External sensory stimulation as a technique to study dreaming

Esther Sammut, Russell Conduit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEncyclopaedia / Dictionary EntryOther


Neurobiolological theories of dreaming have remained divided since the first studies investigating brain mechanisms of dreaming. This is primarily due to the ongoing debate as to whether ponto?geniculo?occipital (PGO) waves are an underlying biological mechanism of dreaming. This debate remains unresolved because PGO activity can only be directly recorded in animals using indwelling electrodes, and dream reports are only obtainable from humans. However, there are now new, novel methods available that can be used to test phenomenological relationships between inferred PGO activity in humans and dream reporting on awakening. Such methods involve the presentation of sensory stimuli, at below waking threshold, in specific ways that have been shown to manipulate PGO activity in animals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Sleep and Dreams
Subtitle of host publicationThe evolution, function, nature, and mysteries of slumber
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherGreenwood Press
Pages272 - 275
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9780313386640
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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