General, Research, Technology

A device has been created to help crack dreams

Love science fiction? Have you watched Christopher Nolan’s “Beginning” film? Imagine for a moment that some of this film is really real. The fact is that scientists seem to have learned to track dreams and interact with them in various ways. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Dream Lab (MIT) want to prove that dreams are not meaningless gibberish. They can be hacked, supplemented, and even changed at will. Since 2017, scientists have been working on a portable open source device that can track dreams. A glove-like device called Dormio is equipped with many sensors that can determine which phase of sleep its owner is in. When the glove wearer immerses in hypnagogy - an intermediate state between reality and sleep,the glove reproduces a pre-recorded sound signal, in most cases consisting of one word. In general, with the new device, developers want to track dreams and infiltrate them. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that Christopher Nolan will definitely be pleased with the invention.

Perhaps in the future we will arrange dream streams and vote whose dream is cooler

Open source computer programs, the code of which is available to everyone, which allows you to learn, modify and supplement it as you wish

What is sleep for?

On average, people spend in a dream from 15 to 30 - independing on life expectancy. It is believed that a healthy sleep should not exceed 8 hours a day, but for all of us, the biological clock works differently, so for someone it takes 6 hours, and for someone 9 or more. In general, researchers agree that women need more sleep than men. Be that as it may, sleep performs essential functions in the organisms of all mammals, including Homo sapiens.

Sleep - This is a natural physiological process during which the body's response to external stimuli is reduced, and specific activity occurs in the brain.

Today, there are two main theories about the need for sleep: the theory of body recovery and the theory of brain plasticity.
According to the first theory, sleep is necessary for everyoneliving creatures to restore the power spent during wakefulness. So, during sleep, many processes occur in the body, including muscle growth, protein production, and even cleansing the brain of waste products - for more details on how real brainwashing occurs during sleep, read our material. According to the second theory - neuroplasticity - during sleep, neural connections are created and reorganized in the brain, negative emotional experience is processed, and the information received during the day is transferred to the repository of long-term memories. Moreover, in a dream, the brain forms associative connections, that is, it adds new information to the existing one.

You will be interested: What is sleep paralysis?

Shot from the movie "Beginning"

Most likely, both of these theories are true, since inOtherwise, people could live without sleep much more than 8-11 days. Already 3-5 sleepless days can lead to severe physical and mental disorders, which can lead to death. It is believed that without sleep an absolutely healthy person can stay for no more than 8 days, however, cases of longer wakefulness are also known. As you know, nothing good happens to the body at this time. Moreover, lack of sleep leads to the development of many diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression. In more detail about what will happen if neglected sleep, I told in a previous article.

Would you like to be able to record your dreams and fully control them? Share your answer in the comments as well as with the participants of our Telegram chat

Confirms the vital sleep function for the body circadian rhythms (built-in biological clock). In fact, these are rhythms with a period of about 24 hours, which control not only the time of sleep and wakefulness, but also the time of food intake, hormone production, metabolism, etc. It is noteworthy that all living organisms have circadian rhythms, even Drosophila fruit flies. Therefore, with regular lack of sleep, the appearance of various diseases is not surprising.

Where do dreams come from?

To simplify the answer as much as possible, sleep isrest time of our body. But in fact - as scientists previously discovered - during sleep, the activity of neurons (nerve cells) in the brain continues. We know this thanks to the methods of electrophysiology, when researchers were able to record the activity of neurons in the cerebral cortex. It turned out that some neurons work in a dream even more actively than during wakefulness. But why? According to experts, absolutely everyone is able to dream, but they don’t remember. Dreams can be dull and discolored, and bright and colorful.

Dreams also signal the state of the body. So, if you dream that you are suffocating, then you should pay attention to the lungs / bronchi, and if in a dream you seem to be overwhelmed with earth, then do not postpone the visit to the cardiologist. It is noteworthy that during the dream experience, brain zones associated with visual perception (occipital region) and processing of sensory (sensory) information (parietal region) work more actively than others. Moreover, the activity of these zones is maintained regardless of the phase of sleep. Read more about the phases of sleep and their features in the material of my colleague Ramis Ganiev.

The brain is the greatest mystery. Nobody fully understands his work.

One way or another, thanks to existing knowledge aboutprocesses during sleep and modern technology, it is not so surprising that scientists are trying to break into dreams by tracking brain activity. In fact, the Dormio glove is far from the most revolutionary project of recent years, since a device that literally allows you to read thoughts is almost ready.

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How to crack a dream?

As the portal Futurism A glove-like device called Dormio is equipped with many sensors that can determine which phase of sleep its owner is in. When the wearer of the glove plunges into hypnagogy, the glove reproduces a pre-recorded sound signal (usually one word). I note that hypnagogic images or hallucinations are a normal state of consciousness during the transition from wakefulness to sleep. During the experiment, researchers from MIT invited 50 subjects. Each of them tried to implant a talking glove into a tiger’s dream, pronouncing a pre-recorded message with the word “tiger”. As a result, after awakening, some subjects expressed a desire to have a couple of tigers. Doesn’t resemble anything?

Not the Glove of Infinity, of course, but also not bad

In the future, scientists hope that their deviceallow you to fully control your dreams. In 2019, the “Dream Engineering” workshop, hosted by the MIT Dream Lab, discussed the world of “lucid dreaming,” a condition in which people realize they are dreaming while they sleep. Thanks to this special feeling, you can try to take off and even walk on the moon without a spacesuit - this is much better than VR. The problem, however, is that our knowledge of lucid dreams is still not enough. About one percent of people are able to enter this condition regularly, and this greatly complicates the study of this phenomenon. The state of the brain during lucid dreams is also not very well understood. One way or another, despite the huge number of questions and unknowns, creating a device that allows you to crack dreams and introduce any ideas into them is very cool and I have no doubt that this is not possible in the future.