Scientists are making strides forward in being able to recreate and replay dreams from brain activity recorded while we are sleeping.
The new paper, out Thursday in the journal Science, discovered links between brain scan patterns and verbal reports of dreams. They had people look at pictures of words and images while recording their brain activity. They then used data they collected from brain scans in the early stages of sleep, to filter through word and image databases to classify what the person was seeing when they were dreaming.
They found brain patterns that were associated with specific words and images and could use that information to understand what the patients were seeing while they were dreaming as they were falling asleep.
Each of their three patients was woken up 200 times, every five to six minutes. They were able to describe what they had seen about 75 per cent of the time.
The researchers said this could one day lead to complete decoding and replaying of dreams. Even currently, the result is pretty stunning.
Here’s the image and words that come out of one patient’s brain activities in the 30 seconds to waking up. When the patient woke up, they said they had been dreaming about “I was just looking at some kind of characters. There was something like a writing paper for composing an essay, and I was looking at the characters from the essay or whatever it was…”
Here’s a second one, which upon awakening, the patient said: “Well, there were persons, about 3 persons, inside some sort of hall. There was a male, a female, and maybe a child. Ah, it was like a boy, a girl, and a mother. I don’t think there was any colour.”
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