Metacognition night and day: lucid dreaming, mind wandering and mindfulness

12-14 July 2019, Donders Institute, Nijmegen

A characteristic human attribute is our ability to reflect on our own mental processes – a phenomenon known as metacognition. Rather than actively engaging in self-reflections constantly, however, metacognition is restricted or absent during extended periods of our lifes: we are often occupied with rather automatic and mindless activities, let our minds wander freely, or are submerged in dreams without conscious control or insight into our current state of mind.

In this symposium, we aim to elucidate metacognitive processing during different states of mind: lucid dreaming, mind wandering and mindfulness. In contrast to metacognitive impairments experienced during normal dreaming, the rare phenomenon of lucid dreaming allows for full metacognitive capacity during ongoing sleep. Also mind wandering – or daydreaming – during wakefulness is characterized by strong metacognitive fluctuations, whereas states of mindfulness involve strong metacognitive features.

International experts on lucid dreaming, mind wandering and mindfulness will shed light on each of these phenomena, their psychological and neurobiological mechanisms, and explore their commonalities and mutual relationships.



Friday, 12 July 2019

19:00 Stephen LaBerge (Lucidity Institute): Lucid dreaming

20:30 Welcome reception


Saturday, 13 July 2019

9:30 Jennifer Windt (Monash University): Mental autonomy in dreaming and mind wandering

10:10 Peter Fazekas (Antwerp University): Stimulus-independent experiences and metacognitive awareness

10:50 Coffee

11:10 Myrthe Faber (Donders Institute): Neuroscience of mind wandering

11:50 Marieke van Vugt (Groningen University): Mind wandering and mindfulness

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Tadas Stumbrys (Vilnius University): Lucid dreaming and mindfulness

14:10 Benjamin Baird (University of Wisconsin): Lucid dreaming, mind wandering and mindfulness

14:50 Corina Greven (Donders Institute): Mindfulness-based interventions for ADHD


16:00 Ursula Voss (Frankfurt University): Dissociation and insight in altered states

16:40 Nirit Soffer-Dudek (Ben-Gurion University): Positive and negative aspects of lucid dreaming

17:20 Panel discussion: Associations between lucid dreaming, mind wandering, mindfulness

18:00 BBQ


Sunday, 14 July 2019

9:30 Michael Schredl (Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim): Measurement of dream lucidity

10:10 Michelle Carr (Swansea University) / Martin Dresler (Donders Institute): Lucid dream induction

11:00 Coffee

11:30 Kristoffer Appel (Osnabrück University), Karen Konkoly/Ken Paller (Northwestern University): Two-way communication during lucid dreaming

12:20 Delphine Oudiette (Inserm, Paris): Lucid dreamers with narcolepsy as undercover agents in the dream world

13:00 Panel discussion: The future of lucid dream research

14:00 Snack, farewell, small-group discussions