Research Symposium: Dream Consciousness Kahan, Lee, Kuiken, Kahn, Valli

Individual Differences in Reflective Awareness Sampled from Dreaming and Waking Tracey L. Kahan, Chair Theorists disagree on whether dreaming is deficient in executive functions such as reflective awareness or executive attention. Several studies demonstrated that dreaming experiences are not uniformly deficient in executive functions when compared with waking experiences. The present study (N = 188) extends prior research and considers whether patterns in RA across dreaming and waking vary for men and women (controlling for variables such as average sleep time, dream recall frequency, and motivation to recall dreams). Relationships between Reflective Awareness in Dreams and Impactful Dream Types Ming-Ni Lee, Don Kuiken In an investigation of reflective awareness and impactful dream types, dual perspectives were most commonly found in transcendent dreams and existential dreams and that willed appearances and lucid control were most commonly observed in transcendent dreams. Acceptance of the Unusual in Dreams: Functional? David L. Kahn Empirical data show we are often unaware of the unusual while dreaming. These data are discussed and interpreted to highlight how unawareness of the unusual while dreaming is functional. The studies focused on characters and events in subjectsí dreams. The results were that subjects were largely unaware of differences that existed between their dream characters and their wake counterparts, and of the bizarreness of some dream events. The question is, why canít the dreamer get it right? Is there a possible use for not getting it right? The Effects of Dream Bizarreness on Threat Simulation Katja Valli The Threat Simulation Theory (TST) of dreaming proposes that the original biological function of dreaming, threat simulation, enhanced ancestral fitness because repeated nocturnal threat recognition and avoidance rehearsal led to higher survival rates and more abundant offspring. One main criticism toward TST is that dreams are so random, disjointed, and bizarre that realistic threat simulation cannot take place. For the first time, the following questions have now been empirically answered: How bizarre threat simulations actually are? Does dream bizarreness render the threat simulations more or less efficient rehearsals, or has bizarreness no effect at all?