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The Mind at Night: The New Science of How and Why We Dream [Kindle Edition]

Andrea Rock
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Psychologists and philosophers have long grappled with the mysteries of dreaming, and now-thanks largely to recent innovations in brain imaging -neuroscientists are starting to join the conversation. In this groundbreaking book, award-winning journalist Andrea Rock traces the brief but fascinating history of this emerging field. She then takes us into modern sleep labs across the country, asking the questions that intrigue us all: Why do we remember only a fraction of our dreams? Why are dreams usually accompanied by intense emotions? Can dreams truly spark creative thought or help solve problems? Are the universal dream interpretations of Freud and Jung valid? Accessible and engaging, The Mind at Night shines a bright light on our nocturnal journeys and tells us what the sleeping mind reveals about our waking hours.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This exceptionally lucid and engaging work of science writing explicates breakthroughs in the study of the dreaming mind from the 1950s to the present day. Rock, an award-winning medical and science reporter, proves a crisp and thorough storyteller as she portrays the professional tensions among scientific innovators and delineates theoretical controversies (in which the legacy of Freud looms large). She frequently cites interviews with neuroscientists and psychologists, bringing out the drama of their intellectual struggles. Opening with the discovery of the REM phase of sleep by a lowly University of Chicago graduate student, Rock charts the subsequent explosion in dream research: investigations into the roles of different parts of the brain in dreaming; theories of animal dreaming and the evolutionary history of dreaming; the nature of memory; and the neurological relationships among dreaming, mental illness and consciousness itself. Examples of dreams are kept to a relevant minimum, but many statistics of interest are reported. In Rock's concluding chapters, a seamlessly narrated account of a period of sustained scientific focus on the dreaming mind eases into a broader discussion of the function of dreaming in the context of contemporary scientific findings and beliefs. Here Rock discourages simplistic dream-symbol decoding in favor of a more complex approach enlightened by present-day theories.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A well-written often entertaining look inside the mind." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Exceptionally lucid and engaging work of science writing." (Publishers Weekly) -- starred review

Product Details

  • File Size: 509 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0465070698
  • Publisher: Basic Books (March 25, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009WW8540
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,004 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream of a Book March 9, 2004
Format:Hardcover
What is the brain's true mission at night? Andrea Rock chronicles the astoundingly varied research by scientists in labs around the world who--aided by by new technologies that enable us to actually see the brain at work--have discovered undreamed of reasons for the mind to carry out its nightly visual odyssey.
Along the way, you'll learn about the unusual sleep pattern of dolphins (only one hemisphere of their brain sleeps at a time); why the functional anatomy of dreaming is almost identical to that of schizophrenic psychosis; how dreaming may serve as a kind of internal therapist, helping us to integrate the emotional experiences from the day; and why that pecuiliar egg-laying mammal known as the spiny anteater may be the key to knowing when the world's first dream could have appeared.
The Mind at Night is itself a dream of a book--its vast research woven into an elegant and quite thrilling narrative of scientists in pursuit of their Holy Grail: an understanding not only of dreams, but of the very nature of consciousness itself.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating March 4, 2004
By Amy
Format:Hardcover
This book is incredible. I couldn't put it down because I couldn't wait to find out what would be revealed in the coming pages. It's one of those books like "Chaos" or "Guns, Germs and Steel" that changes how you look at the world. What you discover about about how the brain works is amazing. For the first time, I sent an email out to a bunch of friends recommending a book. I did so because I thought so many of them would find it fascinating. On a sentence, paragraph and idea basis, it just flows. It's so alive , so easy to read, and SO INTERESTING.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book is one of the most interesting non-fiction books that I have read in the last few years. The subject matter (dreaming) is inherently interesting, but some of the science is complicated and theoretical. On some level, Ms. Rock has to assist the reader in understanding various parts of the brain (limbic, brain stem, pre-fontal lobe, etc.) as well as psychology (Freud and others). Much of the research that she is using is very recent, so many open issues remain. Despite these hurdles, she makes the book understandable to an interested layperson without dumbing it down too much.

I particularly enjoyed the way that she presented one approach to the study of dreams per chapter. Each chapter builds and explains the previous ones, as the research becomes more and more recent. Ms. Rock also introduces the reader to the personalities behind these cutting-edge scientists.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand the dream stage (as well as consciousness generally). It is not, however, a self-help book. Other than a few tips on lucid dreaming, it is a 'why' and 'what' book, not a 'how' book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So interesting! January 4, 2014
By Luna
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a young person who is fascinated by sleep, I found this book to be very digestible, pretty well written, and rich with good information presented in excellent narrative form. I appreciate that it wasn't just a piling of ground up data, stacked over in pages without style or story. That made it far more interesting than similar books that write as if the human mind is a computer that simply wants to download the most efficiently packed megabyte of data. Very informative on the science and art of dreaming. I found the chapter about the Hobbs person rather intolerable, but that was mainly because the scientist was so horribly closed minded. I think the author chose a well rounded cast of people to cover, over all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific read March 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a very well written and extraordinarily engaging work. It focuses on the science of dreaming but also expands on the implications of discoveries on consciousness and human nature. It makes the science easy to understand and it also provides a little discussion on the various personalities and occasional conflicts that have arisen among the scientific community involved in dream research.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The latest findings on dreaming May 5, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Students of psychology interested in the latest findings on dreaming will find The Mind At Night: The New Science Of How And Why We Dream by Andrea Rock provides a blend of all the latest research from neuroscience to psychology. Andrea history of dream research begins in the 1950s and moves to present-day, tracing the discoveries, major theories, and new dream reports from research labs.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating March 4, 2004
By Amy
Format:Hardcover
This book is incredible. I couldn't put it down because I couldn't wait to find out what would be revealed in the coming pages. It's one of those books like "Chaos" or "Guns, Germs and Steel" that changes how you look at the world. What you discover about about how the brain works is amazing. For the first time, I sent an email out to a bunch of friends recommending a book. I did so because I thought so many of them would find it fascinating. On a sentence, paragraph and idea basis, it just flows. It's so alive , so easy to read, and SO INTERESTING.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was drawn to this book because of my desire to explore both the left and right brain information about dreams.
There was quiet a bit of history, which I thoroughly enjoyed, from the Upanishad's to Jung. I especially appreciated the deeper understanding of Freud's vs. Jung's take on dream study, and resonated with Jung's sentiment of "The manifest dream picture is the dream itself and contains the whole meaning of the dream."
Being in the health care field I loved the emphasis on how healthy, essential and fundamental dreams are, as well as the theories presented to suggest the pivotal nature of dreams, in regard to our evolution. Also, the neurophysiology and progressive biochemical changes that happen from the womb until old age captured my attention. Learning about fatal familial insomnia (FFI) was fascinating and something I don't wish on anyone!
"Manipulating dream content" was brought up and some experiments documented. It was a nice balance to other books that I also enjoy tremendously, but which are far more anecdotal accounts of controlling or becoming lucid in the dream.
Debunking the myth that the presence or absence of rapid eye movement (REM) dictated whether or not one was dreaming was interesting, although I'll still make up stories about what my dogs may be dreaming when I see them moving all around in their sleep. And, I'll always look favorably upon a book that supports my sleeping late in the morning...
Overall I highly recommend this book for those leaning toward the science of oneironautics, and not those who live more in their right brains. I'm not sure how much of the science was new, as the subtitle suggests, but it is certainly a compilation chock full of really great information. It will remain on my shelf as a reference for my own explorations, when I need to be in my left brain.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
VERY GOOD. TOO WORDY AT TIMES THOUGH.
Published 4 months ago by MaryEllen Agolia, Ph.D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
reaaly goid book. my professor rememended it.
Published 4 months ago by Ruoheng Li
2.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Technical
Probably excellent, but more technical than what I wanted.
Published 5 months ago by James K. Mccaslin, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting information on the brain and dreaming
Published 5 months ago by Tom Moseman
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
Makes me consider dreams in a whole new light. Did not know there was so much research on dreams. Can't put it down.
Published 7 months ago by Denyse
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible book
incredible book! It really shaped the way i view the dreaming process. It is a great book for anyone interested in learning more about becoming one with their dreams.
Published 22 months ago by Jessica Heering
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is not about science
Any approach to dreaming that is based on the idea that REM sleep is dreaming is just wrong. There is a very interesting state of REM sleep - a state for which we have lots of data... Read more
Published on May 13, 2012 by Kathleen Broyles
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Interesting and Scientific
Usually, when reading about dreams, there isn't much science to explain what is going on. This book brings the science to light. Read more
Published on April 9, 2012 by Nicole
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Find at the Library
This book was facing out at the library, and I just grabbed it. I was very glad I did and whipped through it quickly. Read more
Published on December 4, 2011 by Middle-aged Professor
5.0 out of 5 stars So interesting
I very much enjoyed this book on the history of dream research - it was written in an engaging style, and brought the stories of sleep research to life. Read more
Published on April 23, 2011 by FlaNnelPjs
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