How are memory and dreams related?

A new theory just published in the international peer-reviewed journal Neuro-Psychoanalysis suggests that a modified version of Freud’s dream theory describes not only how dreams are generated but how they are related to our memory. The strangeness of dreams is hypothesized not to come from a censor being turned on during sleep, but from daily perceptions and thought being forced at the time of storage to conform to a brain structure largely frozen in childhood and then interpreted with the executive function turned off. According to the theory, when turned on, the executive function transforms the memories back from the primitive memory structure into real daily perceptions and thought. The article, authored by Dr. Eugen Tarnow, a researcher in New Jersey, also removes the hitherto rigid boundaries between memory and dream research, and reaffirms the importance of the old Penfield Rasmussen findings (they were looking for memory, and found dreams — because memory is stored in dream format.)

The theory summarized:

Perceptions and thought are conjectured to be stored in the brain according to what is already stored. The brain structure of a human being is largely frozen during childhood. Freud’s dream work, which can be thought of as a list of mnemonic devices, describes how perception and thought is transformed at the time of storage to conform to the childhood brain structure. Dreams are proposed to be focused versions of ever present excitational responses to new perception. It is believed they only become conscious when the executive function ceases. The existence of a consciousness pointer is proposed, to help to explain why dreams are relatively focused to a single storyline rather than consisting of unfocussed masses of parallel storylines.

Irwin Feinberg. Chief of the Sleep Research Laboratory at UC Davis, one of the researchers who discovered that REM sleep is not dream sleep, says of the theory: “It is very interesting. I have no problems with it.”

The author concludes that Freud’s mysterious “unconscious,” previously thought to only be accessible by psychoanalysts via dream interpretation, is really long term memory accessible also by memory researchers. Dreams, previously ignored by memory researchers, become another tool to probe our memory structure.

Now, if they’d just get people like me into a dream study . . . I have all sorts of parallel, unrelated dreams, and also have seen radical changes in how my dreams occur as I’ve healed various psychological and emotional traumas. Interesting stuff!


Congress Expands FBI Spying Power

Basically, the FBI can subpoena information about you from any organization without talking to a judge. And they can slap a gag order on the organization supplying the information.

Whereas before they just got this information illegally, they can now legally find out anything they want to about you, anytime they want, and you’ll never be the wiser.

Because the provision was attached to a confidential spending bill, there was no public debate about it either. And you can bet your sweet ass that it’s not being covered in the mass media, either (I don’t consider Wired a mass media source.)

<waits patiently for her Canadian immigration to be approved>

Need a holiday gift idea?

Then check out ‘s own Mystical Dreamweavers, a Canadian owned and operated candle & health and beauty aids company. The scents are sniff-o-riffic, and if you get your order in now, you’ll have it in time for the holidays! I can wholeheartedly recommend the Sencha (Green Tea) and Peaceful Breeze scents in candle, soap and bath salt forms. :)

and you should visit not just because I just finished redesigning the website. ;)


While knitting, I realized the scarf was going to be too wide, and my stitches were getting WAY too tight. (I could barely pull them along the needle!)

So I’ve ripped the entire thing and will start over tomorrow.

At least I’m enjoying myself! :)


I am now the official maintainer of The Electric Company MP3 and Video Archive.

That’s right, I’m “movin’ out in a new way.” (mp3, 1066KB)

My personal favorites:

  • Spider Man (mp3, 243 KB) (where are ya comin’ from? Nobody knows who you are!)
  • The Sign Song (mp3, 1962 KB), written by the late, great Joe Raposo. Also partially available in Quicktime video format (2.2MB)
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    Silhouette Syllables: chin, chip, chimp, chill, chick. (with Morgan Freeman) Even Family Guy spoofed this!
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    Letterman: Dancing In The Dark (with the voices of Joan Rivers and Gene Wilder)
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    and of course, Counting Pinball (one two three FOUR FIVE, six seven eight NINE TEN, ELEVEN TWELVE!)