Reading aloud 100 years after the publication of Sigmund Freud's basic book "The Interpretation of Dreams", dream research has moved a good deal away from its founding father. The founder of psychoanalysis understood dreams primarily as an expression of forbidden, instinctual wishes. His successors, however, see a close relationship to real life: "Dreaming is closer to our everyday thoughts, as Freud wanted to admit, " says Wolfgang Leuschner, Deputy Director of the Frankfurt Sigmund Freud Institute.

Leuschner understands dreams as "rehearsal action". Much of what weighs on us in our wake flows into our dreams: the quarrel with the neighbors, worries at work, problems with sexuality, he explained at the conference "Scientific Dream Research 100 years after Freud", which ended on Sunday in Frankfurt, "The dream is a concern, " says Leuschner. The dreaming plays in sleep different situations, behaviors, reactions and seeks solutions. "One could almost say: we think in a dream, " says Leuschner.

The Freudians have torn the boundaries between dream and reality: "Dreaming is a process that runs throughout the day - like digestion, " quotes the analyst Heinrich Deserno a British colleague. During the day we collect the input, at night the computer spits stories. "When we wake up in the morning, bathed in sweat, it will be something like a digestive disorder." So, too, have dreams that we do not remember, done their work.

During the conference, it also became clear that the dream research 100 years after Freud has taken a decisive step: Get off the couch, into the lab. Much of what researchers know about dreams today comes from experiments. In the "Laboratory for Experimental Trauma and Memory Research" of the Sigmund Freud Institute, the researchers ask the subjects to sleep. There, for example, they enlighten the sleeper with a text describing a scene. Then they wake the person and let the dream tell: Many of the motifs contained in the scene came - changed - in it.

Or they wake the sleepers with a pen and pencil and ask them to paint their dream. Stephan Hau has evaluated almost 1, 000 such nocturnal drawings. He found out that these pictures are completely different from those painted by the same sleeper upon waking up: the perspectives are wildly mixed, successive scenes are painted simultaneously, there are no colors. A man who dreamed of arriving at the hotel painted the facade of the house from the front and at the same time the interior of the house. He also drew the route by car. "With the help of such drawings, we come closer to the dream much more directly than if we let him tell us only, " says Hau. display

Much of what is known about dreams comes from questionnaires or interviews. However, the researchers can not do much with many a result. "Women dream mainly in blue, men in green", reports the Viennese dream researcher Brigitte Holzinger. When asked the reasons she shrugs. Women, according to the study, also find time in the dream rather than slower, men faster. Women are usually active in their own dreams, "Men feel more at the mercy of the dream."



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