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Scientists develop imaging tools for dreams

Jonathan Warren

22.10.2012

Sleep

Jonathan Warren
Scientists in Kyoto may have taken a step closer to making Inception a reality, after using neuroimaging equipment to reveal the visual content of dreams. According to an article in the scientific journal Nature, the researchers woke participants in a study after detecting brain wave patterns associated with dreams and asked what they were dreaming about. The 200 responses were used to assemble a databank of images that were connected with the most frequently-occurring content, such as "car", "female" and "computer". Once out of bed, the participants were asked to look at the images while their brains were scanned, analysing activity in brain areas involved in visual processing and object recognition. "We built a model to predict whether each category of content was present in the dreams," Dr Yukiyasu Kamitani of the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto told Reuters. "By analysing the brain activity during the nine seconds before we woke the subjects, we could predict whether a man is in the dream or not, for instance, with an accuracy of 75–80 per cent."

About the author

Jonathan Warren

Jonathan Warren

Time4Sleep owner