sleep

Neal Prakash nprakash at meded.com.uci.edu
Sun Aug 6 21:22:09 EST 1995


[snip]
---
trace is not allowed to reach conscious memory for some reason.  But this
 places consciousness in a very unique position, from a neural point of view,
 that seems difficult
to explain as to why it might have evolved, or what purpose such a conscious
blocking might serve.
--- 
 
this reminds me of a related idea.---

has anyone else noticed that if you are awoken suddenly from dreaming (ie 
phone rings, cat jumps on you, etc.) that you seem to be aware of the full 
dream before you were startled. whereas normally the consciousness of the 
dream would not be experienced and/or remembered.

to better explain what i am trying to say, let me use this cheap metaphor---
it's almost like your brain anticipates being unexpectedly awakened, so 
it turns on consciousness/memory of the dream before it is awakened. 

i'm not trying to say i believe in telepathy or radio waves  :-}. but 
it seems that the is some sort of temporal discontinuity between 
consciousness and memory formation.

is this making sense to anyone?

it's also interesting the way the startling event becomes incorporated 
quite naturally into the storyline of the dream. for example i'll be 
sound asleep for 4 hours, completely unconscious of what i am dreaming 
with no memories of what i dreamt, say 2 hour ago or 10 minutes ago. now 
i'm dreaming that i'm walking in the city. i'm looking for a bicycle. 
someone tells me to go to the pier. so i walk into a bar along a dock, 
then i hear the lighthouse bell ringing, but the incoming ship didn't see 
the shore in time so it crashes into me. and i wake up to the phone 
ringing with my cat just jumped on my chest.

so either the whole scene of looking for a bicycle and walking to the 
pier took place very rapidly in "real" time--like between the first and 
second ring of the phone. (but i doubt it, because the same kinds of 
memories occur if only my cat jumped on me once) or dreams only 
transiently occupy some sort of sensory buffer that normally isn't stored 
to memory. then if we are awakened mid dream, somehow we consciously 
experience what seems like several minutes in "dream" time retrogradely 
at the moment we wake up.

anyone else have similar experiences?

-neal prakash




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