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Anders, T.F. (1974). An Overview of Recent Sleep and Dream Research. Psychoanal. Contemp. Sci., 3(1):449-469.

(1974). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Science, 3(1):449-469

An Overview of Recent Sleep and Dream Research

Thomas F. Anders, M.D.

Through The Ages, sleep and dreams have tantalized philosophers, artists, and scientists alike as possible links between the mind and the body, and between this world and the other. Twenty years have passed since Aserinsky and Kleitman (1953) first noted darting, rapid eye movements, under closed lids, in sleeping young infants; observations that led to a virtual explosion of investigative interest in the field of sleep and dreams. Scholars from many disciplines have joined in these efforts. Computer scientists, ethologists, unit-cellular neurophysiologists, behavioral scientists, and psychoanalysts have all figured prominently in the research enterprise. This paper focuses on Freud's metapsychological constructs regarding sleep and dreams, reviews the context which surrounded their formulation, and places them within a framework of modern neurophysiological and psychological research. Before Freud's monumental attempt at a synthesis of sleep and dreams, sleep was the purview of the biologist and physiological psychologist, dreams that of the philosopher and artist. Even today, more than half a century later, sleep physiologists and dream psychologists continue to regard each other warily.

Pre-Freudian Concepts of Sleep and Dreaming

The importance of sleep and dreams has varied historically according to the technological sophistication of investigators and the cultural climate within which the human experience was expressed.

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