Lucid Dreaming: Hacking the unconscious mind

October 21, 2014Byens Lys Copenhagen
Lucid dream robins choice
Doors open: 19:00
Start programme: 20:00
Byens Lys
Fabriksområdet 99

Can you become aware during your dreams and change them? How do clocks work in the dream world? Can you use lucid dreaming to your advantage? Is lucid dreaming a natural phenomenon? What is the brain base for lucid dreaming?

A lucid dream is a dream in which a person becomes aware that he/she is dreaming. One of the first recorded references to lucid dreaming was by Marie-Jean-Léon, Marquis d’Hervey de Saint Denys. Since then, several scientists and philosophers have been intrigued by the different possible mechanisms that are set to motion in the brain during a lucid dream as well as what kind of states of awareness can the human brain produce. One of the milestones in lucid dream research was the first peer-reviewed publication by Stephen LaBerge, who conducted research based on the fact that eye movements and breathing patterns can be sent from the dreamer to the lab.

It is a firmly held conviction that REM sleep dreams are generated by an unconscious mind and that remembering and deciphering the (often bizarre) dream plot may yield insight into hidden wishes and provide clues for future fate. As a drawback, the sharing of the supposedly mysterious dream is often considered risky, tantamount to revealing private thoughts and desires that are readily interpretable by others while hidden to the self. By contrast, lucid dreams are often experienced as more transparent and less perplexing. In lucid dreams, the sleeper is consciously aware that the ongoing dream is not real. Sometimes but not always, the dreamer is able to change the dream plot and, for example, put a dream aggressor to flight. Lucid dreams are generally well remembered and often referred to as "insightful" or "conscious dreams". Does lucid dreaming provide us with control over the supposedly uncontrollable unconscious mind?

Ursula Voss, for the first time in Denmark, will review the evidence that lucid dreaming is a real phenomenon, rare and evanescent but of significant scientific value which is only now beginning to get the recognition it deserves. Based on admittedly still limited but fast growing empirical evidence, she will give an overview over the recent scientific work and sketch a model of consciousness that replaces the outdated and merely qualitative model of the unconscious mind with a quantitative and qualitative definition of consciousness. She will also report on the first attempts to apply the insights derived from lucid dreaming research to the treatment of psychiatric illness like obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and trauma.

Later on, Feast of the Bean King, a dirty, groovy swing jazz trio with a twist of muddy blues and psychedelic rock will take the stage while chilled dreamy cocktails are being served.

Talk by

Ursula Voss

Ursula Voss is lecturer and professor at J.W. Goethe-University Frankfurt, Northern Institute of Technology/Technical University Hamburg Harburg, Erfurt University, and Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn. Her research focuses on attention, states of consciousness, information processing and vigilance as well as psychological sleep research.

Big Picture

Music by

Feast of the Bean King

Feast of the Bean King is a swing jazz trio composed of Tommy Ejlund Laursen (guitar), Mikkel Volden (Upright Bass) and Frederik Faye (Drums).

Feast Bean King