Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking; awareness of dreaming
To control one's dreams and to live 'out there' what is impossible in real life -- a truly tempting idea. Some persons -- so-called lucid dreamers -- can do this. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich have discovered that the brain area which enables self-reflection is larger in lucid dreamers. Thus, lucid dreamers are possibly also more self-reflecting when being awake. Lucid dreamers are aware of dreaming while dreaming. Sometimes, they can even play an active role in their dreams. Neuroscientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry have compared brain structures of frequent lucid dreamers and participants who never or only rarely have lucid dreams. The differences in volumes in the anterior prefrontal cortex between lucid dreamers and non-lucid dreamers suggest that lucid dreaming and metacognition are indeed closely connected.