Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dreaming Blind

I have recently discovered that blind people do, in fact, dream. I really did not think this was possible. Dreams are normally so visually heavy, how can you dream without pictures and images?

Well, this is how: Auditory Dreams.

So, from what I've researched, the dreams people who are blind have are based on how long they have been unable to see. If they have been blind since birth, it is totally auditory. It's like listening to a audiobook, a story without the image. If a person was once able to see, sometimes a glimpse of the thing they are dreaming from what they remember. All of their images come from memory, though. The dreams also use the other senses, such as smell, taste, and touch. The possibility of having visual dreams is extremely unlikely for those who became blind before the age of 5. If people lose their sight after that age, there is a higher possibility that they will have visually driven dreams, although they may diminish after time.

So here are my questions. It has been said that the people that appear in your dreams are people you have seen in real life, because the brain is incapable of completely creating a person. How does this concept work to the blind? If they have been able to see for a short period, do their dreams re-use the same people over and over again? And if they haven't been able to see at all, would the people in their dreams consist of different voices that represent people?

Another one, while they are hearing the dream go on, do they just see blackness?

Like this?

Or is it some sort of grey/white/colored(?) thing? Is it textured?

Like this?

I would imagine the people who use their memories to dream can see color, but what about those who have been blind since birth? How do they think of color?

I'm not sure why, but this idea is so intriguing to me. Ever since I was young, becoming blind has been a phobia of sorts. Being able to see means a lot to me, and it is probably my most important sense (which reveals my humanity and weaknesses pretty well, judge me not). I can't imagine not being able to see the world around me. On my college campus, we have a pretty decent sized amount of people who are blind, and whenever I see one, I just have nothing but respect. I can't imagine how hard that would be.

Keep dreaming.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cat-Napping and Its Affects on Dreams

First of all, I have a new cat. His name is Rorschach, and I must share him with the world. So prepare for an adorable picture.

Ignore my silly cat face.
Now, I don't know about you guys, but naps are so fickle. Most of the time, I avoid naps at all costs because they give me much more energy than intended. I nap for ten minutes, I'm up for seven more hours (I wish I was exaggerating). When I do nap, though, I get some pretty vicious dreams.

So, I got curious and looked up the science. Apparently, when you are sleeping lightly (that phasic and tonic REM business), you are more likely to dream. And, of course, when you nap, you aren't going to go comatose like you should when you lay down for the night. Also, you are more likely to remember the dreams during a nap because you are more likely to wake up in the middle of the REM cycle.

On another note: apparently naps will improve your ability to retain memory, but only if you dream during them. So keep dreaming, you dizzy people, you.