Archive for October 2011
If we’re to believe some of the latest scientific research on sleep (or even just viral YouTube videos), the effects of dreams have likely bewildered Earth’s creatures for hundreds of millions of years. But humankind, in particular, has fostered a unique and lasting fascination with dreaming.
Yet for all our interest, there remains much about dreams and their underpinnings that we simply don’t understand — and we’re learning a lot more all the time. Here are ten things you probably didn’t know about dreams.
10) There is a science dedicated to the study of dreams
First things first, let’s get one thing straight. When many people think about the study of dreams, what they’re actually thinking of is the practice of dream interpretation; but interpretation is very different from the scientific study of dreams, known asOneirology.
The difference? Oneioroloists aren’t necessarily concerned with the meaning of dreams, so much as they are with the mechanisms and processes that give rise to them.
9) Dream Interpretation has been around for a long, long time
A lot of people associate dream interpretation with modern psychological analysis, but by the time the likes of Jung and Freud got around to it, the practice of dream interpretation had been in full swing for thousands of years.
Some of the first evidence of dream interpretation dates all the way back to the to the 3rd millennium BC, to the ancient cultures of the Mesopotamian. These early civilizations were not only among the first to develop writing, they also practiced dream interpretation regularly, collecting the accounts of dreams (especially those of royal figures) into dream books, complete with interpretations.