The New Science of Dreaming
by Deirdre Barrett and Patrick McNamara, Editors
June 2007, 992pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
3 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-99045-9
$303, £225, 253€, A433
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08065-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Dozens of leading experts reveal fascinating new research and findings regarding the biology and psychology of dreaming, and why these findings should matter to all of us.

With a breadth including breaking research from around the world, this set created by a team of experts is the most authoritative source that exists regarding the biology and psychology of dreaming. Readers will not only understand the new science of dreams, but how that science could lead to innovations in the medical, social technical and biotech fields.

Although it has been described since ancient times, dreaming remains a somewhat mysterious mental process, and scientists around the world continue to study its mechanisms and meanings. In this unique set of books, experts in the field from around the globe gather to show the newest and most exciting research and findings related to the biology and psychology of dreaming. New studies of dream content, for example, show that across age groups, cultures and clinical groups, dreams have recurring themes. New brain imaging techniques show us specific brain regions involved in dreaming. Other research featured here describes the biology or psychology of realistic and bizarre dreams, of symbolic images in dreams, and of how differences in gender and personality affect dreams and dreaming. The newest and most extensive source of information on dreaming in existence, this set gives readers insights into how this new science could lead to innovations in the medical, social, technical, and biotech fields.

Dozens of contributors—some top experts in their fields known internationally—show us how brain functions affect and are affected by dreaming and why these new findings should be important to all of us. Volume I spotlights the biology of sleep and dreaming. Volume II focuses on dream content and its many facets. In Volume III, the many theoretical accounts of dreams are presented.


"The study of dreams has made tremendous strides in the past ten years, thanks to advancements in technology and neuroscience. Covering the history of dream studies but aptly titled the new science, this valuable three-volume set covers a wide range of dream-related theories and studies and brings the study of dreams up to date. Although Barrett and McNamara include work written by scholars in a variety of backgrounds (neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, theology, literature, evolutionary theory), most of the essays are in some way tied to neuroscience. All are extremely well researched and documented, and the editors include both conflicting and complementary theories. The set would be a suitable companion to major dream studies by G. William Domhoff, Allan Hobson, Calvin Hall, R.W. Van de Castle, et al., and to any of the contributors' previous work. These volumes demonstrate that a great deal has been learned about dreams, but that much remains to be explored. Essential. All readers, all levels."—Choice, January 1, 2008

"Barrett and McNamara, leading experts in the field of sleep and dreams, have joined forces in editing what could become a seminal work on the science of dreaming....Arranged in three volumes by context, the work brings together what could be described as disparate views and brilliantly addresses three common themes. Volume 1 focuses on the biological aspects of dreaming....Volume 2 examines congnitive, personality, and clinical research on dreams....Volume 3 explores dreams in the context of cultural and theoretical perspectives....[T]his joint venture is a compendium of well-researched, articulate, and expert knowledge that will surely advance the study of sleep and dreams. The bibliographies alone are worth the price. Highly recommended for libraries supporting upper-level undergraduate and faculty researchers."—Library Journal, Starred Review, November 1, 2007

"[T]he first volume of the series provides a good overview of the neuroscience of dreams while at the same time tantalizing the reader with a variety of dream-associated phenomena....These books without a doubt provide a valuable overview of the research in this area to date. The beginning researcher or person with an interest in this field will find useful summaries of specific areas of research within the broader framework of dream work."—PsycCRITIQUES, March 5, 2008

"I would recommend purchasing this book. All university libraries catering for courses in psychology or the neurosciences ought to consider this book."—Reference Reviews, September 1, 2008

"The New Science of Dreaming is a fascinating three volume anthology of recent work on dreams. It offers a variety of perspectives on many different topics surrounding the phenomenal experiences we have while sleeping: correlations between dreaming and neurophysiology, differentiation between types of dreams and their causes, patterns and variances in dream content, cognitive functions of dreams, relations between dreams and both normal and abnormal psychological processes, possible evolutionary origins of dreams, therapeutic uses of dreams, relationships between dreams, culture, and spirituality, and other related topics.... these three volumes cover a vast amount of territory, illustrating how the study of dreams is a fascinating, diverse, and growing area of academic activity. Anyone interested in a thorough understanding of this territory will likely find The New Science of Dreaming to be an informative and useful body of work."—Metapsychology Online Reviews, December 25, 2007
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