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Do the blind dream?

09-01-2012

Dreaming is an extremely visual phenomena. It is not often that you wake up from a dream remembering what something smelled like, or sounded like, but you will often wake up remembering what something looked like. This conjures up the questions, do blind people dream? Are their dreams the same as the sighted or are they different?

It turns out that people who lost their sight after birth dream with images but that people who are born blind do not see any images when they dream. While the sighted’s dreams are largely visual, those people who were born blind have dreams where touch, emotion, sound and smell are the major senses.

Naturally, sighted people’s dreams actually involve the full range of senses but because we are such a visually oriented animal, the visual aspects of dreams are the ones that predominate in our memories.

There are a number of people who keep dream logs, often because they seek to understand and control their dreams. Many of these people report that the longer they take note of their dreams and the more effort they put into understanding and controlling their dreams, the more the other sense begin to factor into their dreams.

Next time you dream, try to remember something other than vision.


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