Brain imaging recordings have allowed a dreamer to communicate with experimenters through dreamed - not real - clenching of the fists, a study has revealed.
The brain of a lucid dreamer was viewed using specialist imaging technology to allow researchers to see the activity in the brain that controls the body. By getting the dreamer to move their eyes in a prearranged pattern and clench their fists, the study demonstrated that lucid dreamers can exert control over their actions in their dreams, meaning they could do as they wish from the comfort of their white beds.
Neuroscientist Martin Dresler and his team of researchers found that 'normal' dreamers have reduced control over the areas of the brain used for attentional and executive abilities, but lucid dreamers seem to retain this control during sleep. This means they are able to access their memories and even control what is happening in the dream.
Set for publication in the journal Sleep, the study could mean lucid dreamers may be able to use their heightened awareness to prevent recurring nightmares.
In a Sleepio report on the study, Dr Simon Kyle said: "Although essentially a case report study, this work helps to define for the first time the brain correlates of lucid dreaming, and how this state differs from non-lucid REM sleep."