Commenting on the frequently noted similarity of thinking mechanisms in dreams and schizophrenia, Oswald9 emphasized an obvious difference between the two states: ". . . psychiatric patients have typical schizophrenic experiences . . . while fully awake." While this difference precludes a complete identity of psychotic state and normal dreaming, it leaves open the possibility that although the schizophrenic state is manifest during wakefulness, it bears a phenomonological and physiological resemblance to dreaming in normals. In the present study, three physiological variables, electroencephalograph (EEG), eye movements, and electromyography (EMG), were examined during periods of wakefulness in five acute schizophrenics to determine whether there was any obvious similarity between the patterning of these variables in awake schizophrenics and dreaming normals. Acute schizophrenics were chosen as subjects because it seemed likely that their mentation would resemble dreaming more than other groups.
EEG, EMG, and eye movements were studied because
RECHTSCHAFFEN A, SCHULSINGER F, MEDNICK SA. Schizophrenia and Physiological Indices of Dreaming. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(1):89-93. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720190091012