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A Corollary to Revonsuo's "The Reinterpretation of Dreams"

Wade C. Mackey and Ronald S. Immerman


Published: 2006/12/01


Revonsuo's (2000) reinterpretation of dreams within an evolutionary framework is reiterated and a corollary is presented that complements and expands his original contribution. Revonsuo argues that dreams present an evolutionary adaptation that allows the sleeper's nervous system to generate simulations of threatening situations and to rehearse various tactics or strategies for dealing with the (simulated) threat. Revonsuo emphasizes physical threats, for example, dealing with predators (both two- and four-footed) and physical dangers such as storms. This article will expand the simulations to include more of Homo sapiens' ecological niche wherein successive generations, for success, would have had to negotiate within the very competitive social world of their respective communities. Our ancestors had to negotiate male/male competition and female/female competition, achieve successful courting, achieve successful parenting, optimize winning the co-operation of neighbors and minimize being exploited by those neighbors. Empirical data from surveys on dreams' manifest content support this expansion of Revonsuo's theory.

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