Primary and secondary consciousness during dreaming

  • Don Kuiken (Author)
    University of Alberta

Identifiers (Article)


Hobson (2009) proposes that lucid dreaming can become simultaneously and separately manifest against a background of non-lucid dreaming. The study of such state conjunctions, he suggests, sets the stage for a revolution in the neuroscience of consciousness. However, while lucid dreaming may indeed represent the emergence of what Edelman (2004) calls secondary consciousness amidst the primary consciousness characteristic of non-lucid dreaming, Hobson does not thoroughly address the form of self-regulative functionality that is already present in non-lucid dreaming. The result is single-minded consideration of rational agency and control (executive functions), rather than consideration also of the self-regulative functionality that is evident in non-lucid dreaming independently of secondary consciousness. Research procedures that reflect self-regulated but fluid openness to “what comes” during non-lucid dreaming are discussed, with particular emphasis on the study of REM sleep carry-over effects and their potential for exploring the metaphoric aspects of non-lucid dreaming.


How to Cite
Kuiken, D. (2010). Primary and secondary consciousness during dreaming. International Journal of Dream Research, 3(1), 21–25.