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The Mind at Night: The New Science of How and Why We Dream Paperback – International Edition, March 29, 2005


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The Mind at Night: The New Science of How and Why We Dream + The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night's Sleep + The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep (Harvard Medical School Guides)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (March 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465070698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465070695
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

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

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

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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It is an easy read and very informative.
Jack-E
Much of the research that she is using is very recent, so many open issues remain.
C. Gruver
A very comprehensive list of dream studies.
faizdude

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Bedway on 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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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amy on March 4, 2004
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 By C. Gruver VINE VOICE on July 1, 2008
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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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amy on March 4, 2004
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 14 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luna on January 4, 2014
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Heering on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Avid reader on 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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