A Russian scientist has put forward a new hypothesis of the origin of dreams

© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Palanimalai dreamsA Russian scientist has put forward a new hypothesis of the origin of dreams© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Polyanina

There are 8 hypotheses the occurrence of dreams, each of which is subjected to harsh criticism from scientists. The author of the first is Sigmund Freud who believed that dreams represent hidden aspirations and suppressed desires of a person.There is the idea that dreams can be a consequence of the «ordering data» or «prepare for danger», which holds the brain in order to «rehearse» a collision with the threat in a dream (hypothesis belongs to a Finnish neuroscientist Antti Revonsuo). Another hypothesis considers a dream – protective evolutionary mechanism, because during sleep the brain stores all kinds of activity, except for the motor, that is, the person becomes very similar to a corpse — so the dream to protect people, disguising them as dead. Professor of psychology at Harvard and sleep researcher Deirdre Barrett believes the dream of mobilizing resources for problem solving, she argues that during sleep the human brain is much more active and inventive.Modern «theory of dreams» by Ernest Hartmann dreaming is the therapeutic mechanism for getting rid of negative emotions. And the psychiatrist Zhang Jie believes that the brain during dreaming is busy processing the memories of the events of his life. That is, dreams are the time of sending the images for long-term storage. As for the Russian psychologists and sleep researchers, the main of them incline to the latter hypothesis the occurrence of dreams being a side effect when the brain during sleep.
Ivan N. Pigarev, — doctor of biological Sciences and chief scientific researcher of the Laboratory of information transmission in sensory systems, Institute of information transmission problems, RAS supports the hypothesis of dreams as a «side effect».

© Institute for information transmission problems, Radovan PigarevA Russian scientist has put forward a new hypothesis of the origin of dreams© Institute for information transmission problems, Radovan Pigarev

The scheme of formation of dreams scientist describes: in a moment of wakefulness in the cerebral cortex for processing received signals from exteroretseptora is a group of special sensitive formations, perceiving irritations from outside. From there the signals go into the structures associated with the occurrence of sensations, Ivan Pigarev believes that this structure of the basal ganglia — the area of the front of the brain, located on the border between the frontal lobes and above the brain stem.

© Fotolia / decade3dБазальные gangliaA Russian scientist has put forward a new hypothesis of the origin of dreams© Fotolia / decade3dБазальные ganglia

Activation of neurons in this area associated with the appearance in consciousness of sensory images. During sleep, the flow direction changes: the signals come not from outside but from within. Signals from interoreceptors — a large group of sensory nerve endings, scattered in various tissues and internal organs (heart, blood and lymph vessels, respiratory apparatus, digestive tract). The flow of these signals and determines the pattern of neural activity and EEG during sleep. In a dream the touch-sensitive area is blocked, since no external information is not supplied, a person’s consciousness is turned off. However, this block is not absolute — after all, some signals from inside gets in there. They affect the same neurons of the basal ganglia, which meet in the afternoon for the occurrence of sensations.

© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Palaniappan signals to neurons during sleep and wakefulnessA Russian scientist has put forward a new hypothesis of the origin of dreams© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Palaniappan signals to neurons during sleep and wakefulness

Thus, consciousness penetrate some images that, in fact, are just noise. The noise particularly affects those neurons that were maximally excited in the last period of wakefulness. If we accept this hypothesis, it appears that dreams have no functional value and represent an easy and harmless pathology of sleep.

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