do we dream in colour?

I once read that 20th Century research indicated that most people dream in black and white but that modern research reveals that most people dream in colour. The difference is attributed to the fact that in the early 20th century the majority of people spent a long time looking at black and white media. I came across this idea again in The Times today. Sadly, I can’t link to the story because The Times Online is no longer free. Boooo. In fact, I read this in The Review section of The Times today (paper version – I am too mean to pay for the online version). The article stated that a Japanese study published this month by the American Psychological Association found that most people in their sixties dreamt in black and white while the majority of university students (the implication being, I suppose, that these represent a much younger subset of the population) dreamt in rich colour (rich colour – not just colour!). The researchers suggest that younger participants had grown up watching colour TV. However, a psychologist – Ian Wallace – was quoted as saying that he thought this explanation was unlikely sine television represents a tiny part of the visual field and old viewers would have spent far less time watching television that we do today. In fact, the main article was about REM and about how having too much deep REM sleep where we dream could be associated with depression. Anyway, I think it must be very difficult to actually know whether people dream in colour – you could ask them when they wake up, but remembering could, of course, be the result of a false memory.

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