Naomi Askenazi
BASc Cognitive Science
B21 Scholar
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Fall
2023
Developing a novel approach for dream collection and optimal representation
B21 Scholar
Fall
2023

Background

I am a Cognitive Science student in my final year at McGill, and the focus of my project at B21 is dream science. The questions my project looks to answer are ones about dream collection and optimal representations. How can we break down and rebuild dream memories so that we are most connected with what we experienced throughout the night? What is the best way to visualize our dreams? Is any dream representation ever going to be "good enough"?

This project began while I was working on my honors thesis: a literature review about the methodologies of dream collection. In doing research for this review, I became curious about what the most natural form of dream collection would feel like. I experimented with the collection of my own dreams and began toying with ways of note-taking that would allow  for the most amount of content to flow freely onto a page. I ended up with a new method, one that allows the dreamer to perform research on their own dream content. It consists of a template for collection, a new form of analysis that will allow dreamers to visualize their dreams, and a log to track dream content and movement over time. Each step requires the dreamer to play detective, ask questions about their experience, and grapple with what their dreams mean to them. Ultimately, I hope that this method can be used by scientists as a tool for dream research, but I also imagine this approach to be a fun gadget for those who are curious about where their minds go at night.

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