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Dreams of the blind from birth


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#16    Mr Walker

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:36 PM

There seems to be some dispute, perhaps only semantic, about whether people, blind from birth, see visual images in their dreams. The current belief is that they do not, but this is disputed by some researchers.

Three careful sleep laboratory studies (Amadeo & Gomez, 1966; Berger, Olley, & Oswald, 1962; Kerr, Foulkes, & Schmidt, 1982) and at least one rigorous study of home dream reports (Hurovitz, Dunn, Domhoff, & Fiss, 1999) have shown that congenitally blind dreamers and those who became blind in infancy do not have visual imagery in their dreams, whereas those blinded in adolescence or young adulthood often retain visual mental imagery in their waking life and in their dreams. These controlled experiments confirm what has been reported in a number of earlier self-report studies reviewed by Kirtley (1975), who concluded on the basis of his extensive appraisal that individuals blinded before the age of about 5 report no visual imagery in dreams as adults, whereas those blinded after about the age of 7 are likely to retain visual imagery in dreaming.
According to Foulkes (1999), these studies have theoretical implications beyond the issue of blindness because they suggest that the mental imagery necessary for dreaming develops between the ages of 4 and 7. This suggestion fits with his finding that preschool children awakened in the sleep laboratory rarely report dreams and that the reports are bland and static on the few occasions on which they do recall dreams (Foulkes, 1982, 1999). Thus, the findings on blind dreamers add to the support for a cognitive theory of dreaming (Antrobus, 1978, 1991; Foulkes, 1985).

http://www2.ucsc.edu.../kerr_2004.html

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#17    Orcseeker

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:02 PM

View Post_Only, on 26 November 2012 - 06:33 AM, said:



Now this is going to sound out there, but it's something I've thought about after reading a metaphysics book. Dreams are a way for you to process conversing with the part of you that you don't consciously get to interact with in this waking world. You could consider this sleep state as the 'behind the curtain' time, where the real work in consciousness and its processing gets done. At some point in this state, you exit, and eventually wake up. I think dreams could be a memory of this time you spent outside of the box, but are placed in your waking conscious memory the only way they can be accepted, interpreted into things you know (familiar, or at least known in some way, settings, people, objects, etc.) in your conscious state. Your time outside of your usual state of consciousness is summed up and created into a story which uses settings and things you know as symbolic representations of the things you thought about, felt, learned during your time out. So of course someone who can't see will only be able to interpret the 'dreams' using their other senses. Like in waking life, whatever senses you have will pick up the slack for whatever sense you lack.

Just an idea about the consciousness dip during sleep, but the other senses taking over for the lost one is most likely true.

Interesting thought, I can understand the possibility of this being true. As in, why do we dream in the first place? Could be answered by this. A practical use for us.

Edited by Orcseeker, 28 November 2012 - 11:05 PM.


#18    Orcseeker

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:04 PM

View PostJGirl, on 26 November 2012 - 07:04 AM, said:


you wouldn't know if their dreams were colored because they couldn't tell you that. i would guess their dreams are impressions not pictures, because they would have nothing in their memory to draw an image from

They are still capable of feeling and some blind people get an idea of how some people look like by feeling them. So I think some sort of imagery is capable. The concept of colours could be understood by someone who has never seen it.


#19    Orcseeker

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:09 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 26 November 2012 - 12:36 PM, said:

There seems to be some dispute, perhaps only semantic, about whether people, blind from birth, see visual images in their dreams. The current belief is that they do not, but this is disputed by some researchers.

Three careful sleep laboratory studies (Amadeo & Gomez, 1966; Berger, Olley, & Oswald, 1962; Kerr, Foulkes, & Schmidt, 1982) and at least one rigorous study of home dream reports (Hurovitz, Dunn, Domhoff, & Fiss, 1999) have shown that congenitally blind dreamers and those who became blind in infancy do not have visual imagery in their dreams, whereas those blinded in adolescence or young adulthood often retain visual mental imagery in their waking life and in their dreams. These controlled experiments confirm what has been reported in a number of earlier self-report studies reviewed by Kirtley (1975), who concluded on the basis of his extensive appraisal that individuals blinded before the age of about 5 report no visual imagery in dreams as adults, whereas those blinded after about the age of 7 are likely to retain visual imagery in dreaming.
According to Foulkes (1999), these studies have theoretical implications beyond the issue of blindness because they suggest that the mental imagery necessary for dreaming develops between the ages of 4 and 7. This suggestion fits with his finding that preschool children awakened in the sleep laboratory rarely report dreams and that the reports are bland and static on the few occasions on which they do recall dreams (Foulkes, 1982, 1999). Thus, the findings on blind dreamers add to the support for a cognitive theory of dreaming (Antrobus, 1978, 1991; Foulkes, 1985).

http://www2.ucsc.edu.../kerr_2004.html

This is an interesting study. I believe our body uses what we experience in our lives and uses that as tr building blocks for dreams. So if we aren't experiencing any colour, our subconscious wouldn't create dreams of colour because we haven't experienced it and therefore cannot be recycled to use in dreams.





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