Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

The contents of consciousness during sleep: Some theoretical problems

Antti Revonsuo a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland


The approach of Hobson et al. is limited to the description of global states of consciousness, although more detailed analyses of the specific contents of consciousness would also be required. Furthermore, their account of the mind-brain relationship remains obscure. Nielsen's discussion suffers from conceptual and definitional unclarity. Mentation during sleep could be clarified by reconceptualizing it as an issue about the contents of consciousness. Vertes & Eastman do not consider the types of memory (emotional) and learning (implicit) that are relevant during REM sleep, and therefore dismiss on inadequate grounds the possibility of memory functions associated with REM sleep.

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