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(1962). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 31:597-599.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:597-599

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

April 10, 1962. THE DREAM PROCESS. Bernard L. Pacella, M.D.

The author explores the function of the dream process as differentiated from dream content, and proposes a theory which represents a fusion of the views of Freud and Jekels. On the basis of analysis of dream content, Freud deduced that the primary function of the dream process was that of the guardian of sleep. Jekels believed that its waking function was more important. In Pacella's view, dreaming serves a defensive and homeostatic function at both poles of the sleepwakefulness cycle. This biphasic function may be called into play by homeostatic mechanisms, which antedate the role played by the pleasure-pain principle.

The concept of homeostasis is correlated with experimental observations of the nature of the sleep curve to show that dreaming is an integral function of the homeostatic mechanisms implicit in the sleep-wakefulness cycle. Kleitman and others have shown that a representative night's sleep consists of a succession of EEG variations, indicating shifts in the depth of sleep. Four basic EEG stages are described as the subject passes from wakefulness to sleep: stage 1 is lightest sleep, stage 4 is deepest sleep, and stages 2 and 3 are of intermediate depth.

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