Why Brains Dream | How To Academy

Mon, 12 April 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT


Why Brains Dream

Robert Stickgold In Conversation With David Malone

Join Harvard Medical School professor Robert Stickgold for this eye-opening exploration of what dreams are, where they come from, what they mean and why we have them.

Questions on the origins and meaning of dreams are as old as humankind, and as confounding and exciting today as when nineteenth-century scientists first attempted to unravel them. Why do we dream? Do dreams hold psychological meaning or are they merely the reflection of random brain activity? What purpose do dreams serve?

In this livestream talk, Harvard Medical School professor Robert Stickgold will address these core questions about dreams while illuminating the most up-to-date science in the field.

He debunks common myths—that we only dream in REM sleep, for example—whilst acknowledging the mysteries that persist around both the science and experience of dreaming. His state-of-the-art neuroscientific research supports an new innovative model of dream function called NEXTUP—Network Exploration to Understand Possibilities—which allows us to understand key features of several types of dreams, from prophetic and lucid dreams to nightmares.

He will also shed light on recent discoveries about the sleeping brain, from the many ways in which dreams are psychologically and neurologically meaningful experiences, to how dreams can facilitate creativity and be a source of personal insight.

Praise for Robert Stickgold’s Why Brains Dream:

When Brains Dream provides a truly comprehensive, scientifically rigorous and utterly fascinating account of when, how, and why we dream. Put simply, When Brains Dream is the essential guide to dreaming.” Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep


The event image has been designed by the artist Katherine Streeter. To see more of her incredible work, follow her on instagram @katherinestreeter or visit her website http://www.katherinestreeter.com.

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Robert Stickgold

Director of the Centre for Sleep and Cognition, Harvard Medical School

Robert Stickgold is a professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Centre for Sleep and Cognition. His writing has appeared in Scientific American and Newsweek. Stickgold lives in Massachusetts.

David Malone

Award-winning Science Filmmaker

David Malone is a filmmaker and TV presenter whose documentaries include Testing God, Soul Searching (both Channel 4), Dangerous Knowledge and The Secret Life of Waves (both BBC). He is the author of The Debt Generation.