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The Memory ProcessNeuroscientific and Humanistic Perspectives$
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Suzanne Nalbantian, Paul M. Matthews, and James L. McClelland

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014571

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014571.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Memory in Sleep and Dreams

Memory in Sleep and Dreams

The Construction of Meaning

Chapter:
4 (p.73) Memory in Sleep and Dreams
Source:
The Memory Process
Author(s):

Robert Stickgold

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262014571.003.0005

This chapter discusses the brain's construction of meaning and how it is perhaps the most complex accomplishment of the human brain. It is a process that requires the analysis of large bodies of data and the identification of associations, relationships, regularities, and rules in the world around us. Each one of us does this constantly to discover or create our own personal meaning of the world. Science, literature, and the arts, on the other hand, create a universal meaning of the world. This chapter presents evidence that the states of sleep and dreaming contribute as much to our discovery and creation of meaning—both personal and universal—as does the state of conscious wakefulness, and quite possibly more. It starts with a discussion of memory, and how the construction of meaning depends critically on the knowledge gained through experience and introspection.

Keywords:   construction of meaning, human brain, personal meaning of the world, universal meaning of the world, sleep, dreaming, conscious wakefulness, memory experience, introspection

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