Scientists Talked To People In Their Dreams. They Answered – NPR3 min read

https://www.npr.org/2021/02/27/971958260/scientists-talked-to-people-in-their-dreams-they-answered

Konkoly says theres the possibility of one day doing a sort of “dream treatment” for talking down individuals experiencing lucid headaches. And if more dependable interaction techniques can be worked out, it might assist people with innovative activities and ideas. “People often use lucid dreaming or dreaming for a kind of artistic, innovative motivation,” she states.

Lucid dreaming is not typical. So to study it, they hired people who had experience with it and likewise trained individuals to attempt to make lucid dreaming most likely. Prior to they went to sleep, the participants were likewise trained on how to communicate their responses. Special sensors determined peoples eye motions or experts would judge their facial motions. A typical concern would be to ask what is 8 minus 6. A 19-year-old American man was able to react by moving his eyes left-right, left-right– two times– to signal “2.” Researchers asked the question once again and he moved his eyes the exact same method 2 times again. Out of the 158 trials amongst 36 individuals, about 18% of the time they had the ability to provide proper answers. In another 18%, it wasnt clear if individuals were responding or not. They were wrong 3% of the time. Frequently, 61%, individuals didnt respond at all.

Particularly, with people who are lucid dreaming– that is, dreaming while being mindful youre dreaming. “So if you end up being lucid in a dream and you desire to communicate, then when people are dreaming, they simply look left-right, left-right, really dramatically. “Sometimes stimuli were viewed as coming from outside the dream, but other times the stimuli emanated from aspects of the dream, contextualized in a way that made sense in relation to ongoing dream material,” the researchers write. The researchers compose that their findings provide “new chances for getting real-time information about dreaming, and for modifying the course of a dream” and “might usher in a new period of investigations into sleep and into the enigmatic cognitive dimensions of sleep.”

Scientists state two-way communication is possible with people who are asleep and dreaming. Particularly, with people who are lucid dreaming– that is, dreaming while knowing youre dreaming. In separate experiments, researchers in the U.S., France, Germany and the Netherlands asked people simple concerns while they slept. Sleepers would react by moving their eyes or jerking their faces in a certain way to suggest their responses. “Since the 80s, weve understood that lucid dreamers can communicate out of dreams by using these signals,” states Karen Konkoly, a Ph.D. student at Northwestern University who is the first author on the research study published this month in Current Biology. “But we were questioning, can we likewise interact in? Can we ask individuals concerns that they could in fact hear in their dreams that we could sort of have a more meaningful conversation?” They were studying rapid-eye-movement sleep, which is the stage of sleep where people dream most vividly. In REM sleep, “every muscle in your body is entirely paralyzed, other than you can twitch and you can move your eyes,” Konkoly informs Scott Simon on Weekend Edition. “So if you become lucid in a dream and you want to interact, then when people are dreaming, they simply look left-right, left-right, really significantly. And then we understand that theyre interacting out.”

“People often utilize lucid dreaming or dreaming for a kind of artistic, innovative motivation,” she says.

For individuals dreaming, they didnt always interpret the questions they were hearing as an easy concern from scientists. “Sometimes stimuli were perceived as originating from outside the dream, however other times the stimuli originated from elements of the dream, contextualized in such a way that made sense in relation to continuous dream content,” the scientists compose. In one case, one individual “heard the concerns shifted over their dream as though it was God speaking to them,” Konkoly says. The scientists write that their findings provide “brand-new chances for getting real-time information about dreaming, and for customizing the course of a dream” and “might introduce a brand-new age of examinations into sleep and into the enigmatic cognitive dimensions of sleep.”

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