Dreaming, Consciousness and Cognition - 1808 Words | Essay Example (2022)

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Dreaming as a Part of Consciousness
  3. Dreaming in connection with cognition and consciousness
  4. Mystery of dreaming
  5. Conclusion
  6. References
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Whether staying awake or asleep, our consciousness acts as a model of the world created by the brain from the best obtainable resources of data. During waking conditions, this model is gained primarily from sensory contribution, which offers the most current data about present situations, and secondarily from the background and motivational data. While people are sleeping, very little sensory effort as attainable, so the world model we experience is constructed from the associated data from the lives, that is, anticipations obtained from past experience, and incentives. Consequently, the content of our visions is mainly defined by what we fear, hope for, and anticipate. (Dennett, 1979)

From this standpoint, dreaming can be regarded as the individual case of awareness without the restrictions of external sensory input. Equally, awareness can be regarded as the special case of dreaming restrained by sensory input. Whichever way it is regarded, understanding dreaming is key to realizing consciousness.

Hypotheses of awareness that do not explain dreaming must be considered incomplete, and notions that are opposed by the findings of phenomenological and psychophysiological researches on dreaming must be incorrect. For instance, the behaviorist supposition that the brain is always awakened and only from the external by sense organ procedures cannot define daydreams; likewise, for the statement that consciousness is the straight or restricted product of sensory contribution.

Dreaming as a Part of Consciousness

Dreaming capability is generally regarded as qualitatively separate from waking experience. Dreams are often suggested to be featured by lack of indication and incapability to act intentionally. Nevertheless, this regard has not been grounded on equivalent dimensions of waking and dreaming state experiences. To attain correspondence, it is significant to evaluate waking knowledge with hindsight, in the same way as dreams are appraised.

In one of the recent researches of this type, it was stated that contrasted to waking experiences, dreaming was more likely to enclose public self-realization and emotion, and less likely to entail deliberate selection. But it is distinguished that essential dissimilarities between dreaming and staying awake were not obvious for other cognitive activities, and none of the gauged cognitive actions were characteristically absent or rare in dreams. Especially, nearly equal levels of likeness were accounted for in both states. (Dennett, 1992)

Although people are not explicitly aware of the fact to be dreaming while dreaming, sometimes extraordinary exception happens, and people become thoughtful enough to become mindful that people are dreaming. Throughout such “lucid” dreams it is possible to keep in mind the conditions of waking life, to think obviously, and to act intentionally upon indication or according to plans selected upon before sleep, all while practicing a dream world that seems brightly real.

A sequence of researches to be abridged demonstrates that lucid visionaries are capable to remember the performance of predetermined acts and signals to the laboratory, permitting the derivation of accurate psycho-physiological associations and the methodical testing of hypotheses concerning consciousness asleep.

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In the area of spirituality, the matter of whether God survives or not is of little result. Spirituality concentrates on understanding the real nature of the innermost Self or Pure Consciousness and is concerned with delving into the resource from which the I-thought or ego originates. From the religious viewpoint what is more significant from the religious viewpoint is that is talked about by both the one who trusts in His existence and the one who does not. Spiritual inquiry, therefore, rotates around the matter: ‘Who am I’? (Sperry, 1984)

The matter of awareness is probably the biggest outstanding impediment in the quest to methodically understand reality. The science of physics is not yet entire, but it is well-realized. The science of biology has clarified away most of the mysteries surrounding the origin of life. Where there are gaps in the understanding of these spheres, these gaps do not seem obstinate; people have at least some notion of the direction in which explanations might lie. In the study of mind, things are not quite so pinkish. Much development is being made in the research of cognition, but consciousness itself is as a matter as it ever existed.

The type of mental procedures explained as cognitive is largely impacted by research that has productively used this example in the past. Accordingly, this explanation tends to apply to procedures such as memory, concentration, perception, deed, problem resolving, and mental descriptions. Conventionally, emotion was not thought of as a cognitive procedure. This separation is now observed as largely synthetic, and much research is presently being undertaken to study the cognitive psychology of sentiment; research also entails one’s awareness of tactics and methods of cognition, regarded as meta-cognition.

While some people refute that cognitive processes are a purpose of intelligence, a cognitive hypothesis will necessarily make any situation to the brain or any other organic process (comparing neuro-cognitive procedures). It may merely describe behavior in terms of data flow or purpose. Relatively current spheres of study such as cognitive science and neuro-psychology tend to bridge this gap, retorting to cognitive paradigms of realizing how the brain executes these information-processing purposes (see also cognitive neuroscience), or how pure data-processing structures can replicate cognition.

The connections of cognition to evolutionary commands are studied through the examination of animal cognition. And equally, evolutionary-based viewpoints can inform notions about cognitive functional structures of evolutionary psychology. (Revonsuo, 1995)

Dreaming in connection with cognition and consciousness

Dreaming is a state of consciousness entailing complex successions of subjective practice while sleeping. It requires a significant resource of data for the effort to expand a scientific clarification and understanding of awareness. Originally, the mere subsistence of a full-scale hallucinatory world of subjective practice during sleep has allegations as to which physical and physiological phenomena are adequate for conscious knowledge to be brought about and which are not significant at all.

Dreaming successfully restricts conscious practice from the exterior physical world, sensory dispensation, and motor behavior; consequently, the dreaming brain could be regarded as a useful “model system” in realization research. Secondly, the system and structure of phenomenal dreams reveal their interconnections within the dream world can be methodically content analyzed and quantified. The notion of “bizarreness” as it emerges in dream content analysis exploration can be fruitfully joined to the concept of “binding” in consciousness study.

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Archetypal “bizarre” dream representations manifest uncharacteristic or confused combinations of perceptual attributes, or appear in unsuitable circumstances, or are temporarily alternating. Such dream representations can be supposedly interpreted as phenomenal illustrations that show various types of stoppages or errors in binding the figurative elements mutually. Therefore, dream bizarreness may compose a significant database for theories of perceptual binding and the harmony of mindful knowledge. (van Gelder, 1999)

Another link between consciousness research and dream investigation is the matter of the function and the fruition of dreaming and consciousness. When it comes to clarifying the function of realization, theories often run the risk of turning into some form of epiphenomenalism: either the strong, thoughtful diversity of epiphenomenalism – in accordance to which phenomenal properties have no underlying powers whatever in the corporeal realm – or the weaker, biological diversity – according to which phenomenal realization does not have any underlying consequences that would be biologically practical, i.e. that would in any way supply to the organism’s reproductive achievement.

If a notion states that phenomenal realization is epiphenomenal in one or both of these meanings, then it follows from the hypothesis that also dreaming – which fundamentally consists of exceptional knowledge – also must be epiphenomenal. Equally, if it could be revealed that dreaming is geographically practical (i.e. that it causally donated to the reproductive achievement of our ancestors) then it would chase that at least some shapes of phenomenal awareness do have causal efforts and functional essentiality in the natural world. Thus, theories of the meaning of dreaming might have significant inferences from the more common theories of the probable functions of consciousness. (Sperry, 1984)

Mystery of dreaming

The function of dreaming has always been obscurity for a very long time, and by now cognitive neuroscientists appear to have offered up the query for the biological purposes of dreaming. Basically, all hypotheses put forward in cognitive neuroscience involve that dreaming is physically epiphenomenal. Dreaming is seen by these philosophers as a mere indication of low-level neurobiological or neuro-cognitive processes going on in the brain during sleeping.

Thus, the offered regard in cognitive neuroscience is grounded on the idea dreaming as a mindful experience has no normal functions and has not been chosen for during evolution. It is simply an accidental and useless (but undamaging) by-product of the neuro-physiological processes associated with sleeping. (Dawson, 1989)

In resistance to these theories, psychologists have put forward an innovative evolutionary hypothesis in accordance with which the biological meaning of dreaming is the reproduction of threatening happenings and the repeated preparation of threat perception and threat escaping answers. A dream construction mechanism that tends to choose threatening waking events and reproduce them over and over again in different amalgamations would have been costly for the expansion and continuation of threat escaping skills during human evolutionary history. This threat simulation notion is maintained by some lines of experimental evidence of dreaming, entailing normative dream content, recurring dreams, nightmarish, post-traumatic dreams, and children’s dreams.

The substantiation shows that nightmares are too well arranged to be mere random by-products of physiological procedures; dreams are steadily grounded towards representing unenthusiastic and threatening components; that most repeated dreams and nightmares are imitations of prehistoric dangers (pursuits, fights, attacks); that actual threatening occurrence encountered during waking perpetually modulate succeeding dream content; post-traumatic nightmares imitate past threats over and over again, even for years after the actual trauma was attained. (Dennett, 1979)

Researchers interpret this confirmation as revealing the matter that the original adaptive purpose of dreaming is to practice such threat insight and threat escaping skills that were fatefully important for the reproductive achievement of family humans. In the inherited situation the constant night-time rehearsing of threat awareness and threat dodging skills increased the possibility of successful threat dodging in real situations and thus led to improved reproductive achievement. Therefore, threat simulation is the biologically adaptive function of dreaming. (Flanagan, 1995)

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The human mind seems to come in myriad shapes: senses, cognition, dreaming, thinking, etc. Actually, these terms are used variously in diverse research methods. Psychologists tend to use these phrases to refer inferentially to structures that appear to hold memory outlines and to the underlying skills that compose their meaning. To neuro-scientists, memory refers only to the physical decision-taking tool.

Further, in many cognitive studies, consciousness is either applied for granted or labeled with its own set of synonyms such as plain cognition, focal concentration, and wakefulness. The role of consciousness has concerned memory researchers since Ebbinghaus. And the tie of consciousness with cognition and dreaming seems to be the straightest in the whole myriad of neuro-psychological processes.


Flanagan, Owen (1995):.”Deconstructing dreams: the spandrels of sleep” journal of philosophy,92:, 5-27.

Foulkes, David. (1999) “Challnging the assumptions”,6-17 and “introduction” 1-5 in Children’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness, Foulkes, David.

Dawson, Michael R.W. (1998) “The classical view of information processing” in understanding cognitive science, Dawson, Michael R.W. 13-35.

Dennett, Daniel C (1979) “Are dreams experiences?” in Brainstorms:Philosophical Essays on Mind and psychology, 129-148.

Dennett, Daniel C., Kinsbourne, Marcl. (1992) “Time and the observer:the where and when of consciousness in the brain” Behavoral and Brain sciences,15:, 183-201.

Revonsuo, Annti. (1995)”Consciousness, dreams and virtual realities” Philosophical psychology,8:1, 35-58.

Sperry,Roger. (1984) “Consciousness,personal identity, and the divided brain” Neuropsychologia,22:6, 661-673.

van Gelder,Tim. (1995) “What might cognition be, if not computation?” Journal of philosophy,92:7, 345-381.

van Gelder, Tim. (1999) “Dynamic approaches to cognition” in the MIT Encyclopedia of cognitive sciences, Wilson, Robert A.;Keil, Frank C., 244-246.

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