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What are the memory sources of dreaming?


Investigators since Freud have appreciated that memories of the people, places, activities and emotions of daily life are reflected in dreams but are typically so fragmented that their predictability is nil. The mechanisms that translate such memories into dream images remain largely unknown. New research targeting relationships between dreaming, memory and the hippocampus is producing a new theory to explain how, why and when we dream of waking life events.

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Figure 1: Temporal variations in access to memory sources.


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Thanks are due to D. Petit, E. Martel and T. Paquette for editorial assistance. The work was supported by grants to Nielsen from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

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Correspondence to Tore A. Nielsen.

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Nielsen, T., Stenstrom, P. What are the memory sources of dreaming?. Nature 437, 1286–1289 (2005).

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