Technicolor dreaming

The age-old question, “do you dream in color,” which usually pigeonholes the respondent as either artistic and creative or boring and mundane, could be moot. Of course I always answer “color,” (or “colour” if I’m talking to foreigners) just because I have very vivid dreams and I’m pretty sure I would have noticed if they were only monochrome.

As it turns out, my honest answer might be close to reality for everyone. Eric Schwitzgebel, a philosopher at UC Riverside says that people’s response to that question is heavily influenced by the media they consume, i.e. people in the 50’s had a much higher incidence of black and white dreams than individuals today.

Another possibility is that dream colours are indeterminate, in the same way that a novelist can describe something without naming its colour. They would only become coloured, or not, in our waking reconstruction of them.

When people say that they dream in black and white, they probably mean that they haven’t noticed any colours, says psychologist Mark Blagrove of the University of Wales at Swansea, UK.

It’s late here in California, so I think I’ll mosey off into dreamland. Hopefully I’ll reconstruct my dreams tomorrow in full technicolor.

NSU: Electric dreams infect waking memories

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