Sigmund Freud is the pioneer in dream interpretation and psychoanalysis. Due to his study on “The Interpretation of Dreams,” Sigmund Freud signifies the relationship between a person’s dreams and his or her subconscious. To Freud, the individual’s dream will help in unlocking the person’s unconscious mind. In his study, dreams involve the person’s repressed wishes and these are manifested through the person’s dreams.
As the study of psychoanalysis progresses, its definition became separated from neuroscience. Neuroscience is the study involved in the brains functions and structures related to dreams, while psychoanalysis is the study of the meaning of dreams. Even though the meanings are different, the two studies should not be seen as contradictory.
Opposing the theory of Sigmund Freud is the activation-synthesis theory of Hobson and McCarley. In this study, the dreams are said to have originated from the brainstem. As the brainstem has an increase in cholinergic action during REM sleep, this leads to ponto-geniculo-occipital spikes that lead to the production of dreams. What the person sees in the dream is due to the visual memory traits that are stored in the brain. To sum up, in this study, the dreams do not have special meanings.
In the modern day psychoanalysis, Freud’s theory on dream interpretation has been replaced by other psychoanalytic views. Due to the modern analytic views, the continuity hypothesis was developed. In this theory, it was believed that the dreams were not different from waking reality. These were continuations of the waking reality including the person’s strongest feelings, concerns and interests.