Our vivid dreams are a great replication of our reality! The question is, how does our brain accomplish this? How do we dream?
It's a known fact that the hippocampus contributes to dreaming. This part of the brain helps you consolidate your memory. It's the reason why you don't engage in behavior that may have fatal consequences such as touching fire or eating moldy food.
According to one study, about half of all dreams originate from our experiences — the hippocampus.
REM sleep is the final stage of your sleeping process.
It begins 90 minutes after you fall asleep, and recurs every 90 minutes. Your eyes move quickly behind your eyelids, and your brainwaves look similar to those of someone who is awake.
During the REM stage, you begin to dream. Your arms and legs become temporarily paralyzed during this stage, to prevent you from acting out your dreams. You'll see familiar settings, objects, and there may even be a narrative — all of which appear jumbled. Your dreams jump from one to another, with absolutely no logic or system. This is because the area of the brain that deals with control and rational thinking, is less active during REM sleep — the prefrontal cortex.
Damage to the hippocampus can cause a memory condition called amnesia. Interestingly, one study found that four patients with amnesia reported dreams that were less detailed: their dreams contained fewer details of spatial location (e.g., descriptions like ‘behind the bar’ or ‘to my left I can see) and fewer sensory details.
This definitely suggests that our dreams are generated by networks in the brain that are involved in constructing scenarios and memory.