Otto Loewi -or- Designing Scientific Experiments in Dreams

The Nobel Prize -or- Chemical Transmission of Nervous Impulses

Many creative discoveries have been made in dreams, the philosophical path of modern science was strongly influenced after Rene Descartes experienced three dreams. Science was again the beneficiary of dream insight when the pharmacologist Otto Loewi had a dream that showed him how design a scientific experiment to determine whether the nervous system's signal transmission across the synapse was electrical or biochemical. Loewi's discovery earned him his Nobel Prize.

Here's Loewi's dream;

"The night before Easter Sunday of that year I awoke, turned on the light, and jotted down a few notes on a tiny slip of paper. Then I fell asleep again. It occurred to me at 6 o'clock in the morning that during the night I had written down something most important, but I was unable to decipher the scrawl. The next night, at 3 o'clock, the idea returned. It was the design of an experiment to determine whether or not the hypothesis of chemical transmission that I had uttered 17 years ago was correct. I got up immediately, went to the laboratory, and performed a single experiment on a frog's heart according to the nocturnal design."


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.