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March 1965

Posthypnotically Suggested Dreams And the Sleep Cycle

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(3):287-294. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720330061009

BEGINNING with the work of Aserinsky and Kleitman,1 several studies have shown that the cycles of rapid conjugate eye movements appearing during sleep are reliable indicators of dream occurrence. Researchers have noted that subjects ordinarily pass through four to seven such cycles in the course of a night and, typically, it is during the stage 1 phase of sleep (low-voltage fast electroencephalographic pattern) that rapid eye movements occur and from which vivid, narrative-type dream reports are readily obtained.

The use of hypnosis to influence dream content was first investigated by Schrötter,2 who reported that subjects could be made to dream on the night following a hypnotic trance about topics suggested by the experimenter during the trance. Schrötter's main concern was to test Freud's theory of symbol formation, and he concluded that his subjects dreamed about various topics, primarily sexual ones, in the

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