Researchers to delve into dreams in new Lincoln sleep lab

A team of psychologists are delving into the world of dreams as part of a new research lab at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln.

To explore the importance of our nocturnal imagination, psychologist Dr Caroline Horton is heading up research at the new DrEAMSLab which has been launched today.

Dr Horton, who has set up DrEAMSLab (Dreaming, Emotions, Associations & Memories in Sleep Laboratory), said: “Research shows that although we dream several times a night, arguably even continually through the night, we remember very little of our dreams.

“Although dreams are difficult to access, there are systematic ways of studying them.

“Indeed, scrutinising the individual elements of dreams, and the ways in which these different elements combine, can tell us a lot about how the brain processes memories during sleep – a process known as memory consolidation. Sleep enhances memory as part of that consolidation journey.”

Dr Horton added that the Continuity Hypothesis broadly states that there is overlap between our dreams and in our waking lives.

The theory challenges those who have argued that dreams are the product of random firing of brain cells during certain stages of sleep, or that dreams might provide an insight into our futures.

The British Psychological Society, which accredits the suite of Psychology degree courses offered at BGU, has recently funded Caroline and her team of researchers from the Universities of Manchester, Swansea and Bedfordshire to co-ordinate a series of seminars that aim to push the boundaries of our understanding of how dreaming might contribute to memory consolidation in sleep.

Anyone who is interested in coming along to learn about what dreams can tell us about brain and mind can register by emailing bronwen.kane@bishopg.ac.uk.