How self-aware we are during the day can affect how we experience dreams, possibly helping us achieve lucid dreaming where you can live out your wildest adventures and fantasies free of consequence.

In an experiment, neuroscientists at Munich, Germany's Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry compared the brains of frequent lucid dreamers with others who never or rarely have lucid dreams.

Researchers examined participants' pre-frontal cortex, the region of the brain which controls conscious cognitive processes and plays an essential role in our ability to engage in self-reflection, consciously change our behavior, and make intentional decisions. 

They found that lucid dreamers tended to have a voluminous pre-frontal cortex, indicating that self-awareness plays an important role in meta-cognition, the brain state experienced during lucid dreaming. 

"Our results indicate that self-reflection in everyday life is more pronounced in persons who can easily control their dreams," states Elisa Filevich, post-doc in the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

Lucid dreamers are aware that they are dreaming and can even become active participants in their dreams, executing decisions with the same intention they do in the waking world. 

Advances in neuroscience have given rise to a new science of dreams which, according to Big Think expert Michio Kaku, confirm many of the theories originated by psychoanalysts like Freud and Jung:

Read more at Science Daily

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