MIT Researchers Develop A Way To Record And Even Alter Dreams


Scientists have developed a method that can be used to record a person’s dreams and even guide the dreams towards particular themes.

According to MIT News, researchers have come up with a new wearable device, Dormio and a method called Targeted Dream Incubation (TDI) to help them study dreams.

In their paper, the researchers say that Dormio and TDI are meant to be “tools for controlled experimentation on dream content”. So these are meant to help researchers get insights into how dreams work and their effect on various things like memory, emotion, creativity.

TDI is is a protocol that can be utilized within an app on the wearable sleep-tracking device, Dorimo to record the wearer’s dreams. Additionally, it is also possible to guide the dreams towards certain ideas when the wearer is in the process of going to sleep by targeting them with the information around the idea repeatedly.

The information is fed to the wearer while they are in hypnagogia, the earliest sleep stage, as individuals can still hear audio even when they are dreaming.

The lead researcher, Prof Haar Horowitz from MIT further explains how an individual’s mind is trippy, loose, flexible, and divergent in this stage of sleep stating that “It’s like turning the notch up high on mind-wandering and making it immersive — being pushed and pulled with new sensations like your body floating and falling, with your thoughts quickly snapping in and out of control.”

The sleep-tracking device, Dormio is able to alter dreams by tracking sleep stages of the wearer and delivering audio signals when they enter hypnagogia. These signals are based on the individual’s incoming physiological data being delivered at particular times in the sleep cycle so that the dream can be altered.

One of the authors of the study, Robert Stickgold, the director of the Center for Sleep and Cognition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School explains in a statement, “Dormio takes dream research to a new level, interacting directly with an individual’s dreaming brain and manipulating the actual content of their dreams. The potential value of Dormio for enhancing learning and creativity are literally mind-blowing.”

Researchers have built an enhanced Dormio device along with platforms for capture, storage, analysis, streaming via apps for iOS and the web. Also, the team is collaborating with artists to help create new artwork by augmenting their creativity with innovative dream technology.

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