More Background/Foreground: No Background in Dreams:
“Perceptual experience has a sensory foreground-background structure, in which selective attention determines the foreground while the background is pre-attentive or diffusely attended.
Neither dreaming nor visual imagination seems to have this kind of foreground-background structure; rather, selective attention directly determines the sensory content of the dream image or visualized object, while the background is due to cognitive supposition.
For example, while having a flying dream I image whatever I attend to—for example the trees directly below me. To say that I don’t notice the mountain ridge is not to say that it is there as part of an imaged but unnoticed sensory background; rather, it is to say that it is absent because I am not generating any sensory imagery of mountains. ”
Response to Commentators on Waking, Dreaming, Being
Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia