SCIENCE AND lucid dreaming

Science first accepted the possibility of lucid dreaming state within the dream consciousness context with Keith Hearne’s 1975 experiment at England’s Hull University. Over the course of the experiment, practitioner Alan Worsley was able to make deliberate and previously agreed eye movements at the same that an EKG monitor indicated his brain was in a state of sleep. Several years later, Stephen LaBerge would perform a similar experiment at Stanford University that became well known due to his active contribution to the development of this field of study.

Quite a number of scientific experiments have been conducted worldwide to prove the existence of the phenomenon and investigate its nature. For example, experiments on three lucid dreamingrs at the Max Plank Institute in Frankfurt (2008) demonstrated the following: the largest difference between the states of wakefulness, lucid dreaming, and rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep is observed at the 40 Hz frequency, and is concentrated in the frontal parts of the brain. Essentially, it was demonstrated that lucid dreaming is something in-between wakefulness and REM sleep. Notably, those very parts of the brain that are very much responsible for consciousness and whose development distinguishes humans from primates turn out to be the most active while in lucid dreaming. This work was undertaken by J. Allan Hobson, Ursula Voss, Romain Holzmann, and Inka Tuin. They are credited with demonstrating the difference between states of consciousness at 40 Hz.

More in-depth explanations of the nature of lucid dreaming state phenomenon remain to be discovered. With each passing year, the scientific community increasingly realizes how important the study of this state is, recognizing that it enables a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for consciousness and how varying states of wakefulness and sleep arise.

There is also a theory which states that lucid dreaming is a product of the evolution of human consciousness: consciousness first arose in and occupied wakefulness, and then gradually began to seep into the REM state, the next-closest state still free of conscious awareness. Possibly, conscious existence in two worlds – wakefulness and lucid dreaming – will be as commonplace for men and women of the future as being aware only during wakefulness is today. However, there is also a completely opposite theory which maintains that lucid dreaming ability used to be inherent, but is gradually disappearing. It points to the frequent ease with which younger children enter lucid dreaming, but later lose the ability with age due to its neglect.

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