Thursday, March 29, 2007

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am...

There's an interesting series over at this week on sleep. Sleep and dreams have been of interest to psychologists throughout the discipline's history. Freud was most interested in dreams and their meaning (the meaning of dreams summarized briefly: You're a pervert). Nowadays it's the topic of REM sleep that leaves all the researchers bewildered. The series (Why do we sleep?) covers a lot of recent research into the topic. Of note is the insightful critique of researchers who focus too much on one theoretical orientation:

(Marcos) Frank is an important mediator—and incisive critic—in the debate about sleep and memory. He argues that behavioral researchers are in danger of hitting a "dead end" with contradictory findings on which parts of sleep enhance what kinds of memories. But he also finds fault with cell-level work that associates sleep with a particular molecular or genetic effect but doesn't show how that matters for the animal.

And, by the way, Yes, the series does address why guys usually wake with morning wood.

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