chapter  1
14 Pages

Introduction: John Antrobus and Mario Bertini

The theories, reviews, and research findings presented in this volume, together with their supporting evidence, describe our current views of how the rhythmic oscillations in the activation of the sleeping brain are associated with shifts in information processing, and with how the cortex creates the fascinating imagery and thought during sleep that popularly goes by the name dreaming. This chapter introduces the reader to the basic research issues and themes that drive sleep neuropsychologists to monitor sophisticated electronic apparatus and study sleeping subjects in grueling, 12-hour, all-night shifts. The passion that sustains this effort derives from the baffling mystery of the dream experience, from the dramatic changes in neurophysiological states during sleep, and from the high degree of covariation between the two. In no other area of neuropsychology has the search for the links between body and mind been so intense and so sustained. The chapters that follow describe our successes (and some failures) in locating these links. For the reader who is unfamiliar with the technical procedures of EEG and REM recording and the elicitation of imagery and thought reports, the opening pages of Armitage, Hoffman, and Moffitt (Chap. 2) will provide an excellent introduction.