Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

“The dream of reason creates monsters” . . . especially when we neglect the role of emotions in REM-states

Jaak Panksepp a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403 [email protected]


As highlighted by Solms, and to a lesser extent by Hobson et al. and Nielsen, dreaming and REM sleep can be dissociated. Meanwhile Vertes & Eastman and Revonsuo provide distinct views on the functions of REM sleep and dreaming. A resolution of such divergent views may clarify the fundamental nature of these processes. As dream commentators have long noted, with Revonsuo taking the lead among the present authors, emotionality is a central and consistent aspect of REM dreams. A deeper consideration of emotions in REM dreams may serve as the conceptual salve to help heal the emerging rifts in this field of inquiry.

[Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Revonsuo; Solms; Vertes & Eastman]