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March 1968

REM DeprivationIII. Dreaming and Psychosis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago, Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(3):312-329. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740030056007

THERE ARE many similarities between dreams and the symptoms of psychosis, particularly schizophrenia. Both often display hallucinations, delusions, loss of capacity to test reality, implausible thoughts and implausible thought connections, loss of volitional control over onset or termination of an episode, etc. Because of these similarities, it has been suggested that the same mechanisms may underlie both states. Hughlings Jackson expressed this notion in his famous dictum, "Find out about dreams and you will find out about insanity."1(p269)

In the past 15 years, empirical data about dreaming has increased enormously because of the discovery by Aserinsky, Kleitman, and Dement of reliable physiological indices of dreaming.2-4 It is now well established that dreaming, and particularly that kind of dreaming which in its bizarreness and visual qualities most resembles florid psychosis,5-7 takes place during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep; REM sleep is an inexorable

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