Lucid dreaming - where do the images come from?

Images in dreams are often generated by expectation. As soon as I think, ‘There’s a wolf nearby’, I’ll see a wolf (or perhaps something less terrifying…). But in lucid dreaming I have enjoyed moments when my subconscious surprises me. I’ve recently been generating ideas for a book cover in my lucid dreams, and it’s fascinating to look at a canvas and try to work out why you have been presented with that collection of images? Where do they come from? Are they all memory fragments, or a synthesis? Will we ever know?

Perhaps it has to do with the specifically activated portions of the brain?

Lucid Dreaming: A State of Consciousness with Features of Both Waking and Non-Lucid Dreaming
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737577/

Frequent lucid dreaming associated with increased functional connectivity between frontopolar cortex and temporoparietal association areas
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-36190-w

Thanks for the excellent links.

Are you familiar with Anil Seth . I have seen several of his presentations of his work and found it not only enjoyable fare, but also very informative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz5b4dPhzIQ

For a condensed version :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyu7v7nWzfo&t=8s

Thank you @bluecord35 for sharing those links. That it is described as a ‘hybrid state of consciousness’ is rather exciting. Do you think that specifically activated portions of the brain would contribute to different images, though? I imagine this depends on the areas of the brain responsible for storing memory, and that’s something I’ll have to look into more closely!

@write4u - I’ve seen the second video, the TED talk, before, but not the first - thank you for sharing. I’ll check this out! Anil Seth is very engaging.

To use a specific example: if I conjure a canvas within a lucid dream, turn the canvas around and see a rose on this canvas, do you believe that this is a rose that I have seen before (drawn from memory), or a likeness based on memory, perhaps synthesised? I suppose if it were a purple rose, then there might be combination of the images ‘rose’ and ‘purple’. I’m thinking out loud now… it intrigues me!

 

To use a specific example: if I conjure a canvas within a lucid dream, turn the canvas around and see a rose on this canvas, do you believe that this is a rose that I have seen before (drawn from memory), or a likeness based on memory, perhaps synthesised? I suppose if it were a purple rose, then there might be combination of the images ‘rose’ and ‘purple’. I’m thinking out loud now… it intrigues me!
Me too! Another interesting phenomenon is Chroma adjustment for people with impaired color vision. Just watching the emotional responses when colorblind people experience colors for the first time is truly impressive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDERamAQ41I

and after a week of adjustment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSFII6-ymm4

 

Wow, I hadn’t even heard of that before - that’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

This explains the actual process that causes color deficient vision. Note that the experience is due to a “differential equation” in the optical network.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNRQB5309yo

Seems to me that when you ( lucid or subconscious) dream you don’t use your eye cones and the question becomes if your dream can contain more vivid colors than you can see when seeing through your eyes. Is the brain capable of amplifying colors or can it only produce colors from memory? If one can have lucid dreams from imagination, can the brain produce the color of that imaginary object?

Oh that Anil, his video is constantly being tossed in my face by the YouTube algorithm, I’ve listened to it. Have even been very tempted to share it in some of my blogposts. Interesting stuff, but . . .

Anil Seth is a smart guy that I believe has fallen on his face, due to his own laziness.

Had he really focused on his message before writing that talk, I’m convince he could have found a much more enlightening metaphor than the tired over used “hallucination” which automatically tosses up so much garbage within a listener’s mind, that it deafens one to the subtle lesson he’s trying to convey.

Oh but it does get everyone’s attention, so guess since “hallucination” sells real well, he was painted in a corner.

Do it right and lose listeners, or hook them on hallucination and he’s home free.

@write4u that’s a really interesting point that makes me think of the colourblind video you shared. I wonder if, having used those glasses, that colourblind gentleman was then able to dream in the colours that he had not seen until he used the glasses. That would support your idea that the colours are produced from memory. It also makes me wonder if, say, I were to dream of a colour that I had never seen before, whether I would remember this colour upon waking? I imagine it’s possible for the brain to merge existing ideas and create new ones, in the same way that an infant could combine knowledge of the colour blue and a tiger to imagine and draw a blue tiger, without the memory of seeing one. But to imagine something like a new colour, or something equally hard to describe… that does make me wonder!

Funny that Color and Dreams come up.

Last night I dreamt that I saw the first car that I owned. In my dream-world, I apparently sold it to someone I knew. But when I saw it in the dream it had been painted this awful scheme of like a mottled red/copper, with a silvery-white hood and trunk lid. The paint job was so poor I didn’t recognize it as my car at first. I was disappointed in what they had done to it.

The car wasn’t the main subject of the dream, but just a passing element.

ccv3 said ; Oh but it does get everyone’s attention, so guess since “hallucination” sells real well, he was painted in a corner. Do it right and lose listeners, or hook them on hallucination and he’s home free.
I know the term has a negative connotation in common use, but the actual definition is quite objectively neutral.
Hallucination

Psychiatry
A hallucination is a perception in the absence of external stimulus that has qualities of real perception. Hallucinations are vivid, substantial, and are perceived to be located in external objective space.

They are distinguishable from several related phenomena, such as dreaming, which does not involve wakefulness;

pseudohallucination, which does not mimic real perception, and is accurately perceived as unreal; illusion, which involves distorted or misinterpreted real perception; and imagery (imagination), which does not mimic real perception and is under voluntary control.[1]

Hallucinations also differ from “delusional perceptions”, in which a correctly sensed and interpreted stimulus (i.e., a real perception) is given some additional (and typically absurd) significance.

Hallucinations can occur in any sensory modality—visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, proprioceptive, equilibrioceptive, nociceptive, thermoceptive and chronoceptive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucination


So Seth’s use of the term is appropriate if interpreted correctly as defined.

Heck, w4u, makes a lot of sense. Okay, thanks, will chew on it a bit and rewatch his video sometime.

Eat crow. It’s not like some better term was coming to my mind - and it was an interesting talk, and the guy is a bonafide expert in the field.

 

it was an interesting talk, and the guy is a bonafide expert in the field.
Yes, and what I had never given much thought is the fact that all levels of sensory and homeostatic behaviors of living organisms are no more than fundamental natural survival strategies, survivors of the natural selection process over billions of years.

This is why we can find extraordinary sensory abilities in many animals that are well beyond the capabilities of humans. But then humans can build instruments to compensate for our sensory shortcomings. This is due to our extraordinary powerful brains that allow us to think in very sophisticated abstract ways, i.e. Lucid dreaming and projecting our hallucinations into future anticipation.

The interesting part is that many hominids and monkeys as well as other mammals, fish, and birds are capable of rudimentary counting, i.e. knowing the difference between “more” and “less” and are able to feel emotions, it appears that only humans are capable of abstract “hallucinating”, i.e. mental projection.

I believe the extraordinary human brain was due to a rare beneficial mutation in the DNA in one our ancestral hominids

The one rare example of a beneficial mutation may be humans who became extraordinarily smart from a fusion of 2 chromosomes into one single larger chromosome in our hominid ancestor, resulting in a growth pattern of an extraordinary brain capable of thought well beyond what’s necessary for mere survival.

The possible reason for this is explained in this excellent paper.

Human Chromosome 2 is a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes , Alec MacAndrew
Introduction;
All great apes apart from man have 24 pairs of chromosomes. There is therefore a hypothesis that the common ancestor of all great apes had 24 pairs of chromosomes and that the fusion of two of the ancestor's chromosomes created chromosome 2 in humans. The evidence for this hypothesis is very strong.
Not only is this strong evidence for a fusion event, but it is also strong evidence for common ancestry; in fact, it is hard to explain by any other mechanism.
Conclusion
The evidence that human chromosome 2 is a fusion of two of the common ancestor's chromosomes is overwhelming.
http://www.evolutionpages.com/chromosome_2.htm