Atlas Obscura: How We Dream: The Science, History & Future of Dreaming With Sidarta Ribeiro
In this 2-part lecture series, we’ll explore how we dream, how dreams have affected human history, and what the future of dreaming might look like.We spend years of our lives moving through our dreams, a phenomenon that has puzzled humans since the time our Paleolithic ancestors were falling asleep, nestled in caves beneath the stars. In this lecture series led by neuroscientist and author Sidarta Ribeiro, we’ll explore dreams from a variety of perspectives; diving into the past and tracing its evolution, and understanding how it came to play a central role in human history and psychology. We’ll look at the dreams that mark major life transitions in the human experience, and examine our contemporary understanding of what happens to our memories when we dream, drawing from biology, chemistry, psychoanalysis, philosophy, and personal narratives. Along the way, we’ll explore the heated debates that continue to surround experimental findings on sleep and dreams, focusing on the connection between dreams and the formation of memories, emotion, creativity, and the simulation of possible futures, and touch on lucid dreaming. By the end of our time together, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what dreams are and how they’ve shaped our world today, as well as new tools to examine your own dreams in relation to your waking life.