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Kai-Ching Yu, C. (2007). Cessation of Dreaming and Ventromesial Frontal-region Infarcts. Neuropsychoanalysis, 9(1):83-90.

(2007). Neuropsychoanalysis, 9(1):83-90

Cessation of Dreaming and Ventromesial Frontal-region Infarcts

Calvin Kai-Ching Yu

Freud attributed the primary instigator of dreaming to the “libidinal drive” in his theory. Research support for this classical psychoanalytic theory was provided in Solms's clinico-anatomical studies. He found that damage to the ventromesial frontal pathway caused both global cessation of dreaming and a reduction in motivated behaviour. However, most of the patients in Solms's clinical series were cases of tumor and diffuse injury. These conditions rendered the localization work difficult and imprecise. In view of this, the present study investigated the association between dream cessation and lesions to the ventromesial frontal region in patients who were diagnosed with infarctions. Solms's findings were largely replicated. In addition, results from the present study indicated that compared to the other neural components in the ventromesial frontal pathway, the role of the caudate nucleus appeared to be particularly salient in the functional architecture of dreaming.

Keywords: caudate nucleus, dream cessation, libidinal drive, motivational mesolombic dopaminergic pathway, nucleus accumbens, ventromesial frontal-region infarcts

Cessation of dreaming has long been observed in patients with frontal-lobe lesions (Corda, 1985; Epstein & Simmons, 1983; Gloning & Sternbach, 1953; Piehler, 1950). By using the clinico-anatomical method, Solms (1997) further suggested that global cessation of dreaming was associated with lesions in the white matter immediately surrounding the frontal horns of the lateral ventricles.

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