Re: virus: Dreams (Re: Re: virus-digest V1 #114)

XYZ Customer Support (
Thu, 19 Dec 1996 20:59:06 -0700

> From: Lior Golgher <>

> > The mind of many animals doesn't need to dream to be a mind, therefore
> > dreaming isn't necessary per se for a mind.

> Name one such animal.

Echidna. Also, any reptile or amphibian.

> As far as I know, no animal with a mind can
> function without dreaming. Dolphins' brains dream in shifts, each time
> half a brain dreaming and the other half awake, so the dolphin wouldn't
> sink and suffocate.

No, one brain sleeps while the other stays awake. No dreaming is
occuring. Remember that REM by itself is not an indicator of dreaming
unless it occurs with a certain brain pattern (theta rhythm for most
animals that do dream).

> Even birds' brains have to dream. Their REM periods are very brief,
> since during dreaming the whole body is relaxed and the grip of the
> branch is loosed.

> As for humans, I happen to be familiar with that experiment Stephen
> described. After several nights the subjects moved straight to REM
> sleep, without any deep sleep period normally prior to it. The
> experiment couldn't go on, since the subjects were wakened right after
> they fell asleep. If you prevent someone of sleeping, you'd gradually
> need a stronger mean to wake him up. Eventually, he'll remain asleep, no
> matter how hard you shake him, whip him, shock him, drug him, or use any
> other waker. (Don't look at me that way! I haven't conducted those
> experiments myself! I'm not a sadist!)

That is true but it still doesn't prove that dreaming is necessary for the
mind to work, only that the *human* mind as it has evolved needs it.
But had they not evolved dreaming, there brains would have to be far
larger (even though the mind would stay the same "size" ie -- no
increase in mental capacity).

> As for those subjects, their associative capability was totally out.
> They're some more interesting brain experiments if you're interested.

I have already seen very many.