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Metaphor and hyperassociativity: the imagination mechanisms behind emotion assimilation in sleep and dreaming

Malinowski, J.E. and Horton, Caroline (2015) Metaphor and hyperassociativity: the imagination mechanisms behind emotion assimilation in sleep and dreaming. Frontiers in Psychology, 6 (1132). pp. 1-19. ISSN 1664-1078

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01132

Abstract

In this paper we propose an emotion assimilation function of sleep and dreaming. We offer explanations both for the mechanisms by which waking-life memories are initially selected for processing during sleep, and for the mechanisms by which those memories are subsequently transformed during sleep. We propose that emotions act as a marker for information to be selectively processed during sleep, including consolidation into long term memory structures and integration into pre-existing memory networks; that dreaming reflects these emotion assimilation processes; and that the associations between memory fragments activated during sleep give rise to measureable elements of dream metaphor and hyperassociativity. The latter are a direct reflection, and the phenomenological experience, of emotional memory assimilation processes occurring during sleep. While many theories previously have posited a role for emotion processing and/or emotional memory consolidation during sleep and dreaming, sleep theories often do not take enough account of important dream science data, yet dream research, when conducted systematically and under ideal conditions, can greatly enhance theorizing around the functions of sleep. Similarly, dream theories often fail to consider the implications of sleep-dependent memory research, which can augment our understanding of dream functioning. Here, we offer a synthesized view, taking detailed account of both sleep and dream data and theories. We draw on extensive literature from sleep and dream experiments and theories, including often-overlooked data from dream science which we believe reflects sleep phenomenology, to bring together important ideas and findings from both domains.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's open access policy.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sleep, Dreaming, Emotion, Memory, Hyperassociativity, Metaphor
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Social Science
Depositing User: Dr Caroline Horton
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2016 07:14
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2016 07:16
URI: http://researchonline.bishopg.ac.uk/id/eprint/49

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