A neuro-cognitive model of sleep mentation and memory consolidation
Previous research has found evidence of relationships among sleep states and memory consolidation. However, no dominant models of sleep mentation (dreaming) account for the relationship between sleep and memory, despite the fact that the underlying neural processes of offline memory consolidation and sleep mentation happen simultaneously (and are therefore produced by the same brain state). In addition, experimental brain research contradicts what dominant neurological models of sleep mentation predict. Here a model of dream generation that agrees with empirical findings on dreams, and which is based on the neural process of memory consolidation during sleep, is proposed. The implications of the model are such that is suggests sleep state mentation may actually be a by-product (or readout) of the consolidation of memories produced by non-random cortical/sub-cortical reactivation during REM and Non-REM sleep (processes which are known, and are necessary for normal human memory function).