044: Do dreams have a social function? Covid-19 Special Report – Prof Mark Blagrove & Dr Julia Lockheart

This week we explore ‘pandemic dreaming’ – a phenomenon where people around the world, experiencing lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, have reported an uptick in incidences of dreaming and more vivid dreams.

We talk to two academics who, for several years have been undertaking an art/science project, DreamsID in which individuals recall a dream, which is then transformed in real time to a work of art.

We talk about some of the reasons behind ‘Covid dreams’, art, symbolism and metaphors, an overview of contemporary theories of dreams’ functions, and explore new theories of how the act of sharing dreams may strengthen social bonds by increasing feelings of empathy.

This episode’s guests:

Professor Mark Blagrove

Mark Blagrove is a Professor of Psychology at Swansea Univeristy. He studies the relationship between sleep and cognition, including effects of sleep loss, memory consolidation functions of sleep, causes and possible functions of dreaming, nightmares, and lucid dreams.

Swansea University: https://www.swansea.ac.uk/staff/human-and-health-sciences/psychology/m.t.blagrove/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mark_Blagrove

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mark_Blagrove


Julia Lockheart BA MA PhD FRSA SFHEA is a British artist, academic and researcher. She currently works as a metadesign researcher and Associate Lecturer in Design Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London; as a Senior Lecturer, Head of Contextual Practices, and Director of the Metadesign Research Centre at Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and also as a design and language consultant to several educational institutions internationally.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Lockheart

Goldsmiths: https://www.gold.ac.uk/design/people/lockheart-julia/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrLockheart

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Julia_Lockheart

More Resources:

DreamsID: https://dreamsid.com/

Study – Empathy & Dream Sharing: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01351/full

Article from Sublime Magazine: https://sublimemagazine.com/dream-sharing

Wired Magazine: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coronavirus-dreams-sleep

Episode Homepage: https://sleepjunkies.com/covid-dreams-empathy/

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