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Study: Why Some People Can’t Recall Their Dreams

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While everyone dreams, some people can never remember doing so. According to a new study, activity in specific parts of the brain may be the reason why this occurs.

Published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the study involved 41 participants, half of which could recall their dreams about 5 mornings a week, called “high dream recallers.” The other half of participants that could only recall their dreams on average about 2 times a month, were considered “low dream recallers.”  The scientists employed a technique called Positron Emission Tomography to measure the spontaneous brain activity of each participant while they were sleeping and when they were awake.

In the “high dream recallers,” spontaneous activity in the brain’s medial prefrontal cortex and the temporo-parietal junction was higher during wakeful and sleep periods. This is a significant find as the temporo-parietal junction is known to have a role in how information is processed from within the body and from our external environment.

The brain has to be awake to memorize new information. “High dream callers” are more reactive and sensitive to environmental stimuli; they wake up more often during sleep. This causes their dreams to be more embedded in their memory, compared to “low dream recallers.”

While the reason for dreams still remains a mystery, we can still appreciate how fascinating they are. To learn about more theories about why we dream, click here!

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