Join us in celebrating the 40th anniversary of IASD in this series of talks where experienced IASD researchers discuss the major developments in dream studies over the past 40 years. The talks are intended for the general public and for anyone interested in dreams, spread over the year, free of charge, organized via Zoom, and recorded for later access.


March 11th, noon Eastern:
Daniel Erlacher, PhD

Title: A Short History of Lucid Dream Research

Daniel Erlacher is an associate professor of sports science at the University of Bern, Switzerland. His interest in lucid dreaming arose when he was a student discovering a book by Stephen LaBerge. Since then, he has done research on the topic of motor learning in lucid dreams.

Talk Summary

The talk will cover the history of lucid dream research, starting with the pioneers of modern lucid dream research Stephen LaBerge, Jayne Gackenbach, Keith Hearne and Paul Tholey. The speaker will discuss some of the most stimulating and fascinating studies in the field of lucid dreaming research.

April 29th, noon Eastern:
Due to unforeseen circumstances, our scheduled speaker, Antonio Zadra, is unable to attend. Michael Schredl will be presenting on his behalf.

Michael Schredl

Title: Nightmares

Michael Schredl has been working in the sleep laboratory of the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany, since 1990. His numerous publications cover various topics, such as dream recall, dream content analysis, nightmares, sleep disorders, and sleep physiology. He is the editor of the online journal “International Journal of Dream Research”.

Talk Summary:

What are nightmares? Who has them and why? When should we worry about our nightmares? Can they be treated and if so, how? This talk explores the most recent answers to these and other fascinating questions about the science and experience of nightmares.

September 23rd, noon Eastern:
Katja Valli

Title: Why Do We Dream?

Katja Valli, PhD. is a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Skövde, Sweden. She is former president of IASD and has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles on dreaming and consciousness and edited, together with Robert J. Hoss, the reference work Dreams: Understanding Biology, Psychology and Culture, Vol 1(2019).

Talk Summary:

Despite decades of research and theorizing, the function of dreaming remains unresolved. Is dreaming a non-functional reflection of the inner workings of the brain during sleep or could dreaming subtly change our minds and behaviors so that we are better capable of dealing with the challenges of our waking lives?

December 2nd, noon Eastern:
Kelly Bulkeley

Title: Dreaming, Culture, and Society

Kelly Bulkeley, PhD is a psychologist of religion and director of the Sleep and Dream Database (SDDb). A former IASD president and senior editor of the journal Dreaming, his recent books include Lucrecia the Dreamer, The Scribes of Sleep, The Spirituality of Dreaming, 2020 Dreams, and Escape from Mercury.

Talk Summary:

Dreaming is fundamentally social in nature; no dreamer is an island. We dream within larger cultures of dreaming, and our dreams are directly responsive to social realities. After reviewing the past 40 years of research, we can foresee the future of dreaming as a powerful mode of social therapeutics.