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Can scientists manipulate the dreams of humans?

Jonathan Warren

05.09.2012

Uncategorized

Jonathan Warren
One of the most recent discoveries by scientists could truly get inside the minds of humans in future years, if the latest reports from MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory are anything to go by. Researchers working at the prestigious institution just outside of Boston, Massachusetts have successfully manipulated a rat's dream by replaying audio cues associated with the previous day's events - the notably stereotypical process of running through a maze, news provider io9 revealed. It means that the process of so-called "dream engineering" could be reality in future years, with yet more non-invasive research using human subjects. MIT neuroscientist Matt Wilson was able to exploit the way the hippocampus of the brain is able to encode self-experienced events into memory. The hippocampus is known to replay a number of the day's events during sleep for the purposes of memory consolidation, though it was previously undetermined as to if these could be influenced or changed by environmental cues. As well as more exploration of this theory, Dr Wilson also aims to develop new approaches to learning and behavioural therapy through this kind of cognitive manipulation.

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Jonathan Warren

Jonathan Warren

Time4Sleep owner