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The function of dream sleep

We propose that the function of dream sleep (more properly rapid-eye movement or REM sleep) is to remove certain undesirable modes of interaction in networks of cells in the cerebral cortex. We postulate that this is done in REM sleep by a reverse learning mechanism (see also p. 158), so that the trace in the brain of the unconscious dream is weakened, rather than strengthened, by the dream.

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Crick, F., Mitchison, G. The function of dream sleep. Nature 304, 111–114 (1983).

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