The function of dream sleep

@article{Crick1983TheFO,
  title={The function of dream sleep},
  author={Francis H. C. Crick and Graeme J. Mitchison},
  journal={Nature},
  year={1983},
  volume={304},
  pages={111-114}
}
We propose that the function of dream sleep (more properly rapid-eye movement or REM sleep) is to remove certain undesirable modes of interaction in networks of cells in the cerebral cortex. We postulate that this is done in REM sleep by a reverse learning mechanism (see also p. 158), so that the trace in the brain of the unconscious dream is weakened, rather than strengthened, by the dream. 

The cognitive neuroscience of sleep: neuronal systems, consciousness and learning

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The biology and function of rapid eye movement sleep

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A state of confusion in information processing makes the sleeping brain a dream generator

Dreams, generated by the sleeping brain, are one of the most common and fascinating phenomena of human mind. But the role and mechanism of dreaming remain largely unknown. This paper provided the

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The fluctuation in the electrical activity of the cerebrum during various behavioral conditions, as reflected in EEG waves, evoked potentials, and activities of different types of thalamic and cortical neurons is discussed.

Genes, Sleep and Dreams

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Is Dreaming Related to Sleep-Dependent Memory Consolidation?

As testing the functions of dreams directly is not possible, empirical dream research has focused on three areas providing indirect support for a relationship between dreaming and sleep-dependent

A life-sustaining function for REM sleep: A theory

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...

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