Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Author's Response
Hobson et al.: Dreaming and the brain

Did ancestral humans dream for their lives?

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


The most challenging objections to the Threat Simulation Theory (TST) of the function of dreaming include such issues as whether the competing Random Activation Theory can explain dreaming, whether TST can accommodate the apparently dysfunctional nature of post-traumatic nightmares, whether dreams are too bizarre and disorganized to constitute proper simulations, and whether dream recall is too biased to reveal the true nature of dreams. I show how these and many other objections can be accommodated by TST, and how several lines of new supporting evidence are provided by the commentators. Accordingly TST offers a promising new approach to the function of dreaming, covering a wide range of evidence and theoretically integrating psychological and biological levels of explanation.