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Heynick, F. (1987). Dreaming: A Cognitive-Psychological Analysis: By David Foulkes. Hillside NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 1985. Pp. 221.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 14:279-283.

(1987). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 14:279-283

Dreaming: A Cognitive-Psychological Analysis: By David Foulkes. Hillside NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 1985. Pp. 221.

Review by:
Frank Heynick

This book is the latest in a series of publications in which Dr Foulkes advocates that dream research move away from its depth-psychology roots and psychophysiological underpinnings in order to ally itself more closely with the modern cognitive sciences. More specifically, the author proposes the development of a new discipline of 'psychoneirics', patterned on psycholinguistics.

By way of introduction to Foulkes' approach to dreams, I would like the reader first to consider briefly a rather different sleep phenomenon, one which is in fact only peripherally mentioned in Foulkes' book. Although the evidence is still largely anecdotal (see Arkin, 1981), indications are that a sleeptalker, i.e. someone who articulates out loud at random intervals and on random nights, is unlikely to reveal, either in a manifest or traceable latent way, his indiscretions to his bedmate—or in fact to communicate any message particularly worth losing sleep over. If this anecdotal data is someday confirmed by systematic studies, it may deprive not only novelists and playwrights (going back at least as far as Shakespeare) of a favourite dramatic device, but also depth psychologists (like Andriani (1892), a forerunner of Freud) of a supposed window on our innermost feelings and desires. Nevertheless, as will be explained, staying up at night and continuing to study this phenomenon may still very much be worth the while of cognitive psychologists and of psycholinguists.

Language psychology in the last couple of decades has typically been concerned less with what one says (and even less with when one says it) than with how one can say it.

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