Interhemispheric EEG Coherence in REM Sleep and Meditation: The Lucid Dreaming Connection: Jayne Gackenbach
The experience of dreaming lucidly, that is, awareness of dreaming while dreaming, has been suggested by Hunt (1989) to be a form of meditation in sleep. He identifies this dream state as "involving the attainment and maintenance of an attitude identical to that sought within the insight or mindfulness meditative traditions" (Hunt & McLeod, 1984, p. 3). Although empirical evidence in support of this view is briefly reviewed here, the focus of this chapter is a potential neurocognitive model for dream lucidity. The degree of interhemispheric balance (EEG coherence) reflecting an efficient transfer of information between the hemispheres will be examined. This construct has been associated in the meditation research literature (OrmeJohnson, Wallace, Dillbeck, Alexander, & Ball, in press) with a state of mind thought to be developmentally related to dream lucidity (Alexander, 1987; Alexander, Boyer, & Orme-Johnson, 1985). Three major hypotheses will be considered:
2. As a result of increases in alpha/theta interhemispheric EEG coherence during the practice of meditation, which is not the same as Stage 1 sleep, there is less need to experience as much REM sleep.