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June 23, 1978

Medical News

JAMA. 1978;239(25):2635-2650. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280520007001

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Abstract

A look at the 'anatomy' of dreams... physical, mental, or both?  Answers to the big questions in dream studies are as elusive as those in other aspects of sleep research.What are dreams? Do they have a function? Is there a relationship with waking behavior?Increasingly sophisticated techniques in a variety of scientific disciplines are revealing bits and pieces of what may be the answers to these questions.For people in general, interest in dreams has never been greater. An increasing number of books—nonfiction and fiction—are being written about dreams. More and more people are pondering their dreams in an effort to better understand themselves. The fascination with psychic phenomena and the occult has spilled over into discovering the processes of the mind during sleep.Yet, says psychologist Wilse E. Webb, PhD, University of Florida, Gainesville, dream research is at a crossroads. Is dreaming a psychological process, a physiological process,

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