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Television Media Science

B&W TV Generation Has Monochrome Dreams 343

Posted by kdawson
from the horse-of-a-different-color dept.
Ant writes "The Telegraph reports that people over 55 who were brought up watching a monochrome TV set are more likely to dream in black and white, even years later. New research suggests that the type of television you watched as a child has a profound effect on the color of your dreams. While almost all under-25s dream in color, many over-55s, all of whom were brought up with B&W sets, often still dream in monochrome. The study, out ot Dundee University, used a small number of subjects under 25 or over 55 and the results suggest that '... there could be a critical period in our childhood when watching films has a big impact on the way dreams are formed ... [B]efore the advent of black and white television all the evidence suggests we were dreaming in color.'"
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B&W TV Generation Has Monochrome Dreams

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  • 0_o (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ieatsyou (1383005) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @04:49PM (#25426279)
    So this means I am going to dream in 1080i?
    • Nope... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Junta (36770) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @04:55PM (#25426313)

      Thanks to DRM, your dreams will all be downscaled from that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Thanks to DRM, your dreams will all be downscaled from that.

        And watermarked.

    • Re:0_o (Score:5, Funny)

      by DreadfulGrape (398188) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @04:58PM (#25426335)

      Only if there's enough plasma in your brain.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by santix (1234354)
      And as long as your brain pixels are not dead...
    • by peragrin (659227)

      better question if you only watch TV drawn in Black and white XKCD style will all your dreams be of stick figures?

    • Re:0_o (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:18PM (#25426471)
      Maybe. I dream in text mode.
      • Re:0_o (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:29PM (#25426929)

        I did actually dream in text mode once, after having spent all day at the computer. The dream didn't "work" very well--any kind of writing in dreams tends to be unstable, changing on the fly--but I was definitely reading from a console that filled my entire field of view.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Nadaka (224565)

          Hell, I once had a dreams in C++ and assembly...

          The C++ dream ended in a segmentation fault, the assembly dream ended with a stack overflow.

      • Monochromatic dreams (Score:5, Interesting)

        by spineboy (22918) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:45PM (#25427031) Journal

        I've had silent dreams, monochromatic dreams where everything was various shades of blue, or red, etc.
        Sure - black and white as well as full hyper color, and mixed as well.
        I've had the same dream for 7 nights in a row when I was sick with the flu. Each day the evil four foot witch with burnt skin, wooden claws, and broken gravel teeth chased me thru my house and got and got a few feet closer to catching me.
        I've also woken myself out of dreams a few times when a spider jumped on my face in the dream, and my hand hit my face, thereby awakening me.

        I have some really, really weird dreams, where I ride my bike and talk to large giant insects under puddles of water, through a clacking language. I don't tell people about these, 'cause I think they might think I'm doing drugs, which I don't do - just have a vivid, vivid imagination.

        • Well, there has been some studies that show the body releases DMT when having vivid dreams. So your body may be getting you high without knowing.

        • by shawb (16347) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @07:28PM (#25427335)
          Then you might want to try lucid dreaming... it can be quite fun. The hard part is to realize that you are dreaming. The best way that I have found to do this is to make spot checks when you are awake, asking yourself if what is happening is possible. If you get in the habit of doing this when you are awake you should start eventually making reality checks in your dreams, or some out there dream logic will start to make you realize that in the waking world that is impossible. The two triggers that have worked the most often for me are movie style scene changes where you are one place and then suddenly another, or of course flying. Other things that can signify a dream are text scrambling itself (Text generally is not stable in dreams... probably reading skills are too complex to maintain in a dream) or light levels not changing when they should (I.E. turning a light on or off does not affect the brightness. I had a friend that would often flick lights on and off just to check if he was dreaming.) After learning to recognize whether you are dreaming or not, the next difficulty is in getting yourself to keep dreaming while you are conscious of it. The shock of realizing you are dreaming often causes you to wake up enough to stop dreaming, or to change the dream such that you no longer are lucid. I don't personally know of any tricks to help here... it seems to be just more getting comfortable with lucid dreaming. Once you have this down, you can eventually learn to control almost any aspect of your dream: calling in people you want to interact with, putting yourself in any situation you want to imagine, etc. It takes time to get full control of your dream world, but it can be done bit by bit. And if you are the imaginative type, it can be quite rewarding.
          • by vux984 (928602) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @07:39PM (#25427393)

            It takes time to get full control of your dream world, but it can be done bit by bit. And if you are the imaginative type, it can be quite rewarding.

            You can even play WoW without a monthly fee... playing both sides on one server, without gold farmer spam.

  • I smell BS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 18, 2008 @04:55PM (#25426315)

    Are they seriously suggesting that something people saw for a few hours a week in black and white determined how they dream for the rest of their lives? The 90% of the time spent living in full colour was just swept away, because TV is just so fucking powerful? I bet no proper study will ever reach the same conclusion.

    • Re:I smell BS (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kagura (843695) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:06PM (#25426391)
      Out of all of my dreams, I can only remember a color memory from ONE that I had years ago, where I was in a bunch of picturesque green mountains. Otherwise, my dreams and the memories of those dreams have no concept of color or grayscale in them at all. Sometimes places are dark or poorly lit, or sometimes it's night, but I simply can't remember the color of anything else from any of my dreams.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by moteyalpha (1228680) *
        I have a Ted Turner cell ® in my brain and I colorized all my old black and white memories.
        I think Kagura has the best answer. How do you know it is color, if the images don't come from an eye stalk. I could think of anything and say it is color in my imagination and it would simply have that trait. I could imagine this text is white on blue if I wanted. I think that the experimenters were making the subjects believe in <RED> XUL
      • Re:I smell BS (Score:5, Informative)

        by aclarke (307017) <spam AT clarke DOT ca> on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:36PM (#25426969) Homepage
        I'm 35, and I remember the first time I ever dreamed in colour, or at least remembered my dream. I was probably 5 or 6, and my entire dream was in black and white, except my brother was wearing a blue shirt. I remember waking up and finding it odd that I'd never dreamed in colour before that point.

        I never associated that with television. Maybe kid are more likely to dream in black and white. We did have a B&W television and I was allowed to watch one hour per day. Usually Mr. Dressup (Canadian show) and Gilligan's Island.
        • my first dream with color was when I was about 8, a series of ivy covered tree fort over the sidewalk actually had pale green leaves, everything else was black and white; but I grew up when television was mostly b/w with a few color shows. Most of my dreams are muted color but a few are full.

      • Re:I smell BS (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Bryan Ischo (893) * on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:50PM (#25427075) Homepage

        Can you ever remember saying to yourself in your dream, "that man has such a funny red hat", or any other similar statement that involved color? That would give an indication that you were perceiving colors during your dream, even though you can't reconstruct the image that you were perceiving from memory with sufficient clarity to perceive the color again.

        I myself definitely have seen color in my dreams, almost all of them, and definitely remember specific colors all the time. That being said, my memories are always fuzzy to varying degrees, and a single dream will have a range of clarity in what I recall.

        - Some of it I remember just as very high-level ideas, not specifics, example: "I was dreaming that there was a tornado coming", but without any specific images or other details.

        - Some of it I remember as broken up sequences of events that I reconstruct into what "must have been" a coherent whole; example: "I heard a loud whooshing noise, looked in my back yard, and saw a tornado in the distance", "Some time after that, I was in my house and I knew that the tornado was just outside and I had to get downstairs", "Later, there were a bunch of people I didn't know in my house and we were looking at the broken furniture and stuff strewn everywhere and the roof was missing, I got the feeling that they had all come to my house for shelter from the tornado" - while all of these are mere snapshots of what would have been presumably a complete experience with all of the gaps filled in, I don't remember what happened between the short segments of dream that I recall. But I do have an overwhelming feeling that there was a continuity, I just can't recall it.

        - Some of it I remember as very detailed snapshots, just a mere moment in which all of my senses were engaged in a coherent and whole perception: "the window was open, I could feel the wind blowing in on my face, I felt an intense dread and fear as I watched the tornado spinning towards my house, the tornado was white and grey, a tall funnel cloud that moved slowly towards me, it was clearly late afternoon and the sky was dark and everything had a very eerie and surreal quality. The grass was green and I could see trees behind the tornado. The window sill was white and there was slightly golden glow from the sun behind the thick black clouds". From these snapshots I know that my dream included specific sensory experiences like color, texture, the feel of my body, smells, etc.

        My memories of any particular dream will always have a mixture of these components, to varying degrees. All of these different levels of dream recall convince me that dreams, while I am experiencing them:

        - Have moments of great coherency, but also large stretches of nonlinearness and just strange leaps of logic and perception
        - Include detailed perceptions from all five senses, although definitely not always coherent, and not all senses are stimulated all the time
        - Often are very lengthy, but often the dream changes its nature almost completely between parts
        - Often have strong emotional compoenents
        - Sometimes have uncanny consistency that one would think could only be driven by a plot that was already laid out before I even dreamed it. For example, sometimes I dream something early in a dream that doesn't make any sense at all until later in the dream, when I realize the reason for what I dreamt earlier. Sometimes these are so sophisticated and intertwined that it is impossible to think that me dream didn't have some idea "where it was going" before I even dreamed it
        - Usually I participate actively in the experience, making decisions and acting on them, in ways that are both affected by, and affect, the outcome of the dream as it unfolds

        I think that everyone experiences dreams in these same ways, to a large degree, the main difference being:

        - How much you "care" about dreams, which affects how much effort your subconscious mind puts into participating your dreams. I honestly believe that you only have really vivid and co

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          What about the viewpoint? I have fairly cinematic dreams, by which I mean that the point of view changes a lot, as if watching a movie shot from multiple angles and edited together. I'd say most of the time I'm not looking through my own eyes in my dreams, and I wonder if this could happen to someone who hasn't grown up watching TV and cinema.
      • by sam0737 (648914)

        Hey do you have a TV at home? or mainly watch newspaper? ...or Slashdot?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dun Malg (230075)

        Out of all of my dreams, I can only remember a color memory from ONE...

        My recurring anxiety dream is color-based. It's the military version of the "got to school and forgot my homework" dream, but I dream I'm standing in formation in my Army unit and suddenly I realize that everyone else is wearing the Desert Combat Uniform [onesixthwarriors.com], while I am wearing the classic Woodland Camouflage BDU [thestrategyzone.com] . In that dream, there's definitely a serious green vs. tan thing going on.

    • I think you are right. However if not, the first thought that came to mind was that it is kind of sad the tube has begun to rule so much that people aren't dreaming in the colours of the real world. No, that's not the name of a T.V. show. :-p I think they need redo the study with a better method.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:29PM (#25426547)
      The truth, of course, is that before the 1950s, the world itself was in Black and White.
    • Re:I smell BS (Score:5, Informative)

      by lysergic.acid (845423) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:11PM (#25426799) Homepage

      you can smell whatever you want to smell. its your groundless assumptions against multiple corroborated studies.

      TV is a powerful (and insidious) cultural media, probably the most influential cultural media in modern society. that's why corporations spend so much money on TV commercials to imprint their brand on TV viewers, especially children. the data gathered from the recent study and from past research are not all that surprising. the researcher also offers a rational explanation for the data:

      Even though they would have spent only a few hours a day watching TV or films, their attention and emotional engagement would have been heightened during this time, leaving a deeper imprint on their mind, Miss Murzyn told the New Scientist.

      "The crucial time is between three and 10 when we all begin to have the ability to dream," she said.

      "Television and films which by their very nature are interesting and emotionally engaging and even dreamlike. So when you dream you may copy what you have seen on the screen.

      "I have even had a computer game player who dreams as if he is in front of a computer screen."

      and if you had bothered to RTFA, you'd see that even the subjects who watched B&W television growing up dreamt in color 75% of the time. but it's not all that surprising that individuals will dream in the palette of the dominant cultural media in their childhood.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532)

      The article is based on a survey a psychology student did, and only 30 people in the survey were over age 55. I think a bit more research needs to be done before we can draw the conclusion the article is trying to make.

    • by shawb (16347)
      Although I don't have a source at hand, I've heard many times that watching television puts one in a trance-like state. This is probably similar enough to dreaming that the brain learns to dream in a similar manner.
    • early boomer here (Score:2, Interesting)

      by zogger (617870)

      And also we were the first family in the whole neighborhood to even have a TV. I get black and white dreams mostly (well over 95%, something like that), rarely once in a great while in color (that I remember anyway), with the caveat I am red/green deficient, but see colors well enough to identify the basic roygbiv deal if they are truly vibrant enough. So, that's my anecdotal to add to the study. Not sure on total viewing time of tv back then, coupla hours a night I guess (not a whole lot of viewing choices

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @04:56PM (#25426321)

    I'm 58, and the only black and white things in my dreams are the TVs that I dream about watching when I dream of my youthful experiences.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by reboot246 (623534)
      I'm 55 and I've always dreamed in color. I didn't watch color TV until I was out of high school. Sounds like they need to go back to the old drawing board and start the study again, maybe with more people and a wider range of ages. Still seems like a waste of time and money to me.
      • by tftp (111690)

        I'm 55 and I've always dreamed in color.

        The real world around us is in color, and I bet it has more influence on people than some boring TV a couple of hours per day.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Ah, so since your sample of 1 contradicts the study they need to increase their sample size and do the study again! Good thinking!

    • by whoever57 (658626)
      I'm early '50s and I think I dream in B&W, but .... my memories are largely B&W also. I don't really remember colors, although I can attach a color tag to a memory. For example, when remebering a car, I might not visualize the color of a car -- only the shape, but I could associate the word red with the memory of the car.
    • Your also posting on /., we're not exactly a typical population. When I took psychology they said color dreaming tended to tract intelligence, and creativity scores and more likely in women and much rarer in men.

  • by rm999 (775449) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @04:56PM (#25426323)

    "The study, out ot Dundee University, used a small number of subjects under 25 or over 55 and the results suggest that"

    It sounds like they didn't properly control this experiment. By having two groups with such drastically different ages, there are now two variables: what kind of TV someone grew up watching, and age. Maybe older people are more likely to honestly admit they dream in black and white, or maybe they lose the ability to dream in color as they age. I think most people can't remember the minute visual details of their dreams, so experiments like this can easily introduce a bias in how one describes his dreams.

    • by owlnation (858981)
      Yeah, it's nonsense. Very badly designed experiment, and a very small sample. What about people who grew up without TV etc, etc...

      I wonder who funds stuff like this? I have lots of projects that would produce just as viable/ludicrous conclusions. Where can I find the golden goose like these guys?
    • But you have to admit it's an intriguing suggestion. I have for a long time believed that film, TV, and literature serve a similar purpose for society as a whole as dreams to for the individual, so it makes perfect sense to me that one should reflect the other. Our own dreams are a mechanism for us to sort out our experiences of the prior day, to test hypothetical scenarios, and to act out our wishes and impulses that we might not be able to respond to because of law or social mores.

      The media clearly serves

    • by arkhan_jg (618674)

      I read the paper article this morning. They had two groups of older people - those who grew up watching colour television, and those who didn't. Those who grew up with colour reported dreaming in B&W about 5% of the time, same as the young people who grew up with colour. The older people who grew up with B&W TV reported dreaming in B&W 25% of the time.

      Now, you can argue that watching colour TV in our formative years alters how we perceive dreams once we've just woken up from them, rather than th

  • ...not watching TV at all? I read books as a child but I don't dream in black text on white paper.

    • by Artifakt (700173) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:04PM (#25426367)

      I frequently have dreams where I'm reading some modern work, but the book is a huge leather bound volume with clasps and hinges, and the text is in archaic black letter, or hand scribed with illuminated portions. I guess, by the study, this is because of my formative years in the 1540's.

    • by jensend (71114)

      I didn't watch much TV growing up but did do a lot of reading, and I find that (at least in regard to the dreams I'm aware of having had) my dreams are usually not visual. I'm aware of what surroundings I'm in in the dream and might be able to describe them in terms one would expect to correspond to sight, but I don't really "see" anything. Reading this article makes me realize that this non-visual sense in my dreams has much in common with imagination as I read.

      Of course, plenty of people dreamt in visual

  • by pieterh (196118) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:00PM (#25426343) Homepage

    I remember dreams that were in black and white but where specific things - a person, an object - were in vivid colors, red, blue, yellow.

    It seems extraordinarily unlikely that our dream color schemes are influenced by the TV we watch. Did they ask people who grew up with no TV if they dream in color, B&W?

    Much more likely, there are age differences. Maybe some people start to dream more in B&W as they get older. Correlation is not causation!

    Anyhow, I don't dream much at all. Two young kids means that deep sleep is a rare luxury.

    • My family didn't have a TV until I was 13. I dream in color (or at least that's how I remember it in the morning). BTW you may dream a normal amount but not remember it.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:08PM (#25426775) Journal

      Yeah, it's strange. I don't remember many dreams where I've noticed whether they're in color or not. Does that mean I dream in black and white, because there's no color information? Or does it mean I dream in color, because I'd notice something so different from my regular experiences.

      Personally, I don't think color exists in my dreams unless it's relevant to the content. That makes this "B&W vs Color" question totally meaningless.

    • I don't believe I've ever dreamt in black and white, so I cannot comment from personal experience. However, I think we all would be surprised at how much of our visual input, in particular that which stimulates the imagination, comes from movies and television. It's not inconceivable that a generation or two, brought up on black and white movies and television, might find years of that sensory input have had a significant influence on their dreaming patterns.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I don't dream much at all, or as others have pointed out, I don't remember my dreams. Once in a while I'll remember them for like 30 seconds, and it usually ends up like this XKCD Comic [xkcd.com]. My wife on the other hand remembers almost all her dreams in a lot of detail. I wonder if any studies have been done about the reasons why some people remember dreams, while others don't.
  • by alvinrod (889928) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:02PM (#25426357)

    I'm not claiming that I didn't grow up watching TV, or even that there are very many people out there like that, but what about people who didn't watch a lot of TV growing up? Is it related to the environment in which we spend the most time? What I'm wondering is whether or not reading a lot of books would cause black and white dreams simply because the black text on a white background is similar to black and white television.

    Ethical issues aside, can we raise some children in an environment largely deprived of green and see if that affects their dreams? It would probably be interesting to know, but I'm not sure how much it would further our understanding of the human mind.

    • > I'm not claiming that I didn't grow up watching TV, or even that there are very many
      > people out there like that, but what about people who didn't watch a lot of TV growing
      > up?

      We are a lucky few.

      > Is it related to the environment in which we spend the most time?

      Are your dreams mostly inane sitcoms and animated advertisements for crappy toys?

      > What I'm wondering is whether or not reading a lot of books would cause black and white
      > dreams simply because the black text on a white backgroun

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:03PM (#25426361) Homepage Journal
    about how the youtube generation will dream...
  • makes me wonder... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MonoSynth (323007) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:03PM (#25426365) Homepage

    Besides the fact that this proves that tv has a way too big influence on our lives an our personalities, I wonder if this effects the way we look at the world outside our dreams. Do "b&w people" have more feeling for shapes and textures while "color people" look at the world from a more color-based perspective? Does it influence the way a photographer composes a picture? Does it influence how quick we react in traffic, recognizing colors instead of shapes? Does it influence our definition of beauty?

    Interesting stuff :)

  • pseudoscience (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:07PM (#25426393)

    Oh, please. What, they think the generation before TV (the radio generation) dreamed in audio only? Did the people of Shakespeare's time dream in iambic pentameter?

    Good ol' pseudoscience rears it's ugly head again.

    • by Molochi (555357)

      I remember someone once told me men dream in black and white and women dream in color. This more than 20 something years ago. Then some years later and 2000 miles away I heard it again. I think it's an idea perpetrated and perpetuated by people that meet the criteria or that just don't remember their dreams.

      I'm a guy who grew up with a B&W set and I've always dreamed in color.

      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)

        Sounds wierd to me. Personally I can't imagine dreaming in black and white - hell I'm not sure I'd do a good job of imagining a black and white world (it'd probably wake me up.. going from the 3d technicolour dolby surround that's a typical dream to a crappy black and white movie would be quite a shock :p).

  • by no-body (127863)

    and Internet generation wet....

  • I was brought up on B&W TVs and have never, to my memory, dreamed in B&W (and I keep a dream journal).

  • Watch as little television [youtube.com] as possible - or none at all - and keep your kids away from it at all cost. It fucks up your brain.
  • by mbstone (457308) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:23PM (#25426503)

    We didn't have color TV until I was 7.

    Things you probably don't remember about TV.

    TV didn't used to be all night. After Johnny Carson the booth announcer would come on and read a long blurb about how the station is licensed by the FCC to transmit from Mt. Foobar with a radiated power of blah blah and serve the public interest blah blather.

    Then they would show a film of a military band playing The Star-Spangled Banner and then they would turn off the transmitter, filling your living room with snow and white noise.

    TV used to be three channels which is why millions of people voluntarily watched programs like Gilligan's Island or Mr. Ed. It took an act of Congress to set up a fourth channel.

    Every drug store used to have a tube tester where you could bring in the vacuum tubes from your TV to see if they needed replacement.

    When you turned off the TV, there was a little white dot that remained in the middle of the screen.

    Before Sunrise Semester and Captain Kangaroo TV stations aired test patterns, and there was this Indian chief at the top of the test pattern. Evidently he held an exalted position among the gods of TV, who was he? Why isn't he on color bars? What is the technical significance of all those numbers on the test pattern [wikimedia.org]?

    • by GayBliss (544986) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @06:10PM (#25426787) Homepage
      Oh yes, I remember it all so well.

      And don't forget the manual tuning of each channel by the turning of the big knob on the front that had stops at each channel, and then the "fine tuning" ring behind the knob that you turned to get it just right in combination with the best position of the rabbit ears for each channel.
      I wonder how many people still say "turn the channel" as opposed to "change the channel", and if it differs by age?

      How about the public service announcement that came on at 10pm that said:
      "Parents, it's now 10 o'clock. Do you know where your children are?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by evilviper (135110)

      Things you probably don't remember about TV. [...] they would show a film of a military band playing The Star-Spangled Banner and then they would turn off the transmitter, filling your living room with snow and white noise.

      Yes... Nobody that has ever watched the movie Poltergeist knows any of this...

      Really, who doesn't remember this? It's been perhaps less than 10 years now since all stations started broadcasting infomercials all night. I think KCET (Los Angeles PBS station) was doing it up until ~2 year

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BitterOak (537666)

      Before Sunrise Semester and Captain Kangaroo TV stations aired test patterns, and there was this Indian chief at the top of the test pattern. Evidently he held an exalted position among the gods of TV, who was he? Why isn't he on color bars? What is the technical significance of all those numbers on the test pattern [wikimedia.org]?

      There is more about it here [wikipedia.org], and also a higher res version of the card.

  • You know, if this study had also investigated those who worked for years with green monochrome monitors and found a significant percentage of them dreamed in green monochrome, it'd be a lot more credible.
  • I honestly do not know if I dream in black and white or colour. I just can't remember dreams in that much detail, even seconds after waking I wouldn't be able to answer for sure.

    However isn't there a big problem with memorising dreams. It's widely known that dreams are meant to be forgotten, they're 'stored' in part of a brain that's meant to not keep things. As such to remember a dream, you first recall it whilst it's fresh, then you seperately remember what you've recalled. Essentially a version of chi
  • My family was not well to do when I was in elementary school, and we had an ancient BW TV. I dream in technocolor. Heck, the _world_ is in color.
  • by Erandir (578490) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:26PM (#25426525)

    CALVIN: Dad, how come old photographs are always black and white? Didn't they have color film back then?

    CALVIN'S DAD: Sure they did. In fact, those old photographs are in color. It's just the world was black and white then.

    CALVIN: Really?

    CALVIN'S DAD: Yep. The world didn't turn color until sometime in the 1930s, and it was pretty grainy color for a while, too.

    CALVIN: That's really weird.

    CALVIN'S DAD: Well, truth is stranger than fiction.

    CALVIN: But then why are old paintings in color?! If the world was black and white, wouldn't artists have painted it that way?

    CALVIN'S DAD: Not necessarily, a lot of great artists were insane.

    CALVIN: But ... but how could they have painted in color anyway? Wouldn't their paints have been shades of gray back then?

    CALVIN'S DAD: Of course, but they turned colors like everything else in the '30s.

    CALVIN: So why didn't old black and white photos turn color too?

    CALVIN'S DAD: Because they were color pictures of black and white, remember?

    (CUT TO: EXT. Tree limb, Calvin talking with Hobbes)

    CALVIN: The world is a complicated place, Hobbes.

    HOBBES: Whenever it seems that way, I take a nap in a tree and wait for dinner.

  • So, do people in the UK dream in PAL and people in the USA dream in NTSC? I'm glad I grew up in the UK, dream in NTSC just seems like the stuff nightmares are made of!

    I definitely remember being a child in the '80s and dreaming in 8-bit graphics, too much playing Elite and Exile I think.

    Dream on....

    • > So, do people in the UK dream in PAL and people in the USA dream in NTSC? I'm glad I
      > grew up in the UK, dream in NTSC just seems like the stuff nightmares are made of!

      It could be worse. You could be French and dream in SECAM.

    • by GayBliss (544986) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @07:08PM (#25427201) Homepage
      8-bit graphics!  You were spoiled!

      My first computers were 1-bit graphics (B&W), and my favorite computer game was NetHack (www.nethack.org) (although I think it was just called Hack back then).  My dreams look something like this:

      |----------|
      |  @   !   |
      |          >
      |----------|

      That's me in the kitchen with my father.
  • Dubious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoNeeeed (157503) <slash AT paulleader DOT co DOT uk> on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:35PM (#25426591) Homepage

    Remembering back to my psych classes, colour and B&W dreaming tend to happen at different parts of the sleep cycle. Colour is more common in REM, while dreams during NREM sleep are more likely to be in B&W.

    Since sleep patterns change as we age, it seems probable that this has far more to do with the age of the study participants. Since people were asked to record their dreams in the morning, they will tend to remember those dreams from their most recent sleep cycles.

    A better approach would be to conduct a proper sleep study, in which people of different ages are woken at different parts of their sleep cycle (as detected by EEG) and asked about their dreams and whether they were in colour. Anything else is an extrapolation too far and subject to too many other factors.

  • by kilodelta (843627) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @05:44PM (#25426639) Homepage
    B&W, NTSC color, and HD. Imagine that and I'm only 43 years old.

    I do however still dream of green or amber letters on a black screen.
  • many over-55s, all of whom were brought up with B&W sets

    WTF? If you're ten years over 55, there's about an even-money chance that you were ten years old before you had any TV set.

    rj

  • Too many Vampire movies and LSD when I was young, now I dream of Ultraviolet [wikipedia.org] in ultraviolet [wikipedia.org].

    P.S. The UV (light) page has a nice false-color shot of the solar corona in UV.

  • by GayBliss (544986)
    This story is implying that dreams are like movies that we sit back and watch.
    Unless they are specifically about color, dreams are just thoughts that are neither B&W nor color.

    It's equivalent to remembering a past experience. Even though we can remember exactly how an event played out, color is not part of it unless it has some significance in the memory.
  • Like why I had a dream last night where Dr. Gregory House chided me for not being able to beat an Iron Chef in only 24 hours.

  • by jep77 (1357465) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @07:01PM (#25427155) Homepage
    I called my grandfather up to ask him about his dreams. He said he mostly dreams in sepia tones.
  • I think (Score:5, Funny)

    by stimpy (11763) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @07:28PM (#25427337) Homepage

    that as you grow older, the color leaches out of your dreams along with hope. Oh, wait, that's just me.

  • ...Sleep Furiously!

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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