Vienna, 10 th – 12 th June 1998

Dr. Brigitte Holzinger initiated the symposium with the goal to gather scientists from different fields like neurophysiology, psychology, philosophy and also art, to gain a better understanding for all aspects of the topic. The dream and the consciousness, or the dreaming, conscious benefit of nightly creativity, were the main topics of the discussions and debates which took place during three nights and two days. the interdisciplinary Exchange about “Dream & Consciousness”; gave new impulses for various scientific disciplines as for example neurophysiology, psychology, psychotherapy, philosophy, religious studies as well as art and movie industry.


Vienna can be considered as birthplace as the topic, as in the turn of the century Freud has written the major work about dream and interpretation of dreams, a fundamental work which influence all the 20 th century. 1952 Aserinsky and Kleitman described for the first time the REM-sleep and its connection to dreams, after which in 1957 Dement dedicated himself to study this correlation. Following this development, one could distinguish the dream research made before 1960, describing them as psychodynamic, from the research made after 1960, which was rather based on neurophysiologic research. Those both separated ways to approach the topic of the dream were to merge during the symposium, in order to get closer to the core of the dream. An interdisciplinary exchange opened aspects and possibilities, which would have been impossible to find from only one scientific disciplinary.

Main topics

  • Neurophysiologic models, which “explain” dreaming
  • Phenomenological and psychological aspects of the output of consciousness during dreaming and waking
  • Philosophic aspects
  • Dreams; creativity and consciousness in psychoanalysis and art


The long list of notable lecturers (see below) who exchanged their knowledge and point of views during the panel discussions, led to a successful interdisciplinary approach; which further on led to many new impulses in the domain of scientific research. This achievement is now already to the benefit of the patients. The sleepcoaching program now taught at the Medical University of Vienna is just one example of many others, of a successful interdisciplinary project, that now helps to heal patients who suffer from sleep disorders.

More information about the symposium, recordings and reports are available at the Institute, in the section CD’s, DVD’s, sleep helpers and more

Liste der Vortragenden (alphabetisch):

Roseanne Armitage, Ph. D., Southwestern University, Dallas, Texas

Adolf Grunbaum, Andrew Mellon Professor of Philosophy, Research Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Giselher Guttmann, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Institut for Experimental Psychology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Allan Hobson, M. D., Ph. D., Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts

Brigitte Holzinger, Ph. D., Psychologist and Psychotherapist (Integrative Gestalttherapie), Konrad Lorenz Institut, Vienna, Austria

Michel Jouvet, Professor Emeritus, University of Lyon, France

Tracey Kahan, Ph. D., Professor of Psychology, Santa Clara University, San Jose, California

David Kahn, Ph. D., Volpe National Systems Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Stephen LaBerge, Ph. D., Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Titus Leber, Ph. D., Film Director, Professor of the University for Media Art, Cologne, Germany

Lynne Levitan, Lucidity Institute, Palo Alto, California

Norbu Namkhai Rinpoche, Prof. Emeritus, Rinpoche of Tibetan Buddhism, Naples, Italy

Bernd Saletu, Professor for Psychiatry, University of Vienna, Austria

Wolf Singer, Professor of Brain Research, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany

Inge Strauch, Professor of Psychology, University of Zuerich, Switzerland

Paul Tholey, Ph.D., Psychologist (Gestalt Theory), Frankfurt, Germany

Francisco Varela, Ph. D., Director of LENA – Neurosciences Cognitives et Imagerie Cerebrale, Hopital de la Neurophysiology, Paris, France.