Random Neurological Events (Activation Synthesis Theory)
• First, memories are sorted in groups of neurons in the cortex of the brain.
• Second, electrical stimulation of those neurons can activate the memories. If the neurons that represent a memory are stimulated with an electrode, the individual will re-experience the event or thought as through it were happening then.
• Third, the PGO system that carries electrical activity up from the pons to the cortex delivers some of the activity to the temporal lobe where the memories are stored.
• In other words to explain dreams, it suggested that the electrical activity that comes up from the pons stimulates the neurons in the temporal lobe, thereby activating memories, and the activated memories provide the basis for dream.
• This explanation fit nicely with the facts that dreams co-occur with REM. That is, the electrical activity from the pons causes REM because it stimulates neuron in the occipital lobes, and it causes dreams because it also stimulates neurons elsewhere in the brain. In a sense then, dream may be nocturnal hallucinations.
• This theory is very different from Frued Theory because it suggests that dreams are essentially made up of random memories and do not have any important meaning. One potential problem with this explanation is that if the memories are activated randomly, dreams would consist of a series of unconnected memoires, but dreams do have a story line. To account for the story lines, it was suggested that we take the random memories and put them together so they make a story, and it is because we are working with random memories that sometimes the stories are disjointed, illogical and sometimes weird.
• The fact that our dreams often involves memories that are related to thing that have happened recently can be explained by the fact that the neurons in which those memories are stored were used more recently, and recently used neuron are more easily activated. Therefore, those...