• Academy Events

  • Dreaming: A Gateway to the Unconscious?

    Wednesday, December 7, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    The New York Academy of Sciences

    Presented by The Nour Foundation, Wisconsin Public Radio’s nationally-syndicated program To the Best of Our Knowledge, and The New York Academy of Sciences

    Video of the full event is available on the Nour Foundation's YouTube channel.

    Where do our dreams originate from, and what do they tell us? Is there a universal set of symbols that are common to all dreams, regardless of a person's ethnicity or culture? What does dreaming reveal about the unconscious? Why do some dreams remain etched in our memories, whereas others are almost instantly forgotten? Some scientists have adopted the position that dreams are little more than noise in the brain, without any substantive purpose or function. Yet such a stance seemingly runs counter to the experience of many people who reflect upon and even analyze their dreams, often in search of clues to their daily lives or insights into their deeper selves. Similarly, in virtually all wisdom traditions, dreams are invoked as an important source of revelation or prophecy. Psychologist Deirdre Leigh Barrett, dream researcher Kelly Bulkeley, and sleep/dream medicine expert Rubin Naiman will examine dreams from a variety of perspectives to answer these questions.

    *Reception to follow.


    Deirdre Leigh Barrett, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Past President, International Association for the Study of Dreams
    Co-editor of Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreams: The Evolution, Function, Nature, and Mysteries of Slumber

    Kelly Bulkeley, PhD

    Director, Sleep and Dream Database; Visiting Scholar, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
    Author of Dreaming in the World’s Religions: A Comparative History

    Rubin Naiman, PhD

    Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
    Author of Healing Night: The Science and Spirit of Sleeping, Dreaming, and Awakening


    Steve Paulson

    Executive Producer, Wisconsin Public Radio's nationally-syndicated program To the Best of Our Knowledge

    Registration — Individual Lecture Prices

    Member (including students) $5
    Nonmember $15
    Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow) $7

    Presented by

    • The New York Academy of Sciences
    • Nour Foundation
    • To the Best of Our Knowledge

    Media Sponsor


    Promotional Partners

    The Dana Foundation


    This event is part of the Unlocking the Unconscious: Exploring the Undiscovered Self series.

    Moderated by Wisconsin Public Radio's Steve Paulson, this three-part series brings together leading scientists and scholars to probe the largely unexamined realm of the unconscious mind through a mix of disciplinary approaches, including neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and psychotherapy.

    To learn more about each lecture and to purchase tickets, click on the links below.

      • Delving Within: The New Science of the Unconscious, Wednesday, October 26, 2016

      • Dreaming: A Gateway to the Unconscious? Wednesday, December 7, 2016

      • The Deeper Self: An Expanded View of Consciousness, Wednesday, February 15, 2017