Brain scanner 'reads' people's dreams

Brain scanner 'reads' people's dreams

A team at the Max Planck Institute in Munich in Germany predict that people could soon use computers to "see" what they have dreamed about -- and perhaps even record dreams to watch the next day.

The scientists think it has already demonstrated that brain scanners can see into the dreams of "lucid dreamers" -- people who can control their dreams, the 'New Scientist' reported.

In fact, to find out whether dreams could be read in the same way as waking thoughts, the team turned an array of brain -monitoring technology on lucid dreamers.

After tracking down six individuals who claimed to be able to have lucid dreams almost nightly, the team used both functional MRI scanning and near-infrared spectroscopy to observe each person's brain activity as they clenched a hand while awake.

They then compared this with the activity associated with imagining clenching the same hand, and clenching the hand in a lucid dream.

"The participants have to fall asleep in a scanner, reach REM sleep and enter a stable lucid dream state. This is a proof-of concept study and provides the first evidence that it may be possible to use brain imaging to read the contents of a person's dream," said Michael Czisch, who led the team.

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