The Role of Dreams in Evolution

This paper presents an evolutionary argument for the role of dreams in the development of human cognitive processes. While a theory by Revonsuo (2000) proposes that dreams allow for threat rehearsal and therefore provide an evolutionary advantage, the goal of this paper is to extend this argument by commenting on other fitness-enhancing aspects of dreams. Rather than a simple threat rehearsal mechanism, it is argued that dreams reflect a more general virtual rehearsal mechanism that is likely to play an important role in the development of human cognitive capacities. This paper draws on current work in cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind in developing the argument.

Source: Journal of Evolutionary Psychology – The Role of Dreams in the Evolution of the Human Mind by Michael Franklin and Michael Zyphur

2 comments On The Role of Dreams in Evolution

  • 10-20 minutes of motor practice a day on a specific task the motor cortex reshapes itself in a matter of a few weeks (Karni et al., 1998) – the time spent in our dreams would surely shape how our brains develop
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    Yet you don’t want the schitzoid medicated?

    Am I the only one sticking my tongue out to catch snowflakes?

  • No, you are not the only one doing that but the screen just doesn’t taste that good. 🙂

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