UNREAL REALITY in our dreams is consistent with Motor-mouth theory with DMT as the hallucinogen - Saccades play a role

  • Ken Arenson (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


In our dreams, during REM-state-sleep (RSS), we hallucinate a reality of being out and about. I call this the Prime Hallucination (Prime-H). This essay contends that we do this using DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine), a well-known hallucinogen with the common name, “Ayahuasca”. DMT is endogenous to humans and other creatures, such as rats. It can be made by our retinas. In an earlier essay (Arenson, 2022) the Motor-mouth theory was proposed to account for RSS. It is contended that RSS was adapted by our brainstem and added to Non-REM Sleep (NREM) some 200 million years ago to add a motor maintenance function for ancestral chordates, which were then beginning to flourish and which depended on motor activity for their survival when awake. Dreams were not needed until words appeared, perhaps some 2 million years ago. Then, in order to provide motor maintenance for the articulation of words or meaningful calls, dreams were adapted into the RSS system. This, most common type of dream, is described by its name, “holophrastic linguistic dreams” (HLD-type). Words with a consistent phonology were so useful, every Homo species since then taught each generation of offspring to use them, and all needed a motor maintenance mechanism to align articulation among the members of each group, and so the HLD-type dream persisted. Assessing articulation in dreams takes advantage of the augmentations of reality that occurs because of the hallucinogen. Remarkably, the dreamer is usually blind to the augmented reality. Bizarreness during the dream experience is usually accepted as reality in dream sleep. Moreover, saccades, the eye movement of REMs by their generic name, may be triggers to onset RSS. Saccades come up frequently in the present essay. Others have observed that we hallucinate being out and about in our dreams and consider it normal while we dream, but few have considered this in depth, as is attempted here. Research on the biology of endogenous DMT in rats and humans is discussed. That the augmentation of reality by DMT convinces us, while in the dream, of an unreal reality, calls into question the central assumption of certain dream theories, particularly Content Analysis, which claims that the narrative report of a dream is in continuity with the dreamer’s reality while awake in un-augmented reality. This continuity claim seems unlikely because waking reality is obviously different than dreaming reality, due to DMT.


DMT & dreams,, Prime hallucinations,, Saccades,, Holophrastic Linguistic (HLD-type) dreams,, Anomalies,
How to Cite
Arenson , K. (2023). UNREAL REALITY in our dreams is consistent with Motor-mouth theory with DMT as the hallucinogen - Saccades play a role. International Journal of Dream Research, 16(1), 95–113. https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2023.1.92862