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Cajal and Dream Research 

Cajal and Dream Research
Cajal and Dream Research

Benjamin Ehrlich

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date: 16 April 2021

Cajal published a total of about three hundred and fifty scientific articles. The majority of these are concerned with the structure of the nervous system, six of them are on the subject of psychology, and only a single one is on dreaming. Although he did not value the content of dreams, Cajal was fascinated by their neurobiological mechanisms. During sleep, the cells throughout the brain that are hyperactive during daytime operations—especially those responsible for “the critical faculty”—are exhausted and rest; meanwhile, the fresh cells that store unused impressions are free to perform their gymnastics, randomly synthesizing their impulses. Through analysis of thousands of dreams through visual dreaming in a technique he referred to as “the introspective method,” he concluded that there was no involvement from any cells in the retina. This avant-garde finding reflects our contemporary thinking about dreaming.

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