In his review of a recent "California Stories" episode, Terry Atkinson was obviously placed in the untenable position of assessing scientific research outside his area of competence ("A Rerun of Research, Theory Presented in KCET's 'Dreams: Theater of the Night,' " April 25).
Inevitably, he made serious errors and gave a wholly misleading impression of the program, suggesting that it was little more than a warmed-over "Nova" that presented no new information.
In fact, most of the research described had not been presented to a wide audience. Specifically, the REM sleep behavior disorder has only recently been identified in humans; Jerry Siegel's work is still in progress; Dr. Rossi's notion of dream evolution has not appeared before; the "red goggles" experiment of Roffwarg and Herman has not been shown on television; and the PET scanning experiments at UC Irvine are so new that the researchers have not yet fully analyzed or published their results.
"Nova" has never done a program on dreams; its last treatment of sleep was in 1975. It would be hard to imagine a more erroneous review.