Dreams have been described physiologically as a response to neural processes during sleep
Psychologically as reflections of the subconscious
Spiritually as messages from gods, the deceased, predictions of the future, or from the Soul.
The Neurobiology of dreaming
Activation synthesis theory asserts that the sensory experiences are fabricated by the cortex as a means of interpreting chaotic signals from the Pons
The continual-activation theory of dreaming proposes that dreaming is a result of brain activation and synthesis; at the same time, dreaming and REM sleep are controlled by different brain mechanisms
Dreams are ever-present excitations of long-term memory , even during waking life
Illogical locations, characters, and dream flow may help the brain strengthen the linking and consolidation of semantic memories
Dreams are a need and that they have the function to erase :
sensory impressions which were not fully worked up, ideas which were not fully developed during the day,
dreams may be the simple consequence of neural oscillation
Psychology of sleep and dreams
Dreams modify and test mental schemas during sleep during a process called emotional selection
Dreams serve some adaptive function for survival
Dreams are a product of "dissociated” imagination
Other hypotheses on dreaming
Bad dreams let the brain learn to gain control over emotions resulting from distressing experiences
Dreams may compensate for one-sided attitudes held in waking consciousness
Dream may communicate something that is not being said outright
Dreams regulate mood
The visual nature of dreams is generally highly phantasmagoric; that is, different locations and objects continuously blend into each other. The visuals (including locations, characters/people, objects/artifacts) are generally reflective of a person's memories and experiences, but often take on highly exaggerated and bizarre forms.
The most common emotion experienced in dreams is anxiety. Other emotions include abandonment, fear, joy, happiness, etc. Negative emotions are much more common than positive ones.
The Hall data analysis shows that sexual dreams occur no more than 10% of the time and are more prevalent in young to mid-teens. Another study showed that 8% of men's and women's dreams have sexual content. In some cases, sexual dreams may result in orgasms or nocturnal emissions. These are colloquially known as wet dreams
Color vs. black and white
A small minority of people say that they dream only in black and white.
While the content of most dreams is dreamt only once, many people experience recurring dreams—that is, the same dream narrative is experienced over different occasions of sleep. Up to 70% of females and 65% of males report recurrent dreams.