Scientists have developed an experimental tool and protocol to manipulate people’s dream content while sleeping, allowing them to remember specific cues that can trigger targeted dream themes and experiences.
While dreaming of limitless Start For now, science fiction remains the stuff, new research suggests that the developed science of dream control is much more than fiction – and that information processing during sleep is capable of being engineered externally.
In a new study, a team led by MIT’s neuroscientist Adam Har Horowitz describes how a wearable electronic device – called a dormio – was used by researchers during the liquid phase of sleep to describe the term ‘targeted dream incubation’ (TDI) Enables, where the sleeper experiences, a bordering state of consciousness called hypnogogia.
“This state of mind is tragic, loose, flexible, and different,” Har Horwitz explains.
“It’s like wiggling the mind and turning it up high notch upon immersing it – your body is being pushed and pulled with new sensations like floating and falling, your thoughts quickly and out of control.”
Hypnagogia, REM shares many of the fluid, dream-like sensations of sleep, but with one important difference: people can still hear and process audio in the meantime as they wake up (and vice versa) – The critical sensory backdoor enables targeted dream incubation to function.
Much the same experimental method, called targeted memory reactivation (TMR), which reactivates specific memories that are triggered by distributed cues during sleep, may have applications in TDI as a learning tool Which can improve memory consolidation, but it comes with a specific advantage: the DORIO device is worn on the wrist like a sensor-filled glove.
As soon as someone falls asleep wearing the device, the audio cue is played through a related app, such as “remembering about a tree” (the dream theme in the experiment, conducted with 49 participants).
The dorio sensor signals out to the physical data the person is asleep, at which point the system briefly tells them, prompting them to say what was going on in their brain as they slept, their verbal dream report app Was recorded by
After this brief interruption, they again fall asleep – but only briefly – during a series of repeated dreams, awakening, and prompting for recording, all centered around a state of guided hyphenogia (in theory, at least).
“Targeted dream incubation is a protocol to reactivate memories during sleep that leads to the inclusion of targeted memory, or related memories, into dream content,” the researchers point out in their paper.
“The aim of the current study is to assess the ability of Doremio to identify the duration of sleep onset and to successfully manipulate the reported content of hypanagogic dreams through pre-sleep verbal cues.”
Although the prototype system is still being refined, experimental results suggest that it appears to successfully affect dreams and may document their content to a significant extent.
When Dorimio inspired participants to think of a tree before and during the ‘Borderland’ sleep state, 67 percent of the dream reports collected by the app showed a reference to a tree upon waking from a hypnagogic state Mentioned.
“My dream involved a tree,” one participant said in an oral report that he gave after awakening. “I was following the roots with someone and the roots were taking me to different places … I could hear the roots of the tree pulsing with energy as if they were taking me to some place . “
In contrast, dream reports from a control group – who were only motivated to observe their thoughts – had no reference to trees in particular.
In addition to helping shape people’s dreams, the researchers say their dormio systems and dream incubation protocols can be used for various learning techniques associated with sleep-based memory consolidation – or in creativity and problem solving. To help, by motivating people to be alert. Liquid and vivid thinking of their hypnotic state.
“Dreaming about a specific topic suggests that sleep is offered after the benefits, such as on creativity tasks related to the subject,” says Haar Horwitz.
“This is surprising in light of historical figures like Mary Shelley or Salvador Dali, who were creatively inspired by their dreams. The difference here is that we inspire these creatively profitable dreams in a targeted way.”
The findings are stated in Consciousness and feeling.