Why do we dream? 我們為什麼會做夢?

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我們為什麼做夢這個問題沒有明確的答案,但有不同的理論。這些理論包括記憶儲存、日常情緒的處理以及幫助我們為日常壓力情境進行演練。本文就此展開討論。

詞彙:dreams 夢

There are no clear answers to the question of why we dream, but there are different theories. Dreaming is extraordinary and strange: you hallucinate, believe impossible things, and people you know may merge into one another. And then, to top it off, you will likely forget all about it.

Memory storage could be one reason for why we dream. When you are asleep, the brain decides what information you should move to your long-term memory and what should be unlearnt. In a TED Talk, psychologist Amy Adkins described a 2010 experiment involving participants studying how to get out of a complex 3D maze. It was found that they were much better at attempting it if they had had a nap and dreamt of the maze.

Another purpose of dreams could be the processing of our daily emotions, which may add to emotional memory consolidation. In 2003, the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience published research that experimented with the idea of dreams being a replication of our daily lives. Diary entries and dream journals of 29 healthy young adults over a two-week period were compared, and it was discovered that emotional themes from the day were replicated in dreams 35-55% of the time.

Antti Revonsuo, a Finnish scientist, has suggested that dreaming helps us to prepare for and deal with stressful situations. He studied children』s nightmares, giving an example of being continuously chased by wolves. He believes dreams like this stem from our ancestors and could be a rehearsal for daily struggle and survival. In modern times, dreams and nightmares may be preparing us for social situations such as having a fight with a friend, going on a date or having a job interview.

With such a variety of theories on why we dream, it seems that more research is needed before we can completely understand their purpose.

詞彙表

extraordinary 奇特的,非凡的
hallucinate 產生幻覺
merge 使合併、融合
memory storage 記憶儲存
long-term memory 長期記憶
unlearnt 忘卻
maze 迷宮
a nap 小睡,打盹
processing 處理
consolidation 鞏固
replication 複製
diary entries 日記
dream journal 夢境日誌
emotional theme 情感主題
nightmare 噩夢
chased 被追趕
stem from 由…造成,源自
ancestor 祖先
rehearsal 演練
struggle 掙扎,奮鬥

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Why is dreaming described as strange?

2. What does the brain do with memory when you are asleep?

3. True or false? In a 2010 experiment, participants were better at an activity if they hadn』t had a nap.

4. How did researchers find out that emotional themes from the day could be replicated in dreams?

5. What example of a children』s nightmare is given?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The two companies are planning to _______ into one.

hallucinate                 merge                       process                    chase

2. If you』re tired, why don』t you take a _______?

maze                          nap                           dream                       nightmare

3. There was a power _______ between the two owners of the company.

struggle                      replication                 themes                      memory

4. Don』t wake the baby! She』s finally _______.

unlearnt                      stressful                    extraordinary             asleep

5. His health problems _______ an accident he had when he was a child.

deal with                     stem from                  prepare for                understand

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Why is dreaming described as strange?
Because you might hallucinate and believe impossible things.

2. What does the brain do with memory when you are asleep?
The brain decides what information you should move to your long-term memory and what should be unlearnt.

3. True or false? In a 2010 experiment, participants were better at an activity if they hadn』t had a nap.
False. Participants were better at attempting to get out of a maze if they had had a nap and dreamt of the maze.

4. How did researchers find out that emotional themes from the day could be replicated in dreams?
Participants wrote a diary of the day』s events and a dream journal and these were compared.

5. What example of a children』s nightmare is given?
Being chased by wolves.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The two companies are planning to merge into one.

2. If you』re tired, why don』t you take a nap?

3. There was a power struggle between the two owners of the company.

4. Don』t wake the baby! She』s finally asleep.

5. His health problems stem from an accident he had when he was a child.