Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

A new approach for explaining dreaming and REM sleep mechanisms

Amina Khambalia a1 and Colin M. Shapiro a1
a1 Department of Psychiatry, University Health Network, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, M5T 2S8, Canada


The following review summarizes and examines Mark Solms's article Dreaming and REM Sleep are controlled by different brain mechanisms, which argues why the understanding of REM sleep as the physiological equivalent of dreaming needs to be re-analyzed. An analysis of Solms's article demonstrates that he makes a convincing argument against the paradigmatic activation-synthesis model proposed by Hobson and McCarley and provides provocative evidence to support his claim that REM and dreaming are dissociable states. In addition, to situate Solms's findings in concurrent research, other studies are mentioned that are further elucidated by his argument.