Dreams, Perception, and Creative Realization

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© 2015 Cognitive Science Society, Inc. This article draws on the ethnography of Aboriginal Australia to argue that perceptual openness, extending from waking life into dreaming experience, provides an important cognitive framework for the apprehension of dreamt experience in these contexts. I argue that this perceptual openness is analogous to the "openness to experience" described as a personality trait that had been linked with dream recall frequency (among other things). An implication of identifying perceptual openness at a cultural rather than at an individual level is two-fold. It provides an example of the ways in which cultural differences affect perception, indicative of cognitive diversity; and, given the relationship between dreams and creativity suggested anecdotally and through research, a cultural orientation toward perceptual openness is also likely to have implications for the realization of creativity that occurs through dreams. Such creativity though cannot be separated from the relational context in which such dreamt material is elaborated and understood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-676
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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