I'm not aware of a distinct term for what I'm trying to describe, so I will attempt to describe this in hopes that someone can help me find if there's a term or research done in this direction.

I remember thousands of dreams, and can recall them spontaneously. From such large subset of dreams, I've observed that there are some dreams that share a common feeling/ experience/ perceptual theme. A lot of this can be described visually, but the experience extends to other senses as well.

These dreams can be experienced years apart, and the exact content does not matter. What I'm interested in is the overall theme and how perception of the visuals within the dream is affected. For example:

  • Dreams with very dark environments, there are no ambient glowing light sources, and the lights that exist are more like LED specs than light bulbs. Objects are still perceived, but the contrast is very low
  • Hyper-realistic dreams, bright and colorful, where details are extremely vivid, sharp, as if everything has been "photoshopped" to look better than reality.
  • Dreams with landscape and characters affected by death, decay and rot, predominantly brownish, greenish, grayish hues.

Is there a term for these different kinds of perceptual experiences in dreams?

I guess what I'm describing can be compared to a photo filter applied to the entire environment: enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like you are describing little more than leit motif in oneiric form. A wealth of information could be written regarding them, but i doubt you will obtain much information here. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


I think this is the closest article to what I'm attempting to describe -An artists illustration of the effect of 20 different drugs on perception. He draws the same image "under the influence".

Here's an example of an image with the color palette and "decay" attributes I was describing example of decay


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