In recent years, significant advances have been made in the cognitive neuroscience of conscious experiences, including contemplative states, sleep, and dreaming. A wealth of evidence suggests that contemplative practices influence processes of attention, emotion regulation, and brain plasticity. On the other hand, sleep and dreaming have been consistently linked to memory, emotion regulation, and brain plasticity. On a phenomenological level, important qualitative similarities and differences have been noted between some dreaming states and contemplative states, and in certain traditions, dreaming is seen as a kind of contemplative practice in itself. This presentation will examine contemplative and dream studies as complementary methodologies and practices, both aimed at uncovering the depth and breadth of conscious experience. Recent research on dreaming and contemplative neuroscience, as well as phenomenology of the qualities characterizing the two states, will be discussed. A view of dreaming as a contemplative and performative activity will be proposed.

Elizaveta Solomonova, PhD

McGill University


Elizaveta Solomonova is an interdisciplinary scientist of the mind, working at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, philosophy and the arts. Her main research interest is the neurophenomenology of conscious experiences … MORE