The biology of dreaming
o one would normally consider David Maurice, Ph.D., professor of ocular physiology in the Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, a revolutionary. Nevertheless, he has reignited a decades-long controversy that could spark a revolutionary re-evaluation of an entire field of behavioral research. Dr. Maurice has developed a startling new line of scientific inquiry that, when added to other findings, could change our understanding of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and the nature of dreams. What Maurice has done is to suggest an alternative explanation for the phenomenon known as REM sleep, the stage in which the eyes rapidly move and most dreams occur. Dr. "Without REM," Maurice told 21stC, "our corneas would starve and suffocate while we are asleep with our eyes closed." Maurice's interest in REM began a few years ago. "What is at stake here is a theory of dreams that is scientifically valid," Dr. Interpretation vs. observation Drs. No final answer in sight 1.