Scientists find a way to see your dreams

Japanese scientists have developed an algorithm that's able to predict what dreamers see from their neurological patterns.

oil on canvas, 1895,"Flaming June" by Frederic Leighton

At the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, Yukiyasu Kamitani and his colleagues have spent a long time trying to assemble the data they need to image a sleeper's dreams on a screen -- and it looks like they might be nearly there.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which examines the flow of blood in the brain to monitor activity, the team has managed to create an algorithm that can accurately display in real time what images are appearing in a dream. This is the first time, it is believed, that objective data has been collected from dreams.

Except it's a little more complicated than that. The study (the full results can be seen, behind a pay wall, in Science magazine) is predicated on the idea that our brains repeat activity when repeating thoughts. For example, every time you think about a cat, your brain will behave in the same, or a similar, way. This idea is seen in a 2011 experiment from the University of California that accurately imaged a person's thoughts while watching film trailers.

Read more of "Scientists find a way to see your dreams" at Crave Australia.

 

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