Mind & Brain Answers in Your Dreams When you fall asleep, you enter an alternative state of consciousness--a time when true inspiration can strike By Deirdre Barrett THIS IS A PREVIEW. Buy this digital issue or subscribe to access the full article. Already a subscriber or purchased this issue? Sign In Photoillustration by Aaron Goodman As a young mathematician in the 1950s, Don Newman taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology alongside rising star and Nobel-laureate-to-be John Nash. Newman had been struggling to solve a particular math problem: “I was ... trying to get somewhere with it, and I couldn’t and I couldn’t and I couldn’t,” he recalled. One night Newman dreamed that he was reflecting on the problem when Nash appeared. The sleeping Newman related the details of the conundrum to Nash and asked if he knew the solution. Nash explained how to solve it. Newman awoke realizing he had the answer! He spent the next several weeks turning the insight into a formal paper, which was then published in a mathematics journal. THIS IS A PREVIEW. Buy this digital issue or subscribe to access the full article. Already a subscriber or purchased this issue? Sign In Buy Digital Issue $7.95 Add To Cart Browse all subscription options! Subscribe ADVERTISEMENT Scientific American is a trademark of Scientific American, Inc., used with permission © 2015 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.