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Comment: This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items. We ship within 1 business day. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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The Mind at Night: The New Science of How and Why We Dream Paperback – International Edition, March 29, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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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.

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"A well-written often entertaining look inside the mind."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (March 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465070698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465070695
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading this in high school and used it often as a reference for dream studies. I was worried I'd lose it when I graduated. Thankfully, I was smart enough to get a picture of the title. This book is easy to understand and easy to get lost in. The information is laid out in a manner that's easy for the average individual to grasp and builds on itself.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very interesting to read. It tells about what your brain and body does while you are sleeping, not so much about what your dreams mean. Your brain is an amazing organ - there is so much to learn about it.
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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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