Friday, April 5, 2013

"Dream Decoder" May Be Someday Be Possible

Japanese neuroscientists may be on the way to creating a "dream decoder." Reporting online yesterday in Science Express, lead author Masako Tamaki, Ph.D., and colleagues described how they monitored sleeping subjects using EEG and fMRI, waking them after each dream so they could describe the images they had seen. A database of images was correlated with the EEG and fMRI readings, allowing the researchers to create "decoding models" that were able to accurately detect and identify some contents of the subjects' dreams. 

Though the group is clear that being able to "read" dreams is not yet a reality, their results suggest it may eventually be possible: "Our findings demonstrate that specific visual experience during sleep is represented by brain activity patterns shared by stimulus perception, providing a means to uncover subjective contents of dreaming using objective neural measurement."

Tamaki, formerly with ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, is now a research associate at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

Researchers have long studied dreams and are also conducting studies to shed light on multiple areas of sleep and its relationship to mental health. Read about their findings in Psychiatric News here and here

(Image: wavebreakmedia/


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