Dreaming in Technicolor -or- Experiments in Dreaming
Dreaming in Technicolor -or- Experiments in the Qualia of Dreaming and Consciousness
We can read the WikiAnswers page which provides some thoughts posted about the question about dreaming in color. Bob Hoss Working with Color in Dreams has provided insightful thoughts about the symbolic nature of color. For Carl Gustav Jung color went hand in hand with the alchemical process of dreaming and individuation. Using Max Luescher's The Luescher Color Test psychological investigations into the effects of color perception, the advertizing industry in the early 70's picked up on the "hidden" influence of color on consumers, and started to package products and fashion their retail store exteriors/interiors accordingly.
As a university student, one of the first thought experiments that I carried out was on investigating the relationship between environmental/self perception and dreams by using color perception as a perceptual base. Although I often have color dreams, others are often black and white. (One could speculate whether growing up with black and white TV till I was 12 years old may have influenced that. A simple field study that could help prove or disprove that theory, would be to collect dreams that come from a pre-color TV generation and one that only experienced color. Compare the texts of the two groups and see if there are differences in the frequency of words used to describe color?).
The experiment that I carried out as a student for about a week, was to "consciously focus" my perception on color during the day. The daily "residue theory" of dream formation suggests and predicts that what we consciously focus on (or sometimes not focus on), becomes part of the perceptual gestalt of our nightly dreams. Sure enough, already after the the first night, the intensity of color perception in my dreams became greater. My dreams every night for that week were in full technicolor. (As we used to say back then, that was a cool effect). In some ways, this simple neuropsychological effect, also became part of my university thesis, that we are all active perceivers, in the sense that we all learn to choose to focus our attention and consciousness as it relates to the kaleidescopic dance of stimuli entering our visual and psychosomatic field. From a behavioural psychology perspective, this is how we learn to create the qualitative form our subjective/individual perceptual world each of us lives in. Aldous Huxley Doors of Perception refered to this filtering process as "reduced reality". From a neuropsychological perspective Donald Broadbent and Anne Treisman have provided evidence and theories as to how the neuropsychological process operates.