The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

We Dream to Remember and to Forget

By contrast, in 1983 Francis Crickproposed that the function of dreams is to "clear the circuits" of the brain, otherwise there would not be enough space to register each day's events. The brain, in the face of huge daily sensory stimulation, must:

   understand what matters

   understand what does not matter

   remember what will still matter

   forget what will never matter again

Dreams help eliminate useless memories. Therefore, according to Crick, we dream what is worth forgetting.

What is still missing is the physical link between dreams and genome. Neurotransmitters (such as animenes and cholines) act on the surface (the membrane) of the cell, whereas genes lie in the center (the nucleus) of the cell. Messenger molecules transfer information from the membrane to the nucleus and viceversa. Allan Hobsonhas hypothesized that neurotransmitters may interact with messenger molecules and therefore affect the work of genes.

If during sleep the brain is consolidating memories that have been acquired during the day, then dreaming, far from being an eccentric manifestation of irrationality, is at the core of human cognition.


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