A differentiating empirical linguistic analysis of dreamer activity in reports of EEG-controlled REM-dreams and hypnagogic hallucinations

Conscious Cogn. 2013 Sep;22(3):1013-21. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2013.07.003. Epub 2013 Aug 7.


We present Activity Analysis as a new method for the quantification of subjective reports of altered states of consciousness with regard to the indicated level of simulated motor activity. Empirical linguistic activity analysis was conducted with dream reports conceived immediately after EEG-controlled periods of hypnagogic hallucinations and REM-sleep in the sleep laboratory. Reports of REM-dreams exhibited a significantly higher level of simulated physical dreamer activity, while hypnagogic hallucinations appear to be experienced mostly from the point of passive observer. This study lays the groundwork for clinical research on the level of simulated activity in pathologically altered states of subjective experience, for example in the REM-dreams of clinically depressed patients, or in intrusions and dreams of patients diagnosed with PTSD.

Keywords: Dream consciousness; Dream reports; EEG; Hypnagogia; Linguistic analysis; REM-dream; Simulated activity level; Sleep stage.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dreams / psychology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Linguistics
  • Male
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Sleep, REM*
  • Young Adult