Transcranial cortex stimulation as a novel approach for probing the neurobiology of dreams: Clinical and neuroethical implications

Ahmed A. Karim


In the last two decades considerable progress in brain imaging techniques have led to increasing interest into the neurobiology of sleep stages and dream contents. However, this fascinating research field poses several methodological challenges. The aim of this article is to discuss these challenges and to suggest novel approaches for probing the neurobiology of dream contents. Most of all, I suggest (i) to overcome the correlative limitations of neuroimaging techniques by applying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) during different sleep stages in order to provide causal evidence for the role of specific brain regions in different dream contents, (ii) to control for possible perceptual and cognitive biases in dream reports such as hindsight bias, (iii) to combine computer assisted qualitative data analyses of dream reports with quantitative psychometric scales by applying logistic regression analyses and (iv) to consider possible implications for psychotherapy and neuroethics.


Lucid dreaming; dream content; consciousness; transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); qualitative and quantitative data analyses; psychotherapy; neuroethics

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