Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dream Memory

I encountered an interesting phenomenon last night. I'm sure this has happened to me before, but typically I don't remember what I dreamed about, much less what happened in the dream.

In the dream, I was watching some kind of fantasy/surreal movie with my family, and one of them (I don't remember who) asked what the movie was based on. I distinctly remember in the dream "knowing" who wrote the book the movie was based on, but I could not remember the name of the author. I said, "He's the guy that wrote that one series..." and then tried to recall the name of the series, thinking this would help me remember the author's name. "Oh, the Discworld series! Terry Pratchett."

Now, what is interesting about all this is that Terry Pratchett did indeed write the Discworld series (in fact there are some cheesy movies based upon a few of the books). What is really fascinating thinking back on this dream though, is that in this "dream world" I was able to recall information that I couldn't "remember" by thinking of things associated with the author, much like in my waking consciousness.

Obviously, the way things operate in the dream world is not the same as they do in "real life." However, even when the mind is essentially projecting the entire environment, some things like memory recall (and the inability to remember things!) may still be present.


Ben said...

I think it's quite awesome that for as many things as medical science and the social sciences can reveal about the human mind there's still no way to fully explain things like this.

And, if anyone tells me this is incorrect and that there is in fact a research-proven explanation for "dream memory" then they can go straight to hell and I'll continue to believe that is it inexplicable.

Joe said...

Well I don't know of any explanations of this phenomenon, so I guess I'm hell-safe for now.