I find the phenomenon of lucid dreaming to be very fascinating. In short, lucid dreaming is the ability to control your own dreams and be consciously aware that you are in a dream. I have taught myself to have lucid dreams occasionally (there are many tutorials on this, it can be learned by anyone) and read many books related to physiology of sleep.
But none them really answer what is the mechanism behind lucid dreaming. From my perspective lucid dreams allow me to have a direct (but protected from any self harm) access to my subconsciousness. For example, it allowed me to reprogramm and eliminate my fears and discover many things about myself. Plus it is always fun to fly like a superhero.
I have many questions that I was able to gather during these experiences and one them is this:
For what purpose evolution could invent the ability to control dreams? We have dreams during sleep, and there are many studies on why we have them. But why do we have the ability to control dreams?
If we assume that one of the reason for dreams is to learn by replaying of memory sequences (there have been suggestions that cats sometimes dream about hunting a mouse etc., so in dreams we might replay procedural memory ) could it be that ability to control a dream is given by evolution so we can do learning in a safe “virtual” environment? Also are there any known neural circuits or architecture that could potentially allow dream control?
I am asking because scientifically area of lucid dreaming is usually expolred from psychological side. And since there is an unbelievably great potential of using this ability (seriously, imagine yourself in a world where you are the creator) I wonder what neuroscience can tell about this?