Brain imaging study: A step toward true 'dream reading'

Brain imaging study: A step toward true 'dream reading'
Activity in the motor cortex during the movement of the hands while awake (left) and during a dreamed movement (right). Blue areas indicate the activity during a movement of the right hand, which is clearly demonstrated in the left brain hemisphere, while red regions indicate the corresponding left-hand movements in the opposite brain hemisphere. © MPI of Psychiatry

When people dream that they are performing a particular action, a portion of the brain involved in the planning and execution of movement lights up with activity. The finding, made by scanning the brains of lucid dreamers while they slept, offers a glimpse into the non-waking consciousness and is a first step toward true "dream reading," according to a report published online in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 27.

"Dreaming is not just looking at a movie," said Martin Dresler of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. " representing specific body motions are activated."

Lucid dreamers are aware that they are dreaming and can deliberately control their actions in dreams. The researchers realized that this learned skill presents an opportunity for studying the neural underpinnings of our dreams.

"The main obstacle in studying specific dream content is that spontaneous dream activity cannot be experimentally controlled, as subjects typically cannot perform predecided mental actions during sleep," study coauthor Michael Czisch explained. "Employing the skill of lucid dreaming can help to overcome these obstacles."

The researchers instructed participants to make a series of left and right hand movements separated by a series of eye movements upon entering a lucid dream state while their brains were scanned. Those eye movements served as a signal to the researchers of what was happening in the dream.

Those studies show for the first time that observed in the brain's sensorimotor cortex can be related to dreamed hand movements.

The discovery suggests that lucid dreaming in combination with neuroimaging and polysomnography (a more common form of sleep monitoring) may allow the transfer of more sophisticated "brain reading" tasks to the dreaming state, the researchers say. In other words, it might eventually be possible to predict dreamed content by analyzing patterns of .

Dresler says it will also be interesting to investigate activity at the moment a dreamer becomes lucid.

"The lucid dreamer gains insight into a very complex state: sleeping, dreaming, but being consciously aware of the dream state," he said. "This may inform us about concepts of consciousness."


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Oct 28, 2011
It is about time that this was done. What I hope to see come out of it is where and how the brain represents/creates the 3D experience which we take so much for granted.

Oct 28, 2011
It's a bit suspicious though. Certain areas of the motor cortex activate even when people just imagine performing a motion, without actually doing it.
I wonder if the researchers explored the difference in brain activity between all the possible cases: performing the action, trying to perform the action but being physically restrained not to be able to, consciously imagining to perform the action without performing it, and dreaming of any of these as well. This article doesn't make much clear.

Oct 31, 2011
hush, what I mean is that we all just take for granted that we can "see" the 3D world around us, but the subtle truth is that the experience is *all* inside one's head. We don't normally think about this at all because, after all, the experience is *about* the world and we have evolved so as to take it *to be* the world. That normal state of taking experience to actually be the world is called naive realism. It is perfectly OK for most things we do but there are various aspects of our experience in certain situations which cannot be adequately explained from the point of view of naive realism.

BTW, what do mean by
What do you replace when you duplicate the where and how of the creation and representation of 3D experience in the brain?


Nov 06, 2011
First learn what sleep is...:

Understand Sleep

From
http://universe-life.com/2011/07/16/sleep-researchers-are-still-researching/" title="http://http://universe-life.com/2011/07/16/sleep-researchers-are-still-researching/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://universe-l...arching/

Why Life Eats And Why Life Sleeps:

-Life ( and other, inanimate, mass spin arrays ) eats because the universe expands.

-Life sleeps because RNAs genesised-evolved long before metabolism evolved. They were active ONLY during sunlight hours. Thus sleep is inherent for RNAs, even though, being ORGANISMS, they now adapt to when/extent sleep time are feasible

Dov Henis
(comments from 22nd century)
http://universe-life.com


Nov 09, 2011
hush,
I don't need you to "adequately explain" my experience to me.
If you choose to espouse some particular form of extreme reductionism, that is your choice. I no longer fight about such things; life is too short to be expended assailing apparently immovable objects so I just go around them. I am satisfied that human experience is intrinsically paradoxical and that there is no escape from the paradox.
If you want to test your mettle though try Steven Lehar,

http:// cns-alumni .bu .edu/~slehar/webstuff/bubw3/bubw3 .html#compmech

NB: remove the spaces and the link should work. Enjoy!

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