In 1977, Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley from Harvard University suggested a neurophysiological model of dreams.
In their opinion, when explaining the mechanism of dreams, we can forget about human feelings, thoughts and strivings. There is a “dream generator” In the brain stem. This generator on a regular basis, as if according to the time-table, switches on and starts to “bombard” the brain cortex, i.e. to activate nerve cells in its separate segments.
Selection of the bombardment object (as opposed to the generator action time that can be calculated with pin-point accuracy) occurs absolutely randomly. The excited sections of the brain cortex produce dreams, the beginning and duration of which are programmed, and their content has no sense at all. Random pictures change each other – like in a kaleidoscope.
According to the before-mentioned scientists from Harvard, dreams do not have any special purpose. They just accompany a vital physiological process that regulates the cerebration (brain activity). So, should we wonder at inconsequence of dreams and think up some psychoanalytic excuses of their quirkiness?
This is just a theory, and it should be said that it triggered a storm of protest on the part of psychologists. Indeed, it is hard to believe that dreams that not infrequently are very complicated, represent just a result of random processes. It is also unclear, how one and the same dream sometimes recurs for more than once.