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Current Research on Lucid Dreaming and Shared Lucidity States

Paper i proceeding
Författare Adrian Parker
Publicerad i Proceedings of the 41st International Conference of the Society for Psychical Research
ISSN 0081-1475
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Psykologiska institutionen
Språk en
Ämnesord Lucid dreaming, lucidity, dream states
Ämneskategorier Psykologi, Psykologi (exklusive tillämpad psykologi)


Current Research on Lucid Dreaming and Shared Lucidity States Adrian Parker Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg The first scientific presentation of lucid dreaming was made by Van Eeden in the Proceedings of the SPR in 1913. Arguably, one of psychology's rare and real discoveries occurred in the late 1970s when Hearne, later independently confirmed by LaBerge, found that lucid dreamers can, while maintaining that state, communicate with the external world. There appears to be a current academic interest in the neuroscience of lucid dreaming as illustrated by publications in mainstream journals (e.g. Voss et al 2009, 2013; Filevich et al 2015). This research has been accompanied by surges in public interest as indicated by Google trends and articles in popular magazines such as Spiegel and Scientific American Mind along with the success of popular books on the topic. These recent research findings confirm lucid dreaming is is a distinct state with features common to both waking and sleep. The frontal lobe where the higher cognitive functions such as critical ability are localised, is alerted during lucid dreaming. They also indicate that those who report frequent lucid dreaming show a greater volume and activity in the grey matter of the anterior frontal lobe, hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex. It has been suggested that these since structures mediate the ability for self-reflective awareness - or thinking about thinking - so-called metacognition - then there may exists a trait-state predisposing some individuals to lucid dreamng. One difficulty in research on lucid dreaming is that the existing questionnaires which either merely tabulate frequency (Schredl & Erlacher, 2004) or confuse the characteristics of dreaming and lucid dreaming (Voss et al 2013). By contrast the popular scientific literature has given attention to accurately describing the phenomenology - that there are several types or levels of lucid dreaming. In our work at Gothenburg, we used first used a questionnaire with a simplified version of scuh a description - the lucidity continuum (Kellogg, 2004) and focused on the pre-lucid (awareness of odd features of dreams), lucid (the dreamer is aware of the dream state) and steering dreams. Using this questionnaire which has a strict definition of lucid dreams. we found that about 80% of Swedish students reported experiencing a least one lucid dream in their life and 24% of them reported one or more per a month. The reported frequency of lucid dreaming was associated with an increasing influence and richness of the content. Shared dreams were reported by 13% of those surveyed and these showed an association with teh frequency of reports of lucid dreaming and dream recall. Claims for their overlapping content and for lucidity to be a psi-conducive state are a feature of the popular literature (e.g. Kellogg, 1997, 2009; Waggoner, 2009; Morley, 2017). The latest version of the Lucid Dream Questionnaire has now integrated these questions with those of the Voss "LuCid Scale" by removing some items from LuCid Scale that were deemed inappropriate and modifying others. With the support of a lucid dream group organised by lucid dream writer Charlie Morely, we are now able to test the questionnaire with experienced lucid dreamers. Most experts in this area agree that the major difficulty in making advances in this area concerns a lack of a neurotechnology for the facilitation of the lucid dream state in participants. The existing technology such as the Novadreamer and the REM-Dreamer all operate through sensors which detect rapid eye movements and then by shinning an inbuilt LED device alert the dreaming consciousness to the the dream state. The equipment is bulky and inconvenient to sleep with. There are promising more user-friendly technology such as Iwinks Aurora which uses EEG biofeedback but none of these have not to date been entered production. In the absence of this psychological methods such as Intention-Reflection (Paulson and Parker, 2006) appear to the most effective (Strumbys et al 2012). This aside, there are reports of lucid dreaming and altered states using the "Lucia" Light Stimulator which is a form of the sstroboscope developed by the Austrian clinical psychologist Engelbert Winkler and neurologist Dirk Proeckl. In a pilot study we used the first version of the lucidity questionnaire to select 26 participants who reported having some control over lucid dreaming. The “targets” were randomly chosen from sets of 3 minute music melodies (P= 1/5) played to one of the participants. Suggestions were also given for relaxation and focusing and both participants (sender and receiver) were then simultaneously exposed to the Lucia for 30 minutes with teh music played at intervals in the background. The results with 26 participants (15 trials) were however precisely at chance expectation and the only noteworthy aspect being that the 3 hits were contributed by the experimenters themselves. The plan is now to recruit more skilled participants and experiment in a naturalistic setting. Kellogg, E. W. 1997 Mutual lucid dream event http://www.asdreams.org/telepathy/kellogg_1997_mutual_lucid_dream_event.htm Kellogg, E. W. (2004) "The Lucidity Continuum" Electric Dreams, 2, 10. http://www.improverse.com/ed-articles/kellogg/ Kellogg, E. W. (2009) Developing Dream Psi Abilities: A Workshop Intensive by Ed Kellogg, Ph.D. As presented at IASD's Ninth PsiberDreaming Conference, September 26 - October 10, 2010. http://asdreams.org/telepathy/kellogg_articles/2010DDPA.pdf Filevich, E., Dresler, M., Brick, T. R., & Kühn, S. (2015) Metacognitive mechanisms underlying lucid dreaming. Journal of Neuroscience, 21, 1082-1088. Hurd, R. (2014) A meeting of minds Video exchange http://dreamstudies.org/2014/09/29/a-lucid-meeting-of-the-minds Morely, C. (2017) Personal communciation Paulsson, T. & Parker, A. (2006). The Effects of a two week reflection-Intention training program on lucid dream Recall. Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. 16 (1), 22-35. Schredl, M. & Erlacher, D. (2004). Lucid dreaming frequency and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 37, 1463-1473 Strumbys, T., Erlacher, D., Schaedlich, M. & Schredl, M. (2012). Induction of lucid dreams: A systematic review of evidence. Consciousness and Cognition, 21, 1456 -1457. Voss, U., Holzmann, R., Tuin, I. & Hobson, A. 2009. “Lucid dreaming: A state of consciousness with features of both waking and non-lucid dreaming.” Sleep, 32, 1191–1200. Voss, U., Schermedlleh-Engel. K., Windt, J., Frenzi, C., & Hobson, A. (2013). Measuring consciousness in dreams: The lucidity and consciousness dream scale. Consciousness and Cognition, 22, 8–21.

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