為何會做瘋狂的夢?

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從古至今,人們對「夢」有各種看法,甚至加以分類解讀(interpret),也有人以「做夢」為創作的題材,如家喻戶曉的童話故事《愛麗絲漫遊奇境》(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)、賣座電影《全面啟動》(Inception)等等。你曾經想過為什麼有時夢境會很瘋狂(mad)?就讓以下文章來為我們解開不可思議的謎團(myth)吧!

Modern dream research began in the 1950s when REM sleep was first identified. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is a stage of sleep in which the eyes move rapidly behind the closed eyelids and the brain shows surprising amounts of activity. Indeed, this activity closely resembles the brain’s activity when awake, and it’s during this phase of sleep that most dreams occur.
現代的夢研究始於一九五○年代,當時 REM 睡眠期首次被發現。REM(快速動眼)睡眠是睡眠的一個階段,在這個階段,眼球在闔上的眼皮下快速運動,腦部也呈現驚人的活動量。事實上,腦部活動和大腦在清醒時的活動很相似,而且大多數的夢都在此階段產生。

Some dream researchers believe that dreams are the result of the brain organizing information. When awake, our brains are so involved in real-world tasks that they don’t have the time to properly form memories or place them in long-term storage. By doing this important housekeeping at night, our brains allow us to be more productive during the day.
有些研究夢的研究人員認為,夢是大腦整理資訊的結果。當我們醒著時,大腦非常專注於真實世界的工作,沒有時間好好形成記憶,或將記憶長久保存。在晚間進行這項重要的整理工作,大腦可以讓我們白天更有生產力。

Another possibility is that dreams are the result of certain neurotransmitters shutting down at night. Chemicals in the brain such as dopamine are used to send signals within the brain, and the receptors for these signals need periods of inactivity to recover sensitivity. Their inactivity may cause the mind to run wild, which could be responsible for the crazy plots we encounter in our dreams.
還有一種可能,夢是一些神經傳導素在晚間停止作用所造成。多巴胺之類的腦中化學物質是用來傳遞訊號,而接收訊號的受體需要有靜止期來恢復感受力。靜止期可能會使心智失去控制,也就是為什麼夢境情節會很瘋狂的原因。

And so modern science has come to the rescue once again, shedding light on something that was once a complete mystery. But, to be fair, much of the mystery still remains. We may now have an idea about what the brain is doing when it dreams, but we’re still a long way from understanding why it dreams of the things it does.
於是現代科學又再次出手解圍,讓原本完全難以理解的事物更明朗,但平心而論,仍然有很多謎團存在。現在我們或許了解作夢時大腦在做什麼,但仍然不了解大腦為什麼會夢到這些東西。

實用字彙
identify (v.) 確認,識別,發現
resemble (v.) 相似,類似
involve (v.) 使專注於,忙於
storage (n.) 儲存
sensitivity (n.) 敏感性
plot (n.) 情節,劇情
encounter (v.) 偶然遇到,遭遇(困難)
rescue (n.) 營救,解圍
shed (v.) 散發,放射

補充字彙
housekeeping (n.) 家務,家事
neurotransmitter (n.)神經傳導素
dopamine (n.)(生化)多巴胺
receptor (n.) 受體,感受器
inactivity (n.) 靜止,不活動

 

本文取材自《英文閱讀 Know-It-All:EZ TALK 總編嚴選閱讀特刊(1書2MP3)》
圖片來源:pixabay

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