Posting in Science
Scientists have used brain scanners to read people's dreams.
We are a step closer to entering the reality set forth in the Hollywood flick Inception, where technology was used to invade dreams.
Scientists have measured dream content using a brain scanner and found that dreams activate the brain in the same way movements do when a person is awake, according to a new study.
For the first time, German scientists used a brain scanner to read the content in people's dreams. Scientists at Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, along with a team from Charité hospital in Berlin, measured brain activity during dreaming, using functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning and near-infrared spectroscopy.
In the experiment, the researchers studied dreams of six subjects who claimed to be lucid dreamers. (Lucid dreamers can tell when they are dreaming). The subjects were asked to lay inside a scanning machine and become aware of their dream. Then the participants were asked to voluntarily dream of clenching their right hands and then switch to their left hands.
The results showed that dreaming of clenching their fist activated a region in the brain that is responsible for real-life actions. It's been a challenge until now to measure specific brain activity with dream content. The main difficulty, of course, is only subjects can tell if they are dreaming or not. That's why lucid dreamers were chosen for the experiment.
The scientists looked at two dreams by two of the subjects, according to New Scientist. The subjects had to sleep in the scanner, reach rapid eye movement sleep, and enter the lucid dream state.
While the study size wasn't large by any means, this is a proof-of-concept study to show that it is possible to read a person's dream. The study was published in the journal Current Biology.
“Our dreams are therefore not a ‘sleep cinema’ in which we merely observe an event passively, but involve activity in the regions of the brain that are relevant to the dream content,” Max Planck's Michael Czisch said in a statement.
Recently neuroscientists have been able to dig deeper and even made a movie of what images our minds create when shown movie clips.
But what is the societal impact of mind reading tools making their way out of the lab, and into the household or courtroom? Would you be comfortable with your significant other being able to know what you're dreaming about? Well, that's a thought to sleep on.
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Oct 29, 2011
Very interesting. Makes me wonder what all we will and can learn from dreams. I wouldn't want anyone scanning my dreams though. Sometimes I have dreams of things that actually happen the next day, no joke. They say Chief Crazy Horse lived in the dream world. I've read dreams are a way for our mind to solve problems and plan, Will be interesting to see the knowledge we can gain from this scanner."Lucid dreamers can tell when they are dreaming", I guess I am a lucid dreamer, I usually have complete control in my dreams and I can pick them back up where I left off during the dream. Dreams change with age though, alcohol or other substance intake can have an impact on dreams. When I was looking at which Smartplanet article on my email to read I chose this one, as it was loading I thought, I bet Boonsri Dickinson wrote that, funny it was true. I hate to get back on the left hand/right brain hemisphere wagon, but Since lefties are more dominant in the right hemisphere of their brains, does this mean a lefty's dream scan or dreams may be different than a right handed person?
I have yet to read the scientific journal, but they really should use Narcoleptics for this study. Narcoleptics will usually have a dream in the first 15 minutes of sleep and it only takes them 5- 6 minutes to go to sleep. They also have Hypnagogic hallucinations in the first part of their screwed up sleep stage. They could compare dreams to these types of hallucinations and see how much more active or not the hassucinations are.
This Research could lead to better understandings of the brain???s function if not a dream recorder. Better brain-machine interfaces are the great promise for those trying to develop systems to enable incommunicative people, such as those with locked-in syndrome, to communicate again. And as brain sensor technology provides higher resolutions and becomes less invasive, a system that can identify and respond to abstract concepts at the neural level could be the basis for thought-controlled machines in the future. Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India E-mail: email@example.com
And when the government gets their hands on this technology there will be the "Dream Police". Been saying this for years.....
Now I'm definitely making my wife take the GE Lightspeed 16 CT scanning chamber out of the bedroom!!!
Don't you think... "For the first time, dreams are read by a brain scanner" ...should really have been... "For the first time, dreaming brain activity identified by a brain scanner" ...but who would click on it then? Moreover, I am quite dubious of the claim... "Recently neuroscientists have been able to dig deeper and even made a movie of what images our minds create when shown movie clips." ...and seem to recall this being yet another Smart Planet Hype Headline. Could it be that you've been taken in by your own hyperbole. I notice no link to this claim.
When I dream about flying, does that "involve activity in the regions of the brain that are relevant to the dream content???? And if so... what would happen if I could activate this region while awake? Hmmm....
This tech is potentially useful and very scary and the scarier the tech more more watchful we have to be over the people using it. Every advance in technology can be misused. The trouble with blaming technology is that it lets the abusers off the hook. We have to fight to keep ALL techology from violating our civil and moral rights but just as guns don't kill people, this tech won't read people's minds, people will.
...along the same lines as any other animated scan sequence we've seen. NOT an image of the imagery our minds generate when they dream. And yes, "Smart Planet" HAS been taken in by their own hyperbole.
I thought the study didn't actually show what the person was dreaming, so it couldn't actually read their mind?
Just annoyed by hype, and as long as I'm being negative, some of the other commenters here apparently didn't even read past the headline, which is even more annoying!
I don't intend for this to be harsh towards you, but nobody cares if you are annoyed. find something useful to talk about or worth reading. Be aware of your audience. And you have no knowledge of what they read. Big deal, you may have been more aware of a headline than other commenters; would you like a reward, or are you grading them?