13 Dreams Freud Never Had: The New Mind Science

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9780131472259: 13 Dreams Freud Never Had: The New Mind Science

The new mind science revolution sweeping the world is providing astonishing new insights into almost every aspect of our daily lives. But where did it all come from? One answer, as Allan Hobson now demonstrates in his elegant masterpiece 13 Dreams Freud Never Had, is the simple act of waking up and thinking about our dreams.

Freud ushered in the modern era of neuroscience when he set out on his great Project for a Scientific Psychology in an effort to bring science to the world of our imaginations. One of the first sites of his investigation was the interpretation of dreams. Freud believed dreams resulted from an elaborate effort of the mind to conceal unacceptable instinctual wishes welling up from the unconscious when the ego relaxes its prohibition of the id in sleep. But modern neuroscience, including Hobson's own research, has shown this understanding of the brain to be wrong. As Hobson lucidly explains, the bizarre nature of our dreams has nothing to do with repressed emotion as Freud taught; it results from the way the brain is physically built. Chemical mechanisms in the brain stem, which shift the activation of various regions of the cortex, generate these changes. Here is an amazingly clear window on how thoughts are actually created from our memories of experiences.

Each chapter of this book begins with notes describing a dream taken after Dr. Hobson awoke from it. Dr. Hobson discusses how the dreams can be interpreted given the circumstances of his waking life. Each chapter then shows how that interpretation fits into the physical structure of the brain—for instance, why movements our bodies make and movements we see in our mind's eye are so much a part of how we think.

Allan Hobson and other brain researchers have, over the last several decades, been constructing a new neurocognitive model of the mind. With the unique perspective of one the revolution's leading researchers, this superb book delivers a fresh, vivid, and compellingly personal overview of how that new science of the mind is being built.

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From the Publisher:

This Harvard M.D.'s dreams lead to overview of the science of the mind from Freudian dream interpretation to today's brain scan revolution.

New insights on the dynamics of the mind in this compelling overview
What REM sleep teaches us
Why movement is so important to understanding
Elegant line art illustrations by the author of his dreams.
Author is "go to" guy--recently featured in Scientific American (May 2004).

From the Back Cover:

Praise for 13 Dreams Freud Never Had

"As 13 Dreams demonstrates, J. Allan Hobson is gifted with both an intimate, first-hand knowledge of the brain's workings and a powerful literary imagination, qualities that make him one of the finest living practitioners and explicators of modern neuroscience."

—John Horgan, author of The End of Science, The Undiscovered Mind, and Rational Mysticism

"Allan Hobson has written a remarkable first–a kind of autobiography literally woven out of dreams. From the giant lobster brain to disembodied kisses, from neural labyrinths to opaline Harvard stairways, he makes you turn page after page in anticipation of what he will dream up next, and what he will reveal about his life. In the process, you will partake of a great scientist's journey of self–discovery. And you will learn, pace Freud, what dreams really have to say about us. A unique and gripping book, extraordinarily honest and human."

—Giulio Tononi, M.D., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, author of A Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination

"Allan Hobson has been a distinguished pioneer in the physiological investigation of dreaming. But the meaning of a dream, as he knows, is not the same thing as its function for the brain. In this lively, candid, refreshingly autobiographical book, Hobson shows that dreams possess emotional and ideational content of a straightforward, transparent kind. With 13 Dreams Freud Never Had, dream interpretation is wrested from the deep-theoretical "experts" and handed back to the only qualified authority–the dreamer him or herself."

—Frederick Crews, principal author of The Memory Wars: Freud's Legacy in Dispute

"What if Freud were still alive today and could rely on current neuroscience to construct a theory of dreams in lieu of his stillborn 1895 Project? Hobson tells us intriguingly why, nowadays, Freud would discard the disguise—censorship model along with his erstwhile wish—monopoly of dream formation in favor of recognizing fears, anxiety, and anger as coordinate dream motives with wishes."

—Adolf Grunbaum, Andrew Mellon professor of Philosophy of Science, professor of Psychiatry, and chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh

"A remarkable first–a kind of autobiography–literally woven out of dreams."

—Giulio Tononi, M.D., Ph. D.

The new mind science revolution sweeping the world is providing astonishing new insights into almost every aspect of our daily lives. But where did it all come from? One answer, as Allan Hobson now demonstrates in his elegant masterpiece 13 Dreams Freud Never Had, is the simple act of waking up and thinking about our dreams.

Freud ushered in the modern era of neuroscience when he set out on his great Project for a Scientific Psychology in an effort to bring science to the world of our imaginations. One of the first sites of his investigation was the interpretation of dreams. Freud believed dreams resulted from an elaborate effort of the mind to conceal unacceptable instinctual wishes welling up from the unconscious when the ego relaxes its prohibition of the id in sleep. But modern neuroscience, including Hobson's own research, has shown this understanding of the brain to be wrong. As Hobson lucidly explains, the bizarre nature of our dreams has nothing to do with repressed emotion as Freud taught; it results from the way the brain is physically built. Chemical mechanisms in the brain stem during deep REM sleep, which shift the activation of various regions of the cortex, generate these changes. Here is an amazingly clear window on how thoughts are actually created from our memories of experiences.

Each chapter of this book begins with notes describing a dream taken after Dr. Hobson awoke from it. Dr. Hobson discusses how the dreams can be interpreted given the circumstances of his waking life. Each chapter then maps how that interpretation fits into the physical structure of the brain–for instance, why movements our bodies make and movements we see in our mind's eye are so much a part of how we think.

Allan Hobson and other brain researchers have, over the last several decades, been constructing a new neurocognitive model of the mind. With the unique perspective of one of the revolution's leading researchers, this superb book delivers a fresh, vivid, and compellingly personal overview of how that new science of the mind is being built.

J. Allan Hobson, received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, where he is currently Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology. His books include The Chemistry of Conscious States, The Dreaming Brain, and Sleep. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.


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