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Author Topic: How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?  (Read 13447 times)

EricN

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EricN asked the Naked Scientists:

I have a disorder which i keep to myself. sometimes, seemingly randomly i realize that a memory that i have held as really happening seems become apparent in my mind that it was a dream and that it never actually happened. also i have pictures of me doing things while on holiday that i have faint memories as being a dream. i was wondering if there is a mental disorder associated with this.

What do you think?


 

Offline wannabe

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #1 on: 11/11/2008 19:23:02 »
If the question is:"how do we distinguish memories of dreams from memories of reality" the answer is that our brain labels the dreams and stores the the labels in long term memory. This usually occurs upon waking or during lucid dreaming and seems relatively faultless. (Personal experience!)
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #2 on: 12/11/2008 08:01:42 »
I've noticed with alcoholics that it is not uncommon for them to awake from a drunken stupor believing what they had dreamed was real. I don't know the reason(s) behind that.
 

Offline wannabe

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #3 on: 12/11/2008 11:27:15 »
Alcoholic poisoning (aldehyde toxicity) interferes with various neurotransmitter states, unbalancing the exitatory/inhibitory functions necessary for memory retrieval and evaluation of those memories into the realm of the presence. It is, in reality, the 'normal' intellect becoming faultyand not so much a failure of memory itself.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #4 on: 12/11/2008 14:39:47 »
wannabe - I'm aware of the physiological effects of aldehyde poisoning on neurotransmitters. But I don't know exactly how that makes the difference between dreams & reality such a blur.
 

Offline wannabe

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #5 on: 12/11/2008 15:15:19 »
DoBe, knowing exactly might remain a fantasy for many functions of the, oh so complex, neuronal apparatus.
The alcoholic, observed from day to day, exhibits clear states of fabulizing, fantasizing, of coloring realities perceived as well as remembered. It is through that observation that I deduce the altered function of dream remembrance and the ability to assign the correct labels of dream vs reality experienced.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #6 on: 12/11/2008 15:41:19 »
I'll go along with that. My speciality is addiction/dependence but I never looked into this particular side of things too deeply.
 

Offline wannabe

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #7 on: 12/11/2008 18:58:14 »
As you well know then, the GABA system is the one being the most affected by alcoholism. My understanding of this system's link(s) to the limbic system and more so the extended links, from amygdala to the forebrain centers is not complete and speculating would not be wise but it does seem to point to connecting what is remembered and how things are remembered, i.e. giving memories their proper valuation.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2008 19:00:01 by wannabe »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #8 on: 12/11/2008 21:30:31 »
I'd better point out that I'm a bog standard, common or garden psychologist not a neurowhatever. I am, though, familiar with GABA.
 

Offline wannabe

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #9 on: 12/11/2008 22:47:37 »
And I ranch in the Florida Everglades, so we all do the best we can!
 

Offline RD

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #10 on: 12/11/2008 22:52:27 »
EricN asked the Naked Scientists:

I have a disorder which i keep to myself. sometimes, seemingly randomly i realize that a memory that i have held as really happening seems become apparent in my mind that it was a dream and that it never actually happened. also i have pictures of me doing things while on holiday that i have faint memories as being a dream. i was wondering if there is a mental disorder associated with this.


If this confusion only relates to events/dreams in distant childhood then I don't think you have a disorder.

If this confusion applies to recent events and is interfering with your ability to function then you may have a dissociative disorder...

Quote
Dissociative disorders are defined as conditions that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity and/or perception.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociative_disorders
 

Offline Make it Lady

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #11 on: 12/11/2008 23:32:48 »
EricN go and get checked out. You may be functioning now but what happens if it gets worse? Don't be embarrassed and keep this to yourself. You wouldn't hide a broken leg so why hide this?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #12 on: 13/11/2008 00:30:30 »
And I ranch in the Florida Everglades, so we all do the best we can!

 ;D
 

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How do we distinguish between memories of dreams and reality?
« Reply #12 on: 13/11/2008 00:30:30 »

 

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