Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Dream Bites #2

In the 1950s, a ‘popular’ idea emerging from dream research stated that everyone dreams in black and white, but remember in colour – mentally painting the picture in waking memory. In 1951 Calvin Hall proposed that only 29% of dreams occurred in ‘technicolour’ whilst Tapia et al (1958) believed the percentage of colourful dreams to be considerably lower – approximately 9%. However, more recent research suggests that humans are able to dream in both colour and black and white (approximately 12% of persons with normal sight report their dreams occur in black and white, with only 4.4% of dreams being reported as black and white by under 25-year-olds), although the vast majority of people report dreaming in colour. Research from the American Psychological Association suggests that elderly persons dream in black and white because they grew up in the era of black and white television or because their dreams – reflecting their contemporary waking experiences and concerns – are less emotionally charged or stimulating than those of their younger counterparts. When moments of unexpected heightened emotion return, it may be that dreams reflecting these moods are once again experienced in vivid colour. 

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