Dream's Duration

Dreams are like scenes that our brain generates after we sleep, what do you guys think about its duration. Is dreams are short lived scenes (~ 5 to 10 mints) or long lives scenes (~ 30 to 60 mints)?

my dreams usually last from 10min to 2hours. but I quickly forget them almost completelly after waking up, although I know all the data generated is still embedded in my brain, I just cant access it when awake for some reason.

but one weird thing that still bogs me to this day and I have no way to explain is that once I had a dream that lasted not hours but years. I woke up extremelly confused and to this day have no idea of how could that be possible.

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Ok, first of all i want to appreciate you for responding to my question. I think our dreams won’t last longer than 20 mints(some dream even have 1 min life expectancy), because there is no input to further support the duration of the dream. The reason we don’t know what we dreamed is because, the dreaming inputs are self-generated by our brain that our external world can’t generate to retrieve our dream.
A dream that you are having for years is because of plasticity that have been created by sheer chance or you thinked about it lot, a lot in the sense you brain remodelled itself. Actually i have detailed explanation about dream, in case you like my theory and if you want to learn about it. You can contact me, thanks

FWIW my view is that you can discover nothing of scientific value or engineering utility by introspection. The internal reality you experience is a fake, a model created to help in choosing actions that will affect your internal state. All animals create models, but we may be the only ones that model our own thoughts.

The most plausible explanation I’ve heard for dreams is that they are a by-product of the nightly process of capturing memories and neurogenesis, with no particular purpose. But since they are only available by introspection, there is no scientific way to examine this proposition.

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Sigmund Freud may well have dissagreed with your proposition.

Is the principal split of the Id and Ego a proxy as to the cortex and lower brain/cerebellum and therefore that divide may well offer up some clues (by introspection or ureka moments) ?

Introspection may well be extremerly easy to make the complete wrong assoumptions about, although I beleive that introspection can provide some very critical pointers.

The perception of dream duration is one of those introspection issues because the perception of a dream the includes the brains creation of apparent time in that “dream” process of memory reconcilliation and hierarcial formation… what is then that apparent time reference relative to external time ?

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Yes they have no purpose, they are just the by-product of excessive inputs we receiving each day and this excess amount of inputs cause plasticity, at some point in our sleep our neurons spikes randomly (the energy for that spike is leftover of day-time actions potentials) and impulse travels along the plasticity gives us dreams. If you think why nightmares dominate since we are always in fear (its an evolutionary thing) we most likely formed plasticity on nightmares and bad memories than good memories.

The apparent time reference was learned in the daytime when the animal is observing keenly. For eg. In the planet X, assume that everyone walks way too slowly. An animal in that planet after watched everything of slowness in walks, in the animal dream it should be of people walking slowly not faster( this happens, as long as that cars & bikes aren’t moves faster , movies that releases as animals are walking faster).the brain just copies whats in front of it.

I have an expectation that as various research methods (invasive and non-invasive) advance and are combined with these self-reports, researchers will be able to make private introspection available to rigorous scientific examination.

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I mostly agree with your statement:

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Do you really think our instinctive behaviour and emotions are wired by our genes?

@Prakash “Do you really think our instinctive behavior and emotions are wired by our genes?”


Basically, every mammalian critter has built in behaviors and what we call emotions are what we consciously perceive as the effects of the blood-born chemical messengers.


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What if i said that our pain sensing neurons gives birth to both emotion and instincts. Eg, lets take a hypothetical man who never experience pain from the day he born, even if we cut off his hand or legs he won’t feel pain, does fear or make predictions about the future problems(instincts)?

When you find such a man, let me know that you find out.

The (many) works that I have read support the proposition that the subcortical structures do what they have always done with “lower” animals and that the addition of the cortex “just” adds consciousness/awareness of what the subcortex is doing.

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Isn’t it seems like we are always making assumptions when it comes to understanding the brain? And thats the barrier that is preventing the humanity to explore the brain, as assumption was derived from one’s own belief. Since belief is something we believe without concrete evidence because the other human we admire has that belief (superior researchers), then making and believing in assumptions is also a form of mistake. We need to Think in 360° direction to solve this mystery… im sry tho if i was being mean…

I have another guess of whats the purpose of dreams.

for me dreams are for data augmentation and also for world-model’s reward landscape updates.

I think I may not be neurotypical on this aspect. I’ve had very long dreams a few times certainly 20mins is not the upper bound for me and sometimes I have “blank dreams” where I have no sensory input or thoughts, I just “exist” in a void that lasts for an indeternimate amount of time because for some reason I dont have the concept of time in those dreams and cant feel it pass.

as for the dream that lasted years yea it sounds ridiculous, maybe false memories are the best explanation but still.

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Freud did as many others: constructed a mental model of the illnesses he was interested in and chose his actions in accordance with that model. There is no reason to believe his model aligned with any reality, it just worked (kind of).
I’m careful with my claim. Introspection has many useful applications, particular in generating ideas, but beyond that it has no role to play in science. It does not allow separation of observer and observed; does not make testable predictions; does not produce falsifiable hypotheses. If you want science, you have to look elsewhere.

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In real life, the sleep cycle lasts like an hour or two, and about 20 minutes each cycle is REM (where we do most of our dreaming).

I remember about 30 seconds of dreaming about once a month.

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Ya think? :roll_eyes:

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Entire science is a assumption. We know gravity pulls us down is a principle. Its based on assumption. Logic is based on assumption… am i wrong on this?