Institution: Department of Biology, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Virginia, United States
Abstract: Lucid dreaming is a rare occurrence in which individuals are aware that they are dreaming and sometimes the dreamer is also able to control the dream. The metacognition experienced during lucid dreaming appears as prefrontal cortex activation that is not apparent during normal dreaming. Prefrontal cortical activity has also been linked to creativity. The current experiment measured the incidence of lucid dreams in an undergraduate population and examined a possible relationship between lucid dreaming and creativity. Participants were given a creativity test, followed by a short session that trained participants in pre-sleep autosuggestion techniques to aid in lucid dreaming. Participants kept a dream journal for next 7 days. At the conclusion of the week, subjects took a second creativity test. It was hypothesized that creative people would be more likely to lucid dream, and that perhaps training in lucid dream techniques may be able to boost creativity in participants. We found high rates of both current (59%) and lifetime (75%) lucid dream occurrence in our undergraduate population (n=295). Statistical analysis found no significant difference in creativity between lucid dreamers or non-lucid dreamers (n=47), nor was there any evidence that 7 days of pre-sleep autosuggestion increased creativity. However, lucid dreaming training over a longer period of time should be explored.