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    Dreams are crazy - our minds somehow manage to create virtual reality environments with 3D objects and surroundings (often fantastical), third party characters who have emotions and whom you can communicate with. I don't think even Star Trek holodecks were capable of going this far.

    It's mad that our mind is capable of creating this. Daydreams, which we mostly control, do not even come close to this.
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    Some could say how is reality possible?
    Whats different from reality and a dream? We dont know...
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    (Original post by Grand High Witch)
    Dreams are crazy - our minds somehow manage to create virtual reality environments with 3D objects and surroundings (often fantastical), third party characters who have emotions and whom you can communicate with. I don't think even Star Trek holodecks were capable of going this far.

    It's mad that our mind is capable of creating this. Daydreams, which we mostly control, do not even come close to this.
    How do you know we aren't dreaming right now? :hmmmm2:

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    Worst thing is waking up from a dream that you were convinced was real. It's SO depressing, used to happen to me all the time.
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    It's very simple really, our brain is always looking for sensory input to interpret so we can figure things out about the outside world, it's been a huge survival advantage for billions of years now. So when you're unconscious there is no input coming in, or what there is is very much blunted and dull, but what there is are random electrical surges shooting around your brain between the various bits with no actual external input to drown them out. So our brain puts together a narrative to try to make sense of it all. It's exactly the same as when someone is sensorily deprived in say solitary confinement, they start to hallucinate and so on.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    It's very simple really, our brain is always looking for sensory input to interpret so we can figure things out about the outside world, it's been a huge survival advantage for billions of years now. So when you're unconscious there is no input coming in, or what there is is very much blunted and dull, but what there is are random electrical surges shooting around your brain between the various bits with no actual external input to drown them out. So our brain puts together a narrative to try to make sense of it all. It's exactly the same as when someone is sensorily deprived in say solitary confinement, they start to hallucinate and so on.
    But how does our brain seemingly create realities from nothing? I have dreamed of environments, things and people I have never seen or imagined when awake. How is the brain capable of creating, essentially, a unique virtual reality product, especially another being with emotions?
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    (Original post by Grand High Witch)
    But how does our brain seemingly create realities from nothing? I have dreamed of environments, things and people I have never seen or imagined when awake. How is the brain capable of creating, essentially, a unique virtual reality product?
    Same way it does with reality, the world as we experience it is synthesised in our minds based on external sensory input and in that sense is just as much virtual reality as a dream.

    Elements of the synthesis are known as qualia. For example, when you look at TSR it looks green and blue. The light frequencies are a real thing but the experience of what it is for them to be green and blue is a quale.

    The difference between real life and dreams is that in real life the sensory input obeys the physical and logical laws which operate in actual objective reality. But in dreams we are trying to understand why the various electrical pulses have flashed in such a way that it seems like what was a teapot a second ago is now a scorpion.

    This sequence of inputs would never happen in real life because that kind of thing just doesn't happen. But in dreams the sequence happens at random and our brain does its best to interpret it based on a lifetime of experiences of real sensory stimuli. All in all, when you think about it, the brain does an amazingly good job of synthesising random inputs into an interpretation with recognisable people, objects, storyline, even if weird things do happen.

    And even when you see environments, objects and people you've never seen while awake, at least they are recognisable and interpretable as environments, objects and people, showing that it's your experiences of the outside world that inform your brain's interpretations. Novel elements are no surprise: we are perfectly capable of perceiving things we haven't seen before in real life, so we are also capable of perceiving things we haven't seen before in our dreams. The fact that one set of stimuli is real and one is fake is really neither here nor there, it just means what we see in dreams is that much more likely to be fantastical.

    I say random, but it's not totally random: firstly some external stimuli do get through, especially in the lighter stages of sleep when we dream the most; and secondly, it's likely that certain pathways based on important things you've seen or thought about during the day are either still "warm" and more likely to be stimulated, or the brain is more primed to interpret according to them, which is why you tend to dream about say exams when you have them coming up.

    As for "another being with emotions", what's so weird about that? After all, we meet them all the time in real life (or do we? - that's a whole nother philosophical debate).
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Same way it does with reality, the world as we experience it is synthesised in our minds based on external sensory input and in that sense is just as much virtual reality as a dream.

    Elements of the synthesis are known as qualia. For example, when you look at TSR it looks green and blue. The light frequencies are a real thing but the experience of what it is for them to be green and blue is a quale.

    The difference between real life and dreams is that in real life the sensory input obeys the physical and logical laws which operate in actual objective reality. But in dreams we are trying to understand why the various electrical pulses have flashed in such a way that it seems like what was a teapot a second ago is now a scorpion.

    This sequence of inputs would never happen in real life because that kind of thing just doesn't happen. But in dreams the sequence happens at random and our brain does its best to interpret it based on a lifetime of experiences of real sensory stimuli. All in all, when you think about it, the brain does an amazingly good job of synthesising random inputs into an interpretation with recognisable people, objects, storyline, even if weird things do happen.

    I say random, but it's not totally random: firstly some external stimuli do get through, especially in the lighter stages of sleep when we dream the most; and secondly, it's likely that certain pathways based on important things you've seen or thought about during the day are either still "warm" and more likely to be stimulated, or the brain is more primed to interpret according to them, which is why you tend to dream about say exams when you have them coming up.
    Yes, you are right. Many of my dreams have a "day" theme, i.e. related to something I was thinking about during the day but in a fantastical way.

    Rather than, say, the environments, it's more the people the brain creates in dreams who are fascinating to me - how the brain is able to give them emotion, character, etc.

    I think it all just shows how incredible our brains are.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    It's very simple really, our brain is always looking for sensory input to interpret so we can figure things out about the outside world, it's been a huge survival advantage for billions of years now. So when you're unconscious there is no input coming in, or what there is is very much blunted and dull, but what there is are random electrical surges shooting around your brain between the various bits with no actual external input to drown them out. So our brain puts together a narrative to try to make sense of it all. It's exactly the same as when someone is sensorily deprived in say solitary confinement, they start to hallucinate and so on.
    I'm inclined to accept this explanation seeing as the plotlines in my dreams make no frickin sense 90% of the time.
 
 
 
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