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Fisher, C. (1956). Dreams, Images, and Perception—A Study of Unconscious-Preconscious Relationships. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 4:5-48.

(1956). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 4:5-48

Dreams, Images, and Perception—A Study of Unconscious-Preconscious Relationships

Charles Fisher, M.D.


1. This investigation confirms the findings of Allers and Teler that the memory images of preconsciously perceived parts of tachistoscopically exposed pictures subsequently appear in conscious images.

2. The results show that the preconscious percepts or the memory images or both are subject to the same kinds of transformations and distortions as has been previously reported in Poetzl's dream experiments.

3. It has been shown that the memory images of the preconscious percepts may appear in conscious imagery within minutes after tachistoscopic exposure or as long as 72 hours afterward.

4. Preliminary experiments indicate that the images which may arise in consciousness during the Allers and Teler word association

experiment may be identical to the images which subsequently occur in the manifest content of the dream.

5. The results throw light on the process of dream distortion and the chronological relations of dream formation. They indicate the process of dream distortion (working over by the unconscious wish and the primary process) commences in close temporal relationship to the laying down of the memory trace of the preconscious percept associated with the day residue experience.

6. The implications of this investigation for: (a) the psychology of the dream process; (b) image formation; (c) the thought process; (d) the relation of the primary to the secondary process; and (e) perceptual theory were discussed.

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