Brain computing process
Just as much sleep is part of our lives, so are dreams. From historic times, dreams have been prominent as a communication channel between super natural beings and us, crystal ball to look into the future and outlet to express our unexpressed feelings.
In this article, I am not so much interested to immerse myself in to the divine tool but more interested to understand dreams as one of the instances of natural computation processes of the brain.
My question is whether dream is a computing process and what does it compute with the inputs and what are the outputs? In this endeavor, I would like to consider the movement of dreams from a psycho-analytic perspective to a computing perspective. The latter means computation and algorithms to produce dreams.
Naturally everyone dreams during sleep. Dreams are considered to be expressions of consciously unexpressed emotions of sex, fear, etc., solutions of unsolved problems, prophesies of future, instructions for specific activity, recollections of an entity recently encountered during waking hours, etc.
Whatever be the objective, is the dream a random process or an algorithmic information process? In order to answer this, my aim is to place the parameters for evaluation such as inputs, the process and output. Evaluation and conclusion require in-depth study and therefore, beyond the scope of this article. From the parameters, I propose to place hypotheses to study further.
Let us consider the event of dream as a process.
At the moment of dreaming, if we are conscious that we are dreaming, then we note that images and motion, voices are very vivid, clear and the short continuous images of the event is so perfect that, if this were a short film, this would have taken significant work and collaboration — precise editing, flawless screenplay and excellent direction. Moreover, the expression of the actors are superb performances that it may be considered from accomplished veterans.
Can such a perfect work of art be produced without a plot and experts from different fields? The point of contradiction is that such a perfect work of art becomes oblivious to the memory in few minutes after the denouement (this may also end abruptly), unless it is reconstructed immediately with the help of recording tools such as pen & paper. Who would, in a sane mind, throw away such works of art?
How do we analyze dreams?
First, inputs. At first instance, it appears that there are no external sensory inputs. Can a minute disturbance — a light switched on, a close whisper, an internal urge to answer nature’s call or even improper sleeping posture — relative height of head with respect to body leading to an imbalance of chemicals — activate a group of neurons? Otherwise, what else activates the curtain-up?
Second, the process. Such a well-directed dream requires meticulous planning, rehearsal and coordination from different patterns of mental representations. Is there any evidence of rehearsal (repetition of the dream) at the conscious level or does rehearsal happen at the inaccessible levels of processing?
Third, the output. It is assumed that brain functions are optimized to save energy. Hence, it is frivolous to assume that inaccessible information process happens to enact a dream during sleep, only to dust it off to oblivion in a few minutes without an executable output.
Hence, in order to bring dream into the field of information process of brain, I propose the following hypotheses for verification:
1. Dream is not a random production. (It is a work of art that may be compared to a short film).
2. Dream is a result of inaccessible computation of practice, solving or working upon a matter of consideration, which has been dwelt in the brain for a long time.
3. There exists an executable output of a dream.
4. Dream is an algorithmic information process, because there are inputs and a well-directed production.
5. Dream belongs to the category of outputs such as music, poem, etc., that come from intuitive processes.
In my opinion, in order to analyze dream processes, empiricism must be combined with new approaches. It will be advantageous to refine and formulate new hypotheses.