Keith Hearne’s Work on Lucid Dreaming


  • Keith Hearne


Many hundreds of people in the U.S. and other countries have written to me asking about my research into lucid dreaming, so let me summarize it thus. My initial knowledge of the phenomenon came from reading Celia Green’s little book Lucid Dreams, and van Eeden’s paper given to the Society for Psychical Research (1913). Having completed some research into the modification of evoked responses by visual imagery (Hearne, 1976; 1978b), my thoughts turned to the question of whether a suitable channel of communication could be established between a lucid dreamer and the outside world, so permitting the dream to be studied "from within" for the first time. A method using ocular signalling, which circumvented the general bodily atonia of REM sleep, was found to work beautifully with a subject on the morning of 12 April 1975 at 8:07 in the Department of Psychology at Hull University. That breakthrough enabled me to define the basic characteristics of lucid dreams in a three year study for a Ph.D. (Hearne, 1977; 1978a; 1980a,b; 1981a,c; 1982c) after transferring to Liverpool University. That thesis was lodged in May 1978, and copies are obtainable from the Librarian.






Part V: Historical Perspectives