Melvyn Bragg discusses the function and interpretation of dreams. Why are neuroscientists starting to find reasons to take dreams seriously again?
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the interpretation of dreams. Over a hundred years ago, Sigmund Freud declared confidently, “The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind”. He was writing in his famous volume, The Interpretation of Dreams and his ideas made a huge impact on the century that was to follow. However, despite the cultural influence of his work, there is still no agreement in neuroscience as to the function or mechanism of dreaming; this is partly because for much of the century the prevailing wisdom was that there was no meaning to dreams at all.What is the mental circuitry that creates our dreams? If they have no meaning, why do we dream them? And why is the tide turning with neuroscientists starting to find reasons to take dreams seriously again?With Professor V S Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego; Mark Solms, Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town; Martin Conway, Professor of Psychology at the University of Durham.