Laboratory references in dreams: Methodological problem and/or evidence for the continuity hypothesis of dreaming?

Michael Schredl


Incorporation of laboratory elements into dreams elicited in the sleep laboratory is a methodological problem, i.e., the measurement technique affects unwittingly the object of measurement (dream content). On a theoretical level, the occurrence of laboratory references, however, fits in the framework of the continuity hypothesis of dreaming. Reviewing the literature revealed that there is a strong effect of the experimental setting on dreams and that emotional involvement may explain inter-individual differences regarding the incorporation of laboratory elements. Investigating the effects of the laboratory setting on dream content seems to be a powerful tool for studying continuity between waking and dreaming in a detailed way.

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