RE: Anthropic dreams

From: Durant Schoon (
Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 18:05:14 MDT

> Has anyone ever figured out why humans need to dream? When
> AI's achieve
> consciousness, will they require it too?
> Mike

I remember reading about why dreams are so fleeting. There is a certain
neurotransmitter that must be present for storing memories. Although
your brain is active (dreaming) when you wake up, the neurotransmitter
responsible for remembering it later is not in great supply while you
are sleeping. The book I read it in was:

The Chemistry of Conscious States: How the Brain Changes Its Mind
by J. Allan, M.D. Hobson

I'm sure others on this list have read it too...epinephrine, norepinephrine,
seratonin...can't remember which neurotransmitter exactly :)

I'm sure everyone has pet theories about minimizing connections between
memories while we sleep or some functional adapdation for dreaming.
One recent study on slashdot discussed people practicing video games in
their dreams...and getting better! Could there be a kind of garbage
collection? Wasn't there something about Hebbian Neural Nets doing
dreaming (I know that's a bit of a buzzword with recent discussions on
sl4, but I thought I heard this a long time ago). Probably just hype.

One thing I'm really looking forward to if/when we all upload is finding
out just how many memories are stored subconsciously in my brain and on
the flip side of the coin, finding out how many gaps there are...

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