Who wouldn’t want to lucid dream,–be aware of oneself when dreaming, and able to control the dream? I sure would. I experienced it once, and needless to say, the experience left me craving more.
There are techniques to enable yourself to lucid dream. They will be discussed in a future article.
This article, however, will focus on the lucid dreamers themselves.
Lucid dreamers may be more self-reflective than the general population, a new study conducted at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry at Munich has indicated.
It was found that the anterior prefrontal cortex, which is involved in controlling conscious cognitive processes and plays a role in self-reflection, is larger in lucid dreamers than in non-lucid dreamers. This suggests that metacognition and lucid dreaming are closely connected.
Brain scans taken of subjects solving metacognitive tests while awake indicated that brain activity in the prefrontal cortex was higher in lucid dreamers than non-lucid dreamers. The researchers thus concluded that those who can lucid dream are more self-reflective in daily life.
The researchers want to go further and determine whether metacognitive skills can be trained.
Now, of course, correlation does not mean causation. And just because a brain region shows activity does not necessarily mean that brain area is involved in a particular process being studied. It may very well be that the brain region being activated during an activity is actually shutting down other processes. So, this study is a good preliminary one, but as is always said, more research needs to be done.