Do blind people dream?


Perhaps due to the highly visual nature of dreaming, people always have wondered if blind people dream.  So what do we know?  Questionnaire and lab studies show that people who are born blind or become blind before age 4 or 5 do dream even though they do not see images in their dreams.

What is the average dream like?


Studies of large samples of dream content collected in the laboratory as well as outside the laboratory show that dreams mostly occur in commonplace settings, contain a large number of familiar characters, and revolve around family concerns, love interests, and activities engaged in during waking life. In fact, only a minority of dreams involves unknown characters and activities that are out of the ordinary. So for the most part, dreams can viewed as a reasonable simulation of waking life characters, social interactions, activities, and settings.

Do you interpret dreams?


Although I’m convinced that many dreams are psychologically meaningful, I’m not a believer in “dream dictionaries” that say that dreaming of X means this and dreaming of Y means that. Based on my work both as a clinician and researcher, I think that when present, symbols and metaphors in dreams reflect the dreamer’s unique personality, way of thinking, interests, current concerns, and life experiences. For this reason, I’m a firm believer that to properly understand a dream, it is necessary to know the dreamer and, in an ideal world, to involve him or her in the process.

Do dreams have a function?


Excellent question! Although many dream researchers believe that dreaming has a biological or adpative function, some argue that dreams are merely a by-product (a sort of epiphenomenon) of basic neurophysiological activity occuring during sleep. That said, theories about the possible function of dreams abound. Among the most scientifically interesting ones are that dreams a) play a role in emotional regulation; b) help consolidate memories; and c) have an evolutionarily-based threat or social simulation function.


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