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Fiss, H. Klein, G.S. Shollar, E. (1974). “Dream Intensification” as a Function of Prolonged Rem-period Interruption. Psychoanal. Contemp. Sci., 3(1):399-424.

(1974). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Science, 3(1):399-424

“Dream Intensification” as a Function of Prolonged Rem-period Interruption

Harry Fiss, Ph.D., George S. Klein, Ph.D. and Edward Shollar

That The Psychological Function of dreaming remains poorly understood despite so many epoch-making discoveries in the field of sleep research may at first appear to be a mystifying anachronism. The situation makes better sense if we consider that, from the very beginning, the trend of work in this field has been primarily toward explicating the physiological substratum and not the psychological experience of dreaming. This has naturally tended to obscure considerations of the functions of dreaming-its meaning in relation to the adaptive and integrative properties of the organism.

Current theorizing about the various functions of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep in terms of biochemical (Dement, 1965; Jouvet, 1967), ontogenetic (Roffwarg, Muzio, and Dement, 1966), phylogenetic (Snyder, 1966), homeostatic (Ephron and Carrington, 1966), and other concepts reflects this reductionistic bias, with the result that to this day researchers in this area tend to regard the dream as an epiphenomenon. One recent proposition goes so far as to reduce the function of REM sleep entirely to oculomotor innervation (Berger, 1968). Even contemporary psychoanalytic theorists do not seem to deviate appreciably from this trend, since the drive-discharge model, which is the basis of their position, may itself be considered to be a quasi-physiological conception (Fisher, 1965).


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