In this book, Mark Solms chronicles a fascinating effort to systematically apply the clinico-anatomical method to the study of dreams. The purpose of the effort was to place disorders of dreaming on an equivalent footing with those of other higher mental functions such as the aphasias, apraxias, and agnosias. Modern knowledge of the neurological organization of human mental functions was grounded upon systematic clinico-anatomical investigations of these functions under neuropathological conditions. It therefore seemed reasonable to assume that equivalent research into dreaming would provide analogous insights into the cerebral organization of this important but neglected function. Accordingly, the main thrust of the study was to identify changes in dreaming that are systematically associated with focal cerebral pathology and to describe the clinical and anatomical characteristics of those changes. The goal, in short, was to establish a nosology of dream disorders with neuropathological significance. Unless dreaming turned out to be organized in a fundamentally different way than other mental functions, there was every reason to expect that this research would cast light on the cerebral organization of the normal dream process.
Table of Contents
Contents: Foreword. Preface. Introduction. The Classical Case Reports of Charcot-Wilbrand Syndrome. Charcot's Variant of the Charcot-Wilbrand Syndrome: Cessation or Restriction of Visual Dream-Imagery. Wilbrand's Variant of the Charcot-Wilbrand Syndrome: Global Cessation of Reduction of Dreaming. The Neglected Psychosurgical Literature. The Problem of REM Sleep. Other Abnormalities of Dreaming Described in the Literature. Summary of Provisional Conclusions and Hypotheses. Description of the Present Research. The Charcot-Wilbrand Syndrome Reconsidered. Two Patients With Nonvisual Dreaming. Anatomical Correlates of Nonvisual Dreaming. Clinical Correlates of Nonvisual Dreaming. Some Incidental Observations on Modal Specificity. Initial Theoretical Remarks. Anatomical Correlates of Global Cessation of Dreaming. Are Dreams Generated by Brainstem Mechanisms? Clinical Correlates of Global Cessation of Dreaming. Further Theoretical Remarks. Ten Patients With Varying Degrees of Confusion Between Dreams and Reality. Clinico-Anatomical Correlates of the Confusion Between Dreams and Reality. Nine Patients With Recurring Nightmares. Clinico-Anatomical Correlates of Recurring Nightmares. Miscellaneous Observations (Including Normal Dreaming). Summary of Results and Nosological Conclusions. Final Theoretical Remarks: A Model of the Normal Dream Process. Appendix: Glossary of Nosological Terms.
"...Solms presents original insights based on new research...with remarkable thoroughness and candor...it makes an important contribution to the understanding of an aspect of human perception and cognition....an excellent resource offering a new understanding of the production of dreaming...that will be cited for years to come for the data it presents, for its theoretical speculations, and as a basis for further research."
"...a fascinating and well-researched monograph by a clinician and scientist who has accumulated a remarkable body of data from 361 patients over a four-year period....a most impressive work, chock full of most instructive and engaging case studies, clinical neuropsychology and sophisticated theorizing."
—Trends in Cognitive Sciences
"...the book provides an excellent starting point for further research in this under-investigated and fascinating area of neuropsychology."