Dreams

The Unknowable Enigma of Babies’ Dreams

Infants spend most of their time sleeping, waking up for just a few hours total every day. A lot of growth happens during those spans of shut-eye, though. Research shows that sleep is just as formative for babies’ development as are the scattered bouts of consciousness when their eyes are More

How to Beat Writer’s Block

The New Yorker: In 1920, a sixteen-year-old Graham Greene decided that, after “104 weeks of monotony, humiliation, and mental pain,” he could no longer remain at Berkhamsted, the prep school where he was enrolled. He fled, leaving behind a note of resignation for his parents—his father was the school’s headmaster— More

Actually, People Still Like to Think

The New Yorker: This past July, Science published a paper with an alarming conclusion: most people would rather give themselves an electric shock than be alone with their thoughts. A slew of news stories followed, seizing on this dramatic evidence of our inability to be content without external distractions. “I was surprised that people More

Data-Mining Our Dreams

The New York Times: ARE dreams really meaningful? Virtually every culture throughout history has developed methods to interpret dreams — most notably, in the modern era, the psychoanalytic approach. But today many people assume that this quest has failed. Science, they say, has proved that dreams are just random signals More