The activation-synthesis model of dreaming was proposed in 1977 by Robert McCarley and J. Allan Hobson of Harvard Medical School. Examining the purely physiological correlates of dreaming, Hobson and McCarley believed they had put forward a hypothesis that refuted the notion that dreams are meaningful, especially as this notion was formulated by Sigmund Freud and promulgated in the tradition of dream interpretation he initiated.
During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the stage of sleep most closely connected with dreaming, a portion of the brain called the pons (located in the primitive hindbrain) generates electrical signals that go to many different brain areas, including those associated with motor activities, sensory activities, and conscious thought. Hobson and McCarley hypothesized that one of the effects of this electrical activity is to send a series of essentially random images, feelings, and so forth to the higher mental centers of the forebrain. This is the “activation” stage of the theory.
In normal waking consciousness, the fore- brain sorts through various kinds of internal and external sensory input to create a meaningful experience of the world. Faced with a barrage of disconnected inputs during REM sleep, the higher mental centers attempt to impose order on the incoming messages, creating whatever narrative structure dreams have. This is the “synthesis” stage of the theory. Many dreams are just masses of incoherent images representing incoming groups of signals that the brain was simply not able to synthesize.
For anyone who has been exasperated by the convolutions of Freudian or other schools of dream interpretation, the activation-synthesis theory has a certain iconoclastic appeal because it dismisses dreams as just so much nonsense. How- ever, because almost everyone has had at least a few truly insightful dreams, the theory is ultimately unsatisfying. Also, on a purely physiological level, it is an incomplete theory because it does not offer an explanation for the dreams that occur during non-REM sleep.... Dreampedia
To dream of looking at fashions in shop windows, magazines, or on models signifies all work and no play, unless you make some active effort to mix socially.... The Complete Guide to Interpreting Your Dreams
Dreams in which fashion appears as a general theme may relate to how you feel about yourself in waking life. Do you feel dowdy, out of date and old-fashioned? If you see models on a catwalk and admire them, find out why you found them attractive; if you want to be a model, such a dream may be wish-fulfillment.
If you are looking at a mannequin in the window of a department store, was your dream suggesting that you, or someone you know, lacks character? A dream in which you are looking in the mirror also expresses concern with your self- image. As we see ourselves in reverse in a mirror, the dream may be asking you to see yourself in a new way.
If the mirror was cracked or dirty, the dream may be suggesting a certain amount of self-deception in waking life, but if the mirror is clear and bright and you notice blemishes you hadn’t noticed before, the dream indicates self-honesty and the making of appropriate decisions in life.... The Element Encyclopedia
If you dream of being at a fashion show, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed or pressured in real life. Give yourself a break and try to express any pent-up feelings to a good friend.
If you dream of being in a fashion show and things go well, it’s a positive omen that you are feeling confident about your position in the world and in yourself.
If you dream of being in a fashion show where things go wrong, or you trip or have a disaster, you are feeling insecure about the way other people see you. You may also be nervous that someone will find out that you lied about something recently.... My Dream Interpretation
Dreams of a fashion model symbolize motivation and inspiration and an ideal to aspire toward. This dream may also be showing you that you may be over reaching, and thus finding yourself discontent with what you have or who you are.
If you dream of a model home, building or car, then this represents that you are connecting with a prototype that is the focal point you need to move you in the direction of your dreams. See Mannequin and Wish Fulfillment Dreams.... Strangest Dream Explanations
A model embodies a certain aesthetic of beauty and is therefore a symbolic ideal to which many people aspire.
The challenge with this image is that there is a great deal of false identification associated with this ideal, and your interpretation must include your personal relationship to beauty and your sense of personal attractiveness.
A model as a character aspect in a dream may represent ideals of beauty to which you aspire, but may just as easily connect to the impossibility of such aspirations.... Complete Dictionary of Dreams
Conflict with conventional norms, accommodation, and vanity. Due to an inferiority complex you are trying to create ideal beauty; or emotional certainty about your own beauty.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
To dream of a model, foretells your social affairs will deplete your purse, and quarrels and regrets will follow.
For a young woman to dream that she is a model or seeking to be one, foretells she will be entangled in a love affair which will give her trouble through the selfishness of a friend. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
A man who dreams of being in a studio where a female mode J is posing in the nude will probably realize a pet ambition to which he has been aspiring for a long time.
A young woman who dreams of being a model, whether for an artist, a photographer, or in a dressmaking establishment, is in danger of being involved in a very disquieting love affair.... The Complete Dream Book