brain lesion studies, functional imaging, and neurophysiology have advanced our knowledge of the neural basis of dreaming. It is now possible to start integrating these two strands of research in order to address some fundamental questions that dreams pose for cognitive neuroscience: how conscious experiences in sleep relate to underlying brain activity; why the dreamer is largely disconnected from the environment; and whether dreaming is more closely related to mental imagery or to perception.
Are dreams subjective experiences during sleep? Is it like something to dream, or is it only like something to remember dreams after awakening? Specifically, can dream reports be trusted to reveal what it is like to dream, and should they count as evidence for saying that dreams are conscious experiences at all? The goal of this article is to investigate the relationship between dreaming, dream reporting and subjective experience during sleep. I discuss different variants of philosophical skepticism about dream reporting and argue that they all fail. Consequently, skeptical doubts about the trustworthiness of dream reports are misguided, and for systematic reasons. I suggest an alternative, anti-skeptical account of the trustworthiness of dream reports. On this view, dream reports, when gathered under ideal reporting conditions and according to the principle of temporal proximity, are trustworthy (or transparent) with respect to conscious experience during sleep. The transparency assumption has the status of a methodologically necessary default assumption and is theoretically justified because it provides the best explanation of dream reporting. At the same time, it inherits important insights from the discussed variants of skepticism about dream reporting, suggesting that the careful consideration of these skeptical arguments ultimately leads to a positive account of why and under which conditions dream reports can and should be trusted. In this way, moderate distrust can be fruitfully combined with anti-skepticism about dream reporting. Several perspectives for future dream research and for the comparative study of dreaming and waking experience are suggested.
dreaming; subjective experience; dream reports; first-person reports; philosophy of mind; scientific dream research; skepticism; inference to the best explanation
This study investigates evidence, from dream reports, for memory consolidation during sleep. It is well-known that events and memories from waking life can be incorporated into dreams. These incorporations can be a literal replication of what occurred in waking life, or, more often, they can be partial or indirect. Two types of temporal relationship have been found to characterize the time of occurrence of a daytime event and the reappearance or incorporation of its features in a dream. These temporal relationships are referred to as the day-residue or immediate incorporation effect, where there is the reappearance of features from events occurring on the immediately preceding day, and the dream-lag effect, where there is the reappearance of features from events occurring 5–7 days prior to the dream. Previous work on the dream-lag effect has used spontaneous home recalled dream reports, which can be from Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM) and from non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREM). This study addresses whether the dream-lag effect occurs only for REM sleep dreams, or for both REM and NREM stage 2 (N2) dreams. 20 participants kept a daily diary for over a week before sleeping in the sleep laboratory for 2 nights. REM and N2 dreams collected in the laboratory were transcribed and each participant rated the level of correspondence between every dream report and every diary record. The dream-lag effect was found for REM but not N2 dreams. Further analysis indicated that this result was not due to N2 dream reports being shorter, in terms of number of words, than the REM dream reports. These results provide evidence for a 7-day sleep-dependent non-linear memory consolidation process that is specific to REM sleep, and accord with proposals for the importance of REM sleep to emotional memory consolidation.
► We present a theoretical review of sleep with a special focus on pontine-geniculate-occipital waves and what they tell us about sleep and consciousness. ► We review the nature and purpose of sleep in terms of protoconsciousness and predictive coding, using the free energy principle. ► By combining these theoretical perspectives, we discover answers to some fundamental questions: such as why is homeothermy suspended during sleep? Why is sleep necessary? Why are we not surprised by our dreams? What is the role of synaptic regression in sleep? ► In brief, we show that the brain can optimize itself during sleep by minimizing the statistical complexity of its model of the waking world. ► The implicit optimization processes are remarkably consistent with the known neurobiology of sleep and provide testable predictions about its functional anatomy.
This paper presents a theoretical review of rapid eye movement sleep with a special focus on pontine-geniculate-occipital waves and what they might tell us about the functional anatomy of sleep and consciousness. In particular, we review established ideas about the nature and purpose of sleep in terms of protoconsciousness and free energy minimization. By combining these theoretical perspectives, we discover answers to some fundamental questions about sleep: for example, why is homeothermy suspended during sleep? Why is sleep necessary? Why are we not surprised by our dreams? What is the role of synaptic regression in sleep? The imperatives for sleep that emerge also allow us to speculate about the functional role of PGO waves and make some empirical predictions that can, in principle, be tested using recent advances in the modeling of electrophysiological data.
AIM, activation, input-gating and modulation; REM, rapid eye movement; PGO, pontine-geniculate-occipital; LGB, lateral geniculate body; Sleep; Consciousness; Prediction; Free energy; Neuronal coding; Rapid eye movement sleep; Pontine-geniculate-occipital waves; Neuromodulation
Conventional wisdom has long held that the twitches of sleeping infants and adults are by-products of a dreaming brain. With the discovery of active (or REM) sleep in the 1950s and the recognition soon thereafter that active sleep is characterized by inhibition of motor outflow, researchers elaborated on conventional wisdom and concluded that sleep-related twitches are epiphenomena that result from incomplete blockade of dream-related cortical activity. This view persists despite the fact that twitching is unaffected in infants and adults when the cortex is disconnected from the brainstem. In 1966, Roffwarg and colleagues introduced the ontogenetic hypothesis, which addressed the preponderance of active sleep in early infancy. This hypothesis posited that the brainstem mechanisms that produce active sleep provide direct ascending stimulation to the forebrain and descending stimulation to the musculature, thereby promoting brain and neuromuscular development. However, this hypothesis and the subsequent work that tested it did not directly address the developmental significance of twitching or sensory feedback as a contributor to activity-dependent development. Here I review recent findings that have inspired an elaboration of the ontogenetic hypothesis. Specifically, in addition to direct brainstem activation of cortex during active sleep, sensory feedback arising from limb twitches produces discrete and substantial activation of somatosensory cortex and, beyond that, of hippocampus. Delineating how twitching during active sleep contributes to the establishment, refinement, and maintenance of neural circuits may aid our understanding of the early developmental events that make sensorimotor integration possible. In addition, twitches may prove to be sensitive and powerful tools for assessing somatosensory function in humans across the lifespan as well as functional recovery in individuals with injuries or conditions that affect sensorimotor function.
REM sleep; spontaneous activity; myoclonic twitching; sensorimotor; cortex; hippocampus; proprioception; REM behavior disorder
It is now well established that post-learning sleep is beneficial for human memory performance [1–5]. Meanwhile, human and animal studies demonstrate that learning-related neural activity is re-expressed during post-training non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) [6–9]. NREM sleep processes appear to be particularly beneficial for hippocampus-dependent forms of memory [1–3, 10]. These observations suggest that learning triggers the reactivation and reorganization of memory traces during sleep, a systems-level process that in turn enhances behavioral performance. Here, we hypothesized that dreaming about a learning experience during NREM sleep would be associated with improved performance on a hippocampus-dependent spatial memory task. Subjects (n=99) were trained on a virtual navigation task, and then retested on the same task 5 hours after initial training. Improved performance at retest was strongly associated with task-related dream imagery during an intervening afternoon nap. Task-related thoughts during wakefulness, in contrast, did not predict improved performance. These observations suggest that sleep-dependent memory consolidation in humans is facilitated by the offline reactivation of recently formed memories, and furthermore, that dream experiences reflect this memory processing. That similar effects were not seen during wakefulness suggests that these mnemonic processes are specific to the sleep state.
It is now well established that post-learning sleep is beneficial for human memory performance. At the same time, it has long been known that learning experiences influence the content of subsequent sleep mentation (i.e., “dreaming”). Here, we review evidence that newly encoded memories are reactivated and consolidated in the sleeping brain, and that this process is directly reflected in the content of concomitant sleep mentation, providing a valuable window into the mnemonic functions of sleep.
sleep; memory; dreaming; mentation; cognition; consolidation; default network; resting states
To relate sleep disturbances in Parkinson’s disease (PD) to hemispheric asymmetry of initial presentation.
Sleep disturbances are common in PD arising from the neurodegenerative process underlying the disease, which is usually lateralized at onset. Patients with left-side onset (LPD: right hemisphere dysfunction) exhibit reduced vigilance relative to those with right-side onset (RPD: left hemisphere dysfunction), leading us to hypothesize that sleep-related disturbances, particularly excessive daytime sleepiness, would be more severe for LPD than for RPD.
Thirty-one non-demented participants with PD (17 RPD and 14 LPD) and 17 age-matched control participants with chronic health conditions (CO) were administered the Parkinson’s Disease Sleep Scale and polysomnography was performed on a subset of the PD participants.
Both PD subgroups exhibited more nighttime motor symptoms than the CO group, but only LPD endorsed more nocturnal hallucinations and daytime dozing. Controlling for mood additionally revealed more vivid dreaming in LPD than RPD. There were no significant differences between LPD and RPD on measures of sleep architecture.
Increased dreaming, hallucinations, and daytime somnolescence in LPD may be related to changes in right-hemisphere neural networks implicated in the generation and control of visual images, arousal and vigilance. Our results underscore the need to consider side of onset in regard to sleep disturbances in PD.
Parkinson’s disease; hemiparkinsonism; sleep disturbances; hypersomnia
I propose a narrative fabrication thesis of dream reports, according to which dream reports are often not accurate representations of experiences that occur during sleep. I begin with an overview of anti-experience theses of Norman Malcolm and Daniel Dennett who reject the received view of dreams, that dreams are experiences we have during sleep which are reported upon waking. Although rejection of the first claim of the received view, that dreams are experiences that occur during sleep, is implausible, I evaluate in more detail the second assumption of the received view, that dream reports are generally accurate. I then propose a “narrative fabrication” view of dreams as an alternative to the received view. Dream reports are often confabulated or fabricated because of poor memory, bizarre dream content, and cognitive deficits. It is well documented that narratives can be altered between initial rapid eye movement sleep awakenings and subsequent reports. I argue that we have reason to suspect that initial reports are prone to inaccuracy. Experiments demonstrate that subjects rationalize strange elements in narratives, leaving out supernatural or bizarre components when reporting waking memories of stories. Inaccuracies in dream reports are exacerbated by rapid memory loss and bizarre dream content. Waking memory is a process of reconstruction and blending of elements, but unlike waking memory, we cannot reality-test for dream memories. Dream experiences involve imaginative elements, and dream content cannot be verified with external evidence. Some dreams may involve wake-like higher cognitive functions, such as lucid dreams. Such dreams are more likely to elicit accurate reports than cognitively deficient dreams. However, dream reports are generally less accurate than waking reports. I then propose methods which could verify the narrative fabrication view, and argue that although the theory cannot be tested with current methods, new techniques and technologies may be able to do so in the future.
dreaming; fabrication; skepticism; philosophy; epistemology; memory
Different theories have been put forward during the last decade to explain the functional meaning of sleep and dreaming in humans. In the present paper, a new theory is presented which, while taking advantage of these earlier theories, introduces the following new and original aspects:
• Circadian rhythms relevant to various organs of the body affect the reciprocal interactions which operate to maintain constancy of the internal milieu and thereby also affect the sleep/wakefulness cycle. Particular attention is given to the constancy of natraemia and osmolarity and to the permissive role that the evolution of renal function has had for the evolution of the central nervous system and its integrative actions.
• The resetting of neuro-endocrine controls at the onset of wakefulness leads to the acquisition of new information and its integration within previously stored memories. This point is dealt with in relation to Moore-Ede’s proposal for the existence of a ’predictive homeostasis’.
• The concept of ‘psychic homeostasis’ is introduced and is considered as one of the most important states since it is aimed at the well-being, or eudemonia, of the human psyche. Sleep and dreaming in humans are discussed as important functions for the maintenance of a newly proposed composite state: that of ‘predictive psychic homeostasis’.
On the basis of these assumptions, and in accordance with the available neurobiological data, the present paper puts forward the novel hypothesis that sleep and dreaming play important functions in humans by compensating for psychic allostatic overloads. Hence, both consolatory dreams and disturbing nightmares can be part of the vis medicatrix naturae, the natural healing power, in this case, the state of eudemonia.
sleep and dream theories; predictive psychic homeostasis; evolutionary tinkering; homeostasis of internal milieu; circadian rhythms of peripheral organs
Activity in the prefrontal cortex may distinguish the meta-awareness experienced during lucid dreams from its absence in normal dreams. To examine a possible relationship between dream lucidity and prefrontal task performance, we carried out a prospective study in 28 high school students. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sort and Iowa Gambling tasks, then for one week kept dream journals and reported sleep quality and lucidity-related dream characteristics. Participants who exhibited a greater degree of lucidity performed significantly better on the task that engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (the Iowa Gambling Task), but degree of lucidity achieved did not distinguish performance on the task that engages the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the Wisconsin Card Sort Task), nor did it distinguish self-reported sleep quality or baseline characteristics. The association between performance on the Iowa Gambling Task and lucidity suggests a connection between lucid dreaming and ventromedial prefrontal function.
prefrontal cortex; lucid dreaming; Iowa gambling task; Wisconsin card sort task; dream cognition; metacognition; ventromedial prefrontal function; dorsolateral prefrontal function; meta-awareness; self-consciousness
Studies in cognitive psychology showed that personality (openness to experience, thin boundaries, absorption), creativity, nocturnal awakenings, and attitude toward dreams are significantly related to dream recall frequency (DRF). These results suggest the possibility of neurophysiological trait differences between subjects with high and low DRF. To test this hypothesis we compared sleep characteristics and alpha reactivity to sounds in subjects with high and low DRF using polysomnographic recordings and electroencephalography (EEG). We acquired EEG from 21 channels in 36 healthy subjects while they were presented with a passive auditory oddball paradigm (frequent standard tones, rare deviant tones and very rare first names) during wakefulness and sleep (intensity, 50 dB above the subject's hearing level). Subjects were selected as High-recallers (HR, DRF = 4.42 ± 0.25 SEM, dream recalls per week) and Low-recallers (LR, DRF = 0.25 ± 0.02) using a questionnaire and an interview on sleep and dream habits. Despite the disturbing setup, the subjects' quality of sleep was generally preserved. First names induced a more sustained decrease in alpha activity in HR than in LR at Pz (1000–1200 ms) during wakefulness, but no group difference was found in REM sleep. The current dominant hypothesis proposes that alpha rhythms would be involved in the active inhibition of the brain regions not involved in the ongoing brain operation. According to this hypothesis, a more sustained alpha decrease in HR would reflect a longer release of inhibition, suggesting a deeper processing of complex sounds than in LR during wakefulness. A possibility to explain the absence of group difference during sleep is that increase in alpha power in HR may have resulted in awakenings. Our results support this hypothesis since HR experienced more intra sleep wakefulness than LR (30 ± 4 vs. 14 ± 4 min). As a whole our results support the hypothesis of neurophysiological trait differences in high and low-recallers.
dreaming; sleep; self; 8–12 Hz; consciousness; inhibition; oddball; novelty
Single night sleep recordings in closed head injury patients 6 to 59 months after injury revealed less stage 1 and a greater number of awakenings compared to age matched controls. Neither the time spent in REM sleep nor the Wechsler Memory Quotient were related to complaints of decreased or absent dreaming following injury. The proportion of REM and number of awakenings, however, showed a moderate relationship to certain behavioural problems.
The authors herein report the case of a young male with memory deficits due to a traumatic head injury, who presented with sleep-related symptoms such as hypersomnia and dream alterations. Although MRI and polysomnography showed no abnormalities, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and 11C flumazenil (FMZ)-PET revealed findings consistent with cerebral damage to the affected temporal region. The memory deficit of the patient gradually improved in parallel with the relief of the sleep-related symptoms. FDG-PET showed considerable improvement in glucose metabolism when he had recovered, however, evidence of neural loss remained in the FMZ-PET findings.
The authors hypothesized that representations of the Self (or the dreamer) in dreams would change systematically, from a prereflective form of Self to more complex forms, as a function of both age and sleep state (REM vs. non-REM). These hypotheses were partially confirmed. While the authors found that all the self-concept-related dream content indexes derived from the Hall/Van de Castle dream content scoring system did not differ significantly between the dreams of children and adults, adult Selves were more likely to engage in “successful” social interactions. The Self never acted as aggressor in NREM dream states and was almost always the befriender in friendly interactions in NREM dreams. Conversely, the REM-related dream Self preferred aggressive encounters. Our results suggests that while prereflective forms of Self are the norm in children’s dreams, two highly complex forms of Self emerge in REM and NREM dreams.
dreaming; self; NREM sleep; REM sleep
Dreaming is still a mystery of human cognition, although it has been studied experimentally for more than a century. Experimental psychology first investigated dream content and frequency. The neuroscientific approach to dreaming arose at the end of the 1950s and soon proposed a physiological substrate of dreaming: rapid eye movement sleep. Fifty years later, this hypothesis was challenged because it could not explain all of the characteristics of dream reports. Therefore, the neurophysiological correlates of dreaming are still unclear, and many questions remain unresolved. Do the representations that constitute the dream emerge randomly from the brain, or do they surface according to certain parameters? Is the organization of the dream’s representations chaotic or is it determined by rules? Does dreaming have a meaning? What is/are the function(s) of dreaming? Psychoanalysis provides hypotheses to address these questions. Until now, these hypotheses have received minimal attention in cognitive neuroscience, but the recent development of neuropsychoanalysis brings new hopes of interaction between the two fields. Considering the psychoanalytical perspective in cognitive neuroscience would provide new directions and leads for dream research and would help to achieve a comprehensive understanding of dreaming. Notably, several subjective issues at the core of the psychoanalytic approach, such as the concept of personal meaning, the concept of unconscious episodic memory and the subject’s history, are not addressed or considered in cognitive neuroscience. This paper argues that the focus on singularity and personal meaning in psychoanalysis is needed to successfully address these issues in cognitive neuroscience and to progress in the understanding of dreaming and the psyche.
dream; neurophysiological correlates of dreaming; dream functions; unconscious; personal meaning; neuroimaging; psychoanalysis
Human beings, like all living organisms, use energy ceaselessly with whatever they do. Nothing at all happens without spending some energy, not even a glance or a dream. The Author proposes that dreams happen automatically in sleep to help us release unresolved frustration energy and emotional dilemmas left over from the day before. Energy administration is the common denominator behind the manifold workings of dreams, as it is behind all operations of our consciousness in daytime, and this is far more important than one might at first suspect. In summary, if in waking reality the day prior to a dream, a specific sensory composition (a perception or picture) frustrates our mind such that the mind is unable or unwilling to accept this sensory composition, it forms and traps within us an emotional energy charge that lingers inside till that same night when the dream uses it in order to energize from memory analogous sensory components that form a spatiotemporally similar overall representational composition of the daytime waking event. This ends up as the dream we may remember the next day. For example, if in a real event yesterday a red apple between two green apples were in front of us and for some reason we were unable or unwilling to see and accept this perception, in a dream the next time we sleep, we may see promptly a red peach between two green peaches, which will be energized temporarily from our memory to serve the need of our psyche to represent the unprocessed emotion(s) and balance the tensions inside us. The dream always produces more acceptable symbolic perceptions for us to see or sense, and in doing so uses and releases at the same time the unacknowledged emotional energy inside us pending since yesterday's event.
Human beings; dreams; sense; memory; emotional energy; tensions
Isolated reports have long suggested a similarity in content and thought processes across mind wandering (MW) during waking, and dream mentation during sleep. This overlap has encouraged speculation that both “daydreaming” and dreaming may engage similar brain mechanisms. To explore this possibility, we systematically examined published first-person experiential reports of MW and dreaming and found many similarities: in both states, content is largely audiovisual and emotional, follows loose narratives tinged with fantasy, is strongly related to current concerns, draws on long-term memory, and simulates social interactions. Both states are also characterized by a relative lack of meta-awareness. To relate first-person reports to neural evidence, we compared meta-analytic data from numerous functional neuroimaging (PET, fMRI) studies of the default mode network (DMN, with high chances of MW) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (with high chances of dreaming). Our findings show large overlaps in activation patterns of cortical regions: similar to MW/DMN activity, dreaming and REM sleep activate regions implicated in self-referential thought and memory, including medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), medial temporal lobe structures, and posterior cingulate. Conversely, in REM sleep numerous PFC executive regions are deactivated, even beyond levels seen during waking MW. We argue that dreaming can be understood as an “intensified” version of waking MW: though the two share many similarities, dreams tend to be longer, more visual and immersive, and to more strongly recruit numerous key hubs of the DMN. Further, whereas MW recruits fewer PFC regions than goal-directed thought, dreaming appears to be characterized by an even deeper quiescence of PFC regions involved in cognitive control and metacognition, with a corresponding lack of insight and meta-awareness. We suggest, then, that dreaming amplifies the same features that distinguish MW from goal-directed waking thought.
dreaming; mind wandering; default mode network; first-person report; spontaneous thought; neurophenomenology; memory consolidation; introspection
Members of the Trypanosomatidae family comprise a large number of species that are causative agents of important diseases such as sleeping sickness, Chagas' disease and Leishmaniasis. These organisms are also of biological interest since they are able to change the morphology according to the environment where they live, through a process of reversible cell transformation, and possess structures and organelles that are not found in mammalian cells. This review analyses the process of transformation, which takes place during the life cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. Special attention is given to the interaction of the parasite with vertebrate cells. In addition, the present knowledge of structures and organelles such as the nucleus, the plasma membrane, the sub-pellicular microtubules, the flagellum, the kinetoplast-mitochondrion complex, the peroxisome (glycosome), the acidocalcisome and the structures and organelles involved in the endocytic pathway, is reviewed from a cell biology perspective. The possible use of available data for the development of new anti parasite drugs is also discussed.
Genetic disorders that present with a high incidence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) offer tremendous potential both for elucidating the underlying neurobiology of ASD and identifying therapeutic drugs and/or drug targets. As a result, clinical trials for genetic disorders associated with ASD are no longer a hope for the future but rather an exciting reality whose time has come. Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is one such genetic disorder that presents with ASD, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. Cell culture and mouse model experiments have identified the mTOR pathway as a therapeutic target in this disease. This review summarizes the advantages of using TSC as model of ASD and the recent advances in the translational and clinical treatment trials in TSC.