The Dream World

EP58: The Science of Lucid Dreaming & Memory

February 06, 2024 Amina Feat. Bettina Finna Season 2 Episode 25
The Dream World
EP58: The Science of Lucid Dreaming & Memory
The Dream World
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Show Notes Transcript

Déjà rêvé, a phenomenon akin to déjà vu, involves the uncanny sensation of experiencing a present moment in a dream prior to its actual occurrence in waking life. The mysterious nature of dream memories prompts contemplation on the intricacies of memory, perception, and the mysterious workings of the subconscious mind. 

This episode is about Bettina Finna's Dissertation study. Research such as this contributes to our understanding of consciousness, memory, and the boundaries of our dream worlds.

Citations

Bettina Finna 2021
Successfull reinstatement of dream and waking life emories among frequend lucid dreamers

Remington Mallet 2020
Partial memory reinstatement while (lucid) dreaming to change the dream environment


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00;00;00;00 - 00;00;20;18
Unknown
I can't believe the Dream World podcast was born over four years ago. I know I've said that before, but it's just mind blowing to me. I'm so inspired by everybody I've met along the way. And now I even raised money to go to Netherlands for the DREAM Conference, which is such an accomplishment. So I'm really happy about that and thankful to everybody who donated or plans on donating.

00;00;20;18 - 00;00;41;26
Unknown
So please let me know what kind of content you want to see, what you like, what you don't like. Today's episode is actually a lost file that has been recovered, and it's really interesting because it's about lucid dreaming and memory. I love this topic because a lot of my dreams are some of my most cherished memories that are just as vivid and strong and emotional as my waking life memories.

00;00;42;03 - 00;01;01;01
Unknown
So shout out to my guest, Bettina and anybody who is actively researching about lucid dreaming and adding to the literature. Thank you for everything that you do. Thank you for having me on your podcast. I was actually listening to some of the episodes and they are really interesting. So my name is Bettina and I am living in Germany.

00;01;01;05 - 00;01;32;24
Unknown
I was originally born in Hungary and I'm currently finishing up my studies in the university, which is largely a distance learning based university about my dissertation project. So it's about lucid dreaming and memory and statements among fragments of dreamers. So basically my hypothesis, my first so primary hypothesis proposed that when you ask fragments of ze dreamers to try to reinstate waking life memories in comparison to the dream memories, they will be way more likely to reinstate waking life memories.

00;01;32;27 - 00;01;57;10
Unknown
And I also had a secondary hypothesis that basically proposed that lucid dreaming skills which consist of awareness and gene control, will be correlated to both of these outcomes. That is successful. Waking life and successful dream memory reinstates. So basically theoretical basis was largely based on this continuity approach in consciousness, and within that the activation in both modulation model.

00;01;57;11 - 00;02;35;11
Unknown
I don't want to really get into details because I don't want to bore the audience, but I differentiated between the conscious phase of wakefulness and the conscious state of REM sleep and sleep. So basically dreaming and I associated these memories in these Cardinal states of consciousness. Think about dream memories that they are way more fragmented or obscure. And our state of consciousness, when dreaming is basically primary, so characterized by lack of metacognition, lack of anticipation of future, reflecting your own thought in comparison to the state of wakefulness, then you have secondary or higher level consciousness.

00;02;35;11 - 00;03;03;19
Unknown
And I was thinking if we put lucid Dreamers as freshmen, Lucy Dreamers, to try to recreate these memories associated with these different states of consciousness, they will be more likely to to exist and recreate and have control over their waking life memories. I want to emphasize this. This is just really a dissertation and that I really had a small sample size 17 people, and what I ended up finding for my first hypothesis is unfortunately non-significant results.

00;03;03;19 - 00;03;46;07
Unknown
So basically if you looked at the conditions, the participants either succeeded reinstating waking life memory in comparison to dream memory, I found that more of the participants reinstated successfully. The Waking Life memory, which was interesting, but it was not significant. On the other hand, I also found that my lucid dreamers, most of my freshmen, Lucy Dreamers, means they did both of conditions and there were also high number of them that could not reinstate any of these conditions, which is interesting because I asked them to assess them on their Lucy dreaming scale and it indicated that they were all not only highly frequent, lucid dreamers, but also very skilled, meaning that on average they were they

00;03;46;07 - 00;04;20;16
Unknown
had good skills to not only maintain lucidity, but also to control their dream character and dream environment as well. Yet, you know, most of them did not really reinstates both of the conditions. That was interesting. What I also ended the finding was that the correlation between lucid dreaming skills and successful dream memory statements, which I interpreted as if you try to render the dream memory, you might face issues with this obscurity of the dream memory cells.

00;04;20;16 - 00;04;47;20
Unknown
You might require higher lucid dreaming skills by means of control and awareness to try to reinstate and recreate a dream memory in comparison to a waking life memory. Yeah, that was also very interesting. I think so. At least. Yeah, I know it sounds a bit complicated, you know, with the theoretical background behind it and everything, because it's largely the relationship between consciousness and lucid dreaming that needs a lot of research.

00;04;47;20 - 00;05;11;27
Unknown
And I actually I came to this idea for my dissertation by having a dream. I'm not always dreaming. So I remember my dreams are on every night, every day, and I make up and I don't even really need the Dream Journal. But one day I woke up and I was telling my fiancee that or I think I had a memory or like kind of a déja vu feeling in my dream.

00;05;11;27 - 00;05;37;28
Unknown
Like I was dreaming. It was an unlucky dream. It was just a regular dream that somehow I came to the realization that I had these very dreams came before when I was dreaming. So it was very interesting. I didn't become lucid, but I remember this feeling of déja vu within my normal dream. And I woke up and somehow I came to the idea that, okay, I'm going to I'm going to start reading more about memory and dreams and how are memory is related to dream memory.

00;05;37;28 - 00;06;05;29
Unknown
So this whole topic of memory and dreaming and consciousness, I came to this whole idea. I sometimes feel like we have a memory bank just for our dream memories. Like I'll have memories within a dream from other dreams or other times within that dream narrative that I've never seen in waking life. That déja vu feeling or déja vu drive, which means I've dreamt this before, is very unsettling sometimes I know what you mean.

00;06;06;04 - 00;06;31;14
Unknown
This is all to us. Or something similar that that happened to me with this special occasion. I think that I had this specific place and time, you know, the spatial and temporal characteristics of this specific scheme before in my dream, but never in the reality, it couldn't have even been possible because it was very so unrealistic. I think I'm not really a highly recommend lucid dreamer by means that I don't have to see dreams every week or so.

00;06;31;17 - 00;06;50;09
Unknown
I have them more often lately, but how it started for me, this whole interest in dreaming Percy was when I was a child and I had a lot of lot of recurring nightmares. This specific nightmare actually, with this weird girl. And they always return to my dreams to scare me. And I got rid of her by becoming lucid.

00;06;50;09 - 00;07;12;07
Unknown
And I looked at her and screamed at her and she disappeared. And this is, I think, my first ever remember lucid dream. Since then, I also experienced many sleep paralysis when I was a teenager. Yeah, I'm very interested in how we experience this and why do we experience is more importantly, can we control them? And if we can, how is it related to our memories?

00;07;12;07 - 00;07;38;25
Unknown
Is there any difference in our ability or skill to control our dreams based on memory? Somehow? Interesting topics. Yeah. And in terms of the function of how memory works, short term memory and long term memory, I see some parallels as well, like the process of remembering the dream you had last night is very similar to remembering your day yesterday and what you ate for dinner and so on.

00;07;38;25 - 00;08;00;19
Unknown
And a huge part of lucidity is memory, because you have to remember that you're actually asleep and you're not in this weird dream scenario. And the more memory you have of your waking life, the stronger your lucid dream is usually. And I think it would I mean, in my future, I would definitely put more effort into this area of research, especially about dream memories.

00;08;00;26 - 00;08;27;06
Unknown
So non-U.S. dream memory domain statement, the elusive dreams, because, you know, I'm not the first one who is doing the research related to memory, memory, reinstatement. I should I was I have to mention the name the Remington Malas, who was I think, the only person who had a published research about memory reinstatement. But it was a huge imporant inspiration for my dissertation project because he did the research about waking life, memory, reinstatement in lucid dreams.

00;08;27;06 - 00;09;11;29
Unknown
And I took this further by asking participants, okay, how about we compare the successful outcomes with dream memory statements and these what happens? I think it definitely needs more research. So what's next in the research? What experiments do you want to do? Assuming you know you had the resources and the funding and all that good stuff, I would be definitely interested in measuring the factors of twin consciousness between the two types of memory statements, which means that, you know, memory and statements have been associated with certain factors of student consciousness, such as inside thought and dream control, which means that people who so frequently seem to be massacred reinstates a waking life.

00;09;11;29 - 00;09;37;07
Unknown
Memory. They're scoring a very high on factors such as dream control, meaning that of course they were able to control the dream environment. They were also able to think about what they going to do, and that is the next step in their dreams. Also reflecting on what they should do proceed. They recall the specific memory and acted upon it in their DREAM Act, try to reconstruct it.

00;09;37;07 - 00;10;05;14
Unknown
So it's a very complex process of what's happening when somebody is dreaming and trying to really create the whole memory as it was when they were awake or when they were dreaming this memory. It's awesome. And I thinking that if we could just be more into this by comparing how people could report what they experience and inside stage in control when they try to means to befriend memories in the lucid dreams would be very interesting, I think.

00;10;05;14 - 00;10;31;03
Unknown
And that's what actually I wanted to do. But I need be more participants to do that. And you know, it's a very difficult area to research due to low population that is fragment lucid zones. Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. And even for Experian, it's lucid dreamers. Sometimes it's hard to remember the task and execute it properly. So I could see why it's a difficult area of research.

00;10;31;05 - 00;10;52;17
Unknown
Another thing that I'm curious about is if I'm reinstating a memory or recalling a memory from my childhood, for example, in the dream, how accurate is it going to be? Because every time I remember something, it's a little different. And when I'm reinstating it in the dream, it's likely to have some, you know, alterations to it. Based on however the dream goes.

00;10;52;19 - 00;11;13;20
Unknown
Yeah, that's the problem. We cannot really, you know, objectively excess of, okay, somebody is claiming to reinstate a memory, but this is the weakness of the whole methodology. So to say I cannot certainly say okay, that was sure it was hundred percent that this person restated what he claims to be reinstating. And this is a problem of course.

00;11;13;20 - 00;11;35;18
Unknown
But regardless, less of this, this is a great way of researching this. The memory and its connection to lucid dreaming and consciousness is a whole I think it's definitely worth looking into it in the future. But I'm just a student, so. Well, that means something. So give yourself some credit because students pave the way to the future. Thank you so much.

00;11;35;21 - 00;12;01;11
Unknown
It's actually a very complex story. You know, the theoretical background of why do I think that there would be a difference if I ask participants to reinstate different types of memories? So are you all like a fragment, lucid dreamer, or at least on a monthly basis or. I have lucid dreams like a few times a week. It depends like how much I'm trying, but I guess I consider myself a natural lucid dreamer since I did have my first lucid dreams as a child.

00;12;01;17 - 00;12;22;04
Unknown
But when I studied psychology and neuroscience in college, I started getting more into it, and that's when it really started to expand. And I grew my practice and then started the podcast and it just kind of grew from there. I know I started to meditate lately, like, okay, not like seriously meditating. Like you know, I'm not approved with that.

00;12;22;04 - 00;12;42;11
Unknown
I didn't read any books about meditation. I just read a few articles where I could be some of the scientific articles of how mindfulness and, you know, really it's this whole Tibetan approach and how it could like share features with lucid dreaming, especially with this awareness and focusing on what's around you without really trying to judge it anyway.

00;12;42;18 - 00;13;03;11
Unknown
And I did that lately, and I noticed that I also had more lucid dreams in the last few weeks, which is amazing, I think. Yeah, it's connected. I use mindfulness meditation as well to help me in my lucid dreams, and it would probably help your participants too, because when I practice meditating it helps me stabilize and ground myself.

00;13;03;11 - 00;13;25;07
Unknown
So when I become lucid, I do that and it helps my dreams become longer. So meditation definitely helps. There's a similar mental process there that that helps you maintain the calmness of, okay, I can I'm lucid here in my waking life. So then you bring that lucidity into your dream space. Yeah, exactly. So I think I'm going to keep practicing it and about yet the participants.

00;13;25;07 - 00;13;47;08
Unknown
So I was oscillating. Okay, there might have been a certain fragment lucid dreamers in my research who could not me state any of the conditions, you know, in opposition to those who could reinstate either bullet or one of the conditions. Maybe they just simply do. I didn't control for practicing it. So basically I didn't ask them about, okay, do you use like any practice for inducing lucid dreaming?

00;13;47;11 - 00;14;12;06
Unknown
You do Like how long when you started first lucid dreaming. So yeah, that would be an interesting idea in the future to control for these kind of factors. It's also an interesting thing of how you started solution aiming. For instance. For me it's the why is matter. So I have to wake up first and then I try to, you know, somehow get back to sleep and somehow I just I start to become lucid from first waking up.

00;14;12;06 - 00;14;33;10
Unknown
Do you have a favored method of inducing lucid dreams? Yeah. So I do a lot of work back to bed like you when I wake up and go back to sleep, especially if I do it in the morning, that gives pretty high results for me. Another thing that's powerful for me is if I meditate right before I go to sleep and I set an intention crazy how your mind will listen.

00;14;33;10 - 00;14;50;04
Unknown
You know, just a simple like I will remember, I will be lucid. That can really have an impact like when I do that. And yeah, sometimes I practice wild as well, but mostly wake back to bed and it's for me, it's mostly just intentional. Like if I really focus and I'm really intentional, like I'll have good result. You mean intentional?

00;14;50;04 - 00;15;13;06
Unknown
Like intentional becoming? See, their intention is achieving something in your lucid dreams. Both Yeah, both Mostly just becoming lucid. I mean, I usually have a plan because that helps. Like, or at least like a list of things that I want to try recently. I have a long list, but usually in my head I'll have like four or five things that I immediately want to focus on trying in my dream or work on something or whatever is going on.

00;15;13;06 - 00;15;33;14
Unknown
So yeah, if I'm really trying, I'll do a little like my night routine and I'll set some intentions and I'll say affirmations just mentally. And that really like incubates the idea of becoming lucid. Yeah, there's so many methods really to experiment with. It is trial and error. It's also interesting how for some people it comes way more naturally than others.

00;15;33;14 - 00;15;56;23
Unknown
You know, I also had a completely unknown, honestly, just mentioning that I had a participant who said that for him or her, it's coming so naturally that it's not an intentional thing. He's not practicing, you know, any of these inducing methods. It's just really natural. That's true. I mean, I do have spontaneous sometimes, Honestly, I do. I would consider myself a natural, lucid dreamer just because I started as a kid.

00;15;56;23 - 00;16;16;04
Unknown
And I don't always need induction methods, although when I do have consistent methods, I mean, it helps. And I would argue that everybody is a natural, lucid dreamer. What matters is, number one, your belief that if you believe you're an actual lucid dreamer, that will have an impact like your brain. Whatever you think about yourself, it really does play a role in your experience.

00;16;16;04 - 00;16;30;23
Unknown
So if you believe, Oh, I can't do this, I'm I suck at this, that's the experience you'll have. So if you believe you're an actual lucid dreamer, you're great. You know, And I think we all are like dreams are a gift that we all can do. It's just practice, you know? It's like saying I'm a natural bodybuilder. Nobody is.

00;16;30;23 - 00;16;56;11
Unknown
You got to work out, you know? Certainly very interesting how if I compare myself and my fiancee, my fiance's variable dream, we all dream, of course, but they just don't really remember remember differently. Right. I have to say that it was very interesting talk with you, so I really appreciate your time. And first of all, you know, I said my dissertation and then in the future I'm going to apply to master a master's degree in cognitive sciences.

00;16;56;11 - 00;17;15;17
Unknown
So I hope that's going to work out. And within that, I can just dig into this topic of consciousness a bit more because I think that's one of the most interesting, complex topics you can research. Thank you. Bye bye bye.