Did you dream last night? Dreams are mysterious. Some are
the reverse of real life. Some are absurd.
Two different schools of thought exist as to
why we dream: the physiological school,
and the psychological school.
Both, however, agree that we dream during the REM, or rapid eye movement, phase of sleep.
During this phase of sleep, our closed eyes dart rapidly about, our
brain activity peaks, and our muscles
suffer temporary paralysis.
The physiological theory centers upon how our body, specifically
our brains, function during the REM phase of sleep. Proponents of this theory believe that we
dream to exercise the synapses, or
pathways, between brain cells, and that
dreaming takes over where the active and awake brain leaves off.
When awake, our brains constantly transmit and receive messages,
which course through our billions of brain cells to their
appropriate destinations, and keep our bodies in perpetual motion. Dreams replace this
Two underpinning physiological facts
go towards supporting this theory of dreams. The first lies in the
fact that the first two or so years of ones life, the most formative
ones for learning, are also the ones in which the most REM sleep
occurs. It follows that during this time of the greatest REM sleep,
we experience the greatest number of dreams. The second
physiological fact that lends credence
to this theory is that our brain waves during REM sleep, as recorded
by machines measuring the brain's electrical activity, are almost
identical in nature to the brain waves during the hours we spend
awake. This is not the case during the other phases of sleep.
Psychological theorists of dreams focus upon our thoughts and
emotions, and speculate that dreams deal with immediate concerns in
our lives, such as unfinished business from the day, or concerns we
are incapable of handling during the course of the day. Dreams can,
in fact, teach us things about ourselves that we are unaware of.
Connections between dreams that the human psyche have been made by many people over
thousands of years. Sigmund Freud, one
of the fathers of modern psychology, believed dreams to be symbolic
of any number of things buried deep within our minds and our
brain cell: 脑细胞
perpetual motion: 永恒运动
Sigmund Freud: 希格蒙德弗罗伊德