The idea of lucid dreaming seems impossible to some due to the complexity of the dreams and how simple it would be to just open your eyes. Though it may be difficult to stay asleep once one realizes they are dreaming, it is always possible to.
The areas of your brain that are most active are the prefrontal cortex and the temporoparietal junction. These two areas of the brain are responsible for coming together to form our body schema and self-image (Blackmore). This causes one to feel like they are in a state of consciousness and acting like they normally would, while in a dream.
The prefrontal cortex of the brain is located at the very front of one’s brain and this section of the brain is mostly focused on controlling short-sighted behaviors. These can include, decision-making, problem-solving, self-control, and acting with long-term goals in mind.
The Temporoparietal junction is mostly responsible for numerous aspects of social cognition (Neurosci). This region of the brain is most active during tasks of cognitive empathy and when taking others perspectives into consideration.
When these two areas of the brain are awake and functioning during periods of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, this leads to lucid dreaming. The explanation behind lucid dreaming is related to the complex composition of our thoughts and emotions in our brain.
There have been many studies collecting data about brain activity during lucid dreaming and the emotions that are conveyed throughout the dream vary drastically (Turner).
Depending on what parts of the brain are active during the dream, the content of the dream and the response of the person will differ. The concept of lucid dreaming is highly complex and the science behind brain activity while sleeping is only one of the traits that make each person’s dreams, and dream experiences, different.
Blackmore, Susan. “How Is Lucid Dreaming Possible?” BBC Science Focus Magazine, www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/how-is-lucid-dreaming-possible/.
Neurosci. “Know Your Brain: Prefrontal Cortex.” Neuroscientifically Challenged, Neuroscientifically Challenged, 18 May 2014, www.neuroscientificallychallenged.com/blog/2014/5/16/know-your-brain-prefrontal-cortex.
Turner, Rebecca. “What Is Lucid Dreaming?” World of Lucid Dreaming, www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/what-is-lucid-dreaming.html.Tags: lucid dreaming RHS