full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Amy Adkins: Why do we dream?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

In the third millenium BCE, Mesopotamian kings recorded and interpreted their dreams on wax tablets. A thousand years later, Ancient Egyptians wrote a dream book listing over a hundred common drmaes and their meanings. And in the years since, we haven't paused in our quest to understand why we dream. So, after a great deal of scientific research, technological advancement, and persistence, we still don't have any definite answers, but we have some interesting theories. We dream to fulfill our wishes. In the early 1900s, smgniud frued poseoprd that while all of our dreams, including our nightmares, are a collection of igemas from our daily conscious lives, they also have symbolic meanings, which rltaee to the fmnllieuflt of our subconscious wishes. Freud teezhroid that everything we rbmemeer when we wake up from a dream is a symbolic rtsnaprieeteon of our unconscious primitive thoughts, urges, and desires. Freud believed that by analyzing those rbeermmeed elements, the unconscious content would be revealed to our conscious mind, and psychological issues stemming from its repression could be addressed and resolved. We dream to remember. To increase performance on certain matnel tasks, sleep is good, but dreaming while sleeping is better. In 2010, rrheecaress found that subjects were much better at getting through a complex 3-D maze if they had npaped and dreamed of the maze piorr to their second attpmet. In fact, they were up to ten times better at it than those who only thought of the maze while awake between attempts, and those who napped but did not dream about the maze. Researchers theorize that certain memory processes can heppan only when we are asleep, and our dreams are a signal that these processes are taking place. We dream to forget. There are about 10,000 trillion neural connections within the architecture of your biran. They are created by everything you think and everything you do. A 1983 neurobiological theory of dreaming, called reverse learning, holds that while sleeping, and mainly during REM sleep cycles, your neocortex reviews these neural connections and dumps the unnecessary ones. Without this unrienanlg process, which results in your dreams, your brain could be orveurn by useless connections and priitaasc thoughts could disrupt the necessary thkinnig you need to do while you're awake. We dream to keep our brains working. The continual activation thorey proposes that your dreams result from your brain's need to constantly consolidate and create long-term memories in order to function properly. So when external input fllas below a certain level, like when you're asleep, your brain automatically triggers the generation of data from its memory storages, which appear to you in the form of the thoughts and feelings you experience in your dreams. In other words, your dreams might be a random screen svaer your brain turns on so it doesn't completely shut down. We dream to rehearse. Dreams ivlnnovig dangerous and threatening situations are very common, and the primitive instinct rehearsal theory holds that the content of a dream is significant to its purpose. Whether it's an anxiety-filled night of being chased through the wdoos by a bear or fgnhitig off a ninja in a dark alley, these dreams allow you to practice your fight or flight instincts and keep them sharp and dependable in case you'll need them in real life. But it doesn't always have to be unpleasant. For instance, dreams about your attractive neighbor could actually give your roicvrpduete instinct some practice, too. We dream to heal. Stress neurotransmitters in the brain are much less active during the REM sagte of sleep, even during dreams of traumatic experiences, laneidg some researchers to theorize that one purpose of dmnaerig is to take the edge off painful experiences to allow for psychological healing. reeviinwg traumatic evetns in your dreams with less mental ssrtes may grant you a clearer perspective and eancehnd ability to process them in psychologically healthy ways. People with certain mood dodirress and PTSD often have difficulty sleeping, leading some scientists to believe that lack of dreaming may be a contributing factor to their illnesses. We deram to solve problems. Unconstrained by reality and the rules of conventional logic, in your dreams, your mind can create limetsils scenarios to help you grasp problems and formulate solutions that you may not consider while awake. John stienecbk clelad it the cttomieme of sleep, and rascreeh has dmsetrotaned the effectiveness of dreaming on problem snvoilg. It's also how rennweod chemist asugut kkelue discovered the structure of the bzennee molecule, and it's the reason that sometimes the best solution for a problem is to sleep on it. And those are just a few of the more prominent theories. As technology increases our capability for understanding the brain, it's possible that one day we will desicvor the definitive reason for them. But until that time arrives, we'll just have to keep on dreaming.

Open Cloze

In the third millenium BCE, Mesopotamian kings recorded and interpreted their dreams on wax tablets. A thousand years later, Ancient Egyptians wrote a dream book listing over a hundred common ______ and their meanings. And in the years since, we haven't paused in our quest to understand why we dream. So, after a great deal of scientific research, technological advancement, and persistence, we still don't have any definite answers, but we have some interesting theories. We dream to fulfill our wishes. In the early 1900s, _______ _____ ________ that while all of our dreams, including our nightmares, are a collection of ______ from our daily conscious lives, they also have symbolic meanings, which ______ to the ___________ of our subconscious wishes. Freud _________ that everything we ________ when we wake up from a dream is a symbolic ______________ of our unconscious primitive thoughts, urges, and desires. Freud believed that by analyzing those __________ elements, the unconscious content would be revealed to our conscious mind, and psychological issues stemming from its repression could be addressed and resolved. We dream to remember. To increase performance on certain ______ tasks, sleep is good, but dreaming while sleeping is better. In 2010, ___________ found that subjects were much better at getting through a complex 3-D maze if they had ______ and dreamed of the maze _____ to their second _______. In fact, they were up to ten times better at it than those who only thought of the maze while awake between attempts, and those who napped but did not dream about the maze. Researchers theorize that certain memory processes can ______ only when we are asleep, and our dreams are a signal that these processes are taking place. We dream to forget. There are about 10,000 trillion neural connections within the architecture of your _____. They are created by everything you think and everything you do. A 1983 neurobiological theory of dreaming, called reverse learning, holds that while sleeping, and mainly during REM sleep cycles, your neocortex reviews these neural connections and dumps the unnecessary ones. Without this __________ process, which results in your dreams, your brain could be _______ by useless connections and _________ thoughts could disrupt the necessary ________ you need to do while you're awake. We dream to keep our brains working. The continual activation ______ proposes that your dreams result from your brain's need to constantly consolidate and create long-term memories in order to function properly. So when external input _____ below a certain level, like when you're asleep, your brain automatically triggers the generation of data from its memory storages, which appear to you in the form of the thoughts and feelings you experience in your dreams. In other words, your dreams might be a random screen _____ your brain turns on so it doesn't completely shut down. We dream to rehearse. Dreams _________ dangerous and threatening situations are very common, and the primitive instinct rehearsal theory holds that the content of a dream is significant to its purpose. Whether it's an anxiety-filled night of being chased through the _____ by a bear or ________ off a ninja in a dark alley, these dreams allow you to practice your fight or flight instincts and keep them sharp and dependable in case you'll need them in real life. But it doesn't always have to be unpleasant. For instance, dreams about your attractive neighbor could actually give your ____________ instinct some practice, too. We dream to heal. Stress neurotransmitters in the brain are much less active during the REM _____ of sleep, even during dreams of traumatic experiences, _______ some researchers to theorize that one purpose of ________ is to take the edge off painful experiences to allow for psychological healing. _________ traumatic ______ in your dreams with less mental ______ may grant you a clearer perspective and ________ ability to process them in psychologically healthy ways. People with certain mood _________ and PTSD often have difficulty sleeping, leading some scientists to believe that lack of dreaming may be a contributing factor to their illnesses. We _____ to solve problems. Unconstrained by reality and the rules of conventional logic, in your dreams, your mind can create _________ scenarios to help you grasp problems and formulate solutions that you may not consider while awake. John _________ ______ it the _________ of sleep, and ________ has ____________ the effectiveness of dreaming on problem _______. It's also how ________ chemist ______ ______ discovered the structure of the _______ molecule, and it's the reason that sometimes the best solution for a problem is to sleep on it. And those are just a few of the more prominent theories. As technology increases our capability for understanding the brain, it's possible that one day we will ________ the definitive reason for them. But until that time arrives, we'll just have to keep on dreaming.

Solution

  1. disorders
  2. benzene
  3. steinbeck
  4. thinking
  5. representation
  6. theorized
  7. research
  8. napped
  9. kekule
  10. discover
  11. falls
  12. committee
  13. remembered
  14. dreaming
  15. solving
  16. dreams
  17. researchers
  18. images
  19. limitless
  20. demonstrated
  21. mental
  22. overrun
  23. saver
  24. reviewing
  25. stage
  26. events
  27. remember
  28. august
  29. involving
  30. renowned
  31. relate
  32. prior
  33. unlearning
  34. fighting
  35. fulfillment
  36. sigmund
  37. happen
  38. attempt
  39. freud
  40. theory
  41. proposed
  42. stress
  43. brain
  44. reproductive
  45. leading
  46. parasitic
  47. enhanced
  48. called
  49. dream
  50. woods

Original Text

In the third millenium BCE, Mesopotamian kings recorded and interpreted their dreams on wax tablets. A thousand years later, Ancient Egyptians wrote a dream book listing over a hundred common dreams and their meanings. And in the years since, we haven't paused in our quest to understand why we dream. So, after a great deal of scientific research, technological advancement, and persistence, we still don't have any definite answers, but we have some interesting theories. We dream to fulfill our wishes. In the early 1900s, Sigmund Freud proposed that while all of our dreams, including our nightmares, are a collection of images from our daily conscious lives, they also have symbolic meanings, which relate to the fulfillment of our subconscious wishes. Freud theorized that everything we remember when we wake up from a dream is a symbolic representation of our unconscious primitive thoughts, urges, and desires. Freud believed that by analyzing those remembered elements, the unconscious content would be revealed to our conscious mind, and psychological issues stemming from its repression could be addressed and resolved. We dream to remember. To increase performance on certain mental tasks, sleep is good, but dreaming while sleeping is better. In 2010, researchers found that subjects were much better at getting through a complex 3-D maze if they had napped and dreamed of the maze prior to their second attempt. In fact, they were up to ten times better at it than those who only thought of the maze while awake between attempts, and those who napped but did not dream about the maze. Researchers theorize that certain memory processes can happen only when we are asleep, and our dreams are a signal that these processes are taking place. We dream to forget. There are about 10,000 trillion neural connections within the architecture of your brain. They are created by everything you think and everything you do. A 1983 neurobiological theory of dreaming, called reverse learning, holds that while sleeping, and mainly during REM sleep cycles, your neocortex reviews these neural connections and dumps the unnecessary ones. Without this unlearning process, which results in your dreams, your brain could be overrun by useless connections and parasitic thoughts could disrupt the necessary thinking you need to do while you're awake. We dream to keep our brains working. The continual activation theory proposes that your dreams result from your brain's need to constantly consolidate and create long-term memories in order to function properly. So when external input falls below a certain level, like when you're asleep, your brain automatically triggers the generation of data from its memory storages, which appear to you in the form of the thoughts and feelings you experience in your dreams. In other words, your dreams might be a random screen saver your brain turns on so it doesn't completely shut down. We dream to rehearse. Dreams involving dangerous and threatening situations are very common, and the primitive instinct rehearsal theory holds that the content of a dream is significant to its purpose. Whether it's an anxiety-filled night of being chased through the woods by a bear or fighting off a ninja in a dark alley, these dreams allow you to practice your fight or flight instincts and keep them sharp and dependable in case you'll need them in real life. But it doesn't always have to be unpleasant. For instance, dreams about your attractive neighbor could actually give your reproductive instinct some practice, too. We dream to heal. Stress neurotransmitters in the brain are much less active during the REM stage of sleep, even during dreams of traumatic experiences, leading some researchers to theorize that one purpose of dreaming is to take the edge off painful experiences to allow for psychological healing. Reviewing traumatic events in your dreams with less mental stress may grant you a clearer perspective and enhanced ability to process them in psychologically healthy ways. People with certain mood disorders and PTSD often have difficulty sleeping, leading some scientists to believe that lack of dreaming may be a contributing factor to their illnesses. We dream to solve problems. Unconstrained by reality and the rules of conventional logic, in your dreams, your mind can create limitless scenarios to help you grasp problems and formulate solutions that you may not consider while awake. John Steinbeck called it the committee of sleep, and research has demonstrated the effectiveness of dreaming on problem solving. It's also how renowned chemist August Kekule discovered the structure of the benzene molecule, and it's the reason that sometimes the best solution for a problem is to sleep on it. And those are just a few of the more prominent theories. As technology increases our capability for understanding the brain, it's possible that one day we will discover the definitive reason for them. But until that time arrives, we'll just have to keep on dreaming.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
neural connections 2

Important Words

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  2. activation
  3. active
  4. addressed
  5. advancement
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  7. analyzing
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  20. bear
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  30. chemist
  31. clearer
  32. collection
  33. committee
  34. common
  35. completely
  36. complex
  37. connections
  38. conscious
  39. consolidate
  40. constantly
  41. content
  42. continual
  43. contributing
  44. conventional
  45. create
  46. created
  47. cycles
  48. daily
  49. dangerous
  50. dark
  51. data
  52. day
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  54. definite
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  57. dependable
  58. desires
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  60. discover
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  63. disrupt
  64. dream
  65. dreamed
  66. dreaming
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  70. edge
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  72. egyptians
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  87. form
  88. formulate
  89. freud
  90. fulfill
  91. fulfillment
  92. function
  93. generation
  94. give
  95. good
  96. grant
  97. grasp
  98. great
  99. happen
  100. heal
  101. healing
  102. healthy
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  105. images
  106. including
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  109. input
  110. instance
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  113. interesting
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  115. involving
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  117. john
  118. kekule
  119. kings
  120. lack
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  128. logic
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  130. meanings
  131. memories
  132. memory
  133. mental
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  135. millenium
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  137. molecule
  138. mood
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  140. neighbor
  141. neocortex
  142. neural
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  144. neurotransmitters
  145. night
  146. nightmares
  147. ninja
  148. order
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  150. painful
  151. parasitic
  152. paused
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  155. persistence
  156. perspective
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  185. renowned
  186. representation
  187. repression
  188. reproductive
  189. research
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  191. resolved
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  194. revealed
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  196. reviewing
  197. reviews
  198. rules
  199. saver
  200. scenarios
  201. scientific
  202. scientists
  203. screen
  204. sharp
  205. shut
  206. sigmund
  207. signal
  208. significant
  209. situations
  210. sleep
  211. sleeping
  212. solution
  213. solutions
  214. solve
  215. solving
  216. stage
  217. steinbeck
  218. stemming
  219. storages
  220. stress
  221. structure
  222. subconscious
  223. subjects
  224. symbolic
  225. tablets
  226. tasks
  227. technological
  228. technology
  229. ten
  230. theories
  231. theorize
  232. theorized
  233. theory
  234. thinking
  235. thought
  236. thoughts
  237. thousand
  238. threatening
  239. time
  240. times
  241. traumatic
  242. triggers
  243. trillion
  244. turns
  245. unconscious
  246. unconstrained
  247. understand
  248. understanding
  249. unlearning
  250. unnecessary
  251. unpleasant
  252. urges
  253. useless
  254. wake
  255. wax
  256. ways
  257. wishes
  258. woods
  259. words
  260. working
  261. wrote
  262. years