There familiar people and familiar places. And

There are several current neuroscience views on dreams and their relationship to reality.One view is that dreams are a side-effect of a memory reorganization or consolidation process that occurs while we sleep. Another is that they may be a mechanism for exploring how to respond in certain hypothetical situations. Another is that they relate to organizing the emotional and motivational structure of life, perhaps to allow more efficient action during the day.Dreams could be an accidental side-affect of neural activity during sleep, such as the various memory and strategy optimization models mentioned above. Or dreams could possibly serve some sort of cultural purpose.The neuroscience view on the content of dreams is that it is derived from experiences during the waking state. As the logic goes, where else could the content come from? The symbols of dreams include familiar people and familiar places. And when dreams take one into strange worlds, those worlds are strange in a way that is comprehensible — earth-like or “meaningfully” imaginative, using communication in a familiar language. So the semantic elements that serve as the building blocks of dreams do seem to come indirectly at least from a lifetime of everyday experience.Some believe that dreams are a portal onto another plane of reality. This view shows up in fiction from time to time, when the dream-world is portrayed as equally real as the real-world. But efforts to show that communication between individuals can happen through dreams or that dreams can reliably predict or interact with reality have not been persuasive.Dream analysis is taken seriously in psychotherapy as a way of gaining insight into “subconscious” desires, fears, and motivations. Why this strategy seems to be effective is unclear. As with astrology, some would say it is a placebo effect, and others would say that it is tapping into something important and real that is going on beneath the level of direct awareness.