90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Science and Function of Dreams

A look into our dreams—from sweet to nightmare. What they do for us and how much control we have over them.

Left: Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali and his partner Gala appear at a party they gave in California in 1941. Guests were bidden to dress as bad dreams. (AP); Right: Courtesy of Boston University

We close our eyes at night and dream. Sometimes beautifully, sometimes fitfully, sometimes frighteningly. But why?

The ancients looked for omens. Sigmund Freud saw clues from our past. Some researchers now say dreams help us brace for the future. Ben Franklin advised a light supper, clean sheets, fresh air, and as little dreaming as possible — to avoid painful dreams.

And what about nightmares? Can we, should we, rewrite them? We spend a lot of our lives dreaming. What’s it all about?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

William “Bill” Domhoff, professor of psychology and specialist in dream research at the University of California Santa Cruz. He’s author of “The Scientific Study of Dreams.”

Ross Levin, a psychologist and sleep researcher in private practice in Manhattan.

Rodger Kamenetz, author and dream therapist who was trained at North of Eden. His books include “The History of Last Night’s Dream.” He is a retired professor of English, philosophy, and religion at Louisiana State University.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

 
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 24, 2014
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

On comments, comment sections, and ROY G BIV.

More »
Comment
 
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
3 Comments