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If our dreams are a reflection of reality,
how does someone who experiences a different reality dream?
Hey folks, Laci Green here for DNews. Here's something I had never really thought about:
how do the blind experience their dreams?
It's a perspective that's completely removed from my own, having been able to see my whole life.
well, minus when I take my glasses off and knock into things,
but that's a slightly different story.
A new study published in the journal Sleep Medicine took a little look-see at how the blind dream.
For sighted people, dreaming is primarily a visual activity. You remember images.
But if you don't have the sense of sight, other sensory information--
the information you rely on the most-- takes the lead.
The researchers looked at groups of people who were blind from birth (or congenitally blind),
those who became blind later in life, and those who can see.
Immediately after a dream, they were asked about their sensory experiences -- (what did you see? Did you taste anything?) --
as well as how they felt emotionally in the dream and if there were any themes.
Like falling, or being able to fly, for instance. Amongst the blind participants,
most of the content in their dreams was made up of things they "heard".
86% of them experienced sounds and voices, as opposed to 64% of the seeing group.
The scientists basically said that the longer the person was able to see during their life, the more visual content there was in the dreams.
The blind also experienced more sensations of "touch" in their dreams
- 70% versus 45% of the seeing group.
The blind were also much more likely to taste and smell than the seeing group.
In terms of emotional and thematic content, all the groups reported similar results --
but the congenitally blind group did stand out in one way....they had more nightmares.
They were 4 times more likely to report nightmares than the late onset blindness and seeing groups.
Why might those who are congenitally blind have more nightmares than everyone else?
The scientists aren't really sure, but they have a theory!
Nightmares are one of the ways that our brains process and cope with threats to our safety.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the blind tend to have nightmares about things like getting hit by a car, getting lost, losing a guide dog.
It's unclear, though, if this means that the blind experience more fear overall in their lives.
Just generally speaking.
So folks, what parts of your dreams do you remember most? Or do you dream at all?
Let me know down below and don't forget to subscribe for more DNews!
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How Do Blind People Dream?

29205 Folder Collection
庭瑋胡 published on May 19, 2015    Joyce Ching-Hsuan Liu translated    Jonathan Tan reviewed
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