Scientists find clues for why people remember dreams
The ability to remember dreams may be related to the level of activity in specific areas of the brain, according to a new study.
Scientists from France recruited 21 high dream recallers—defined as those who recalled dreams about five times a week—and 20 low dream recallers—those who recalled dreams about two times a month. The participants’ brain activity was monitored during both sleep and wakefulness by PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography). The researchers found that the high dream recallers demonstrated more activity during both sleep and wakefulness in two areas of the brain—the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and the medial prefrontal cortex.
The new study suggests that dream memorization is not only linked to brain activity during sleep, but to brain activity during wakefulness as well. The findings, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, add to previous factors linked to high dream memorization, including having a brain that reacts more to sounds and waking up in the middle of the night.
While the results conclude that brain activity affects dream memorization, the researchers acknowledged that it is possible that varying levels of dream production may also have played a role in the study’s outcome.