STATE NEWS
back PRINT-FRIENDLY VERSION EMAIL THIS STORY

Dreams make us creative

02nov03

A PERTH scientist's theory about dreaming pours cold water on the idea that we dream because we are distressed.

Dr George Christos says dreams serve an important biological function.

In a book to be released in Australia this month he gives scientific substance to the idea that "sleeping on it" can produce creative solutions to problems.

Until now, scientists believed scraps of stored memory, known as "spurious memories", were pruned out during sleep.

But Dr Christos's theory suggests the opposite is true – dreaming generates SMs that may be the basis of our creative ideas.

"There are all sorts of fanciful theories about why we dream, from keeping the eyes wet and the brain warm, to erection theories," he said. "But they do not incorporate all of the neurobiological, neurochemical, neurophysiological and cognitive evidence known about dream sleep."

He said SMs enabled new ideas to be generated from existing memory.

"SMs are necessary for the brain to learn something new," he said. "Without them the brain would only be able to recall already-stored information, like a tape recorder, and we wouldn't be able to adapt to new situations."

The theoretical physicist, who studies neural networks at Curtin University, uses mathematical models to prove his theory.

His book, Memory and Dreams: The Creative Human Mind, has been acclaimed by Harvard dream expert Professor Allan Hobson and US Sudden Infant Death expert Professor Warren Guntheroth, among others.






STORIES IN THIS SECTION
Land runs out after WA boom
We've lost faith in justice: Hancock
Walker on track for asthma
Fuel war to hit small retailer
Marathon hero beats doctors
Childless pair seek egg donor
Commando call lures 77 in WA
End of goodwill road, say school bus owners
Dreams make us creative
Unplanned delay in building boom
Beach watch for illegal hauls
Asbestos victims chase compo
Bikies praise jury over bombing verdict
Rotto swim may be split
Govt won't back down on election campaign handout
Car risk at rail stations
All wrong at Wright Lake
Road cheats must pay up
Birthday girl Cosima feels `mountain high'
Bald spots will vanish
How our kids risk death in night races
Home bowled for $1.3m


privacy            © Sunday Times
SEARCH
Archive Search:
Newstext is our online newspaper library – with more than 150 papers archived. You need to register to search.
BUY A PHOTO
Pick a pic from our extensive archives at Newsphotos.
Keyword(s):
MOTORING
Buy or sell your car, find spare parts and read the best motoring news in our ReadersMART Auto section.
JOBS
Industry
Location

REAL ESTATE
Find a home anywhere.

Suburb or postcode:

State:
go