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April 1965

Discrimination of Dreaming And Nondreaming Sleep

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Hospital. Now at the Research Center for Mental Health, New York University (Dr. Judith Antrobus); Department of Psychology, The City College of The City University of New York (Dr. John Antrobus); Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Hospital (Dr. Fisher).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(4):395-401. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720340067010

THE DREAMER'S unquestioning belief in the reality of his fantasy creation while he is sleeping makes one skeptical about his description, when awake, of the original dream experience. Even the language he uses to define and describe his dream is restricted to words learned in response to objects and events of the waking world and is therefore inadequate for the description of characteristics which are unique to dreaming. To overcome this limitation, the verbal report of dreaming sleep must be tied to nonverbal operations performed on or by the dreaming sleeper. The discovery that reports of dreaming are obtained predominately from EEG stage 1-REM4,5 sleep has made it possible for the experimenter to say with a high degree of confidence that his subject is dreaming without having to interrupt the ongoing dream. Consequently, the experimenter can study the characteristics that distinguish predominately dreaming from nondreaming

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