Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Scientists read your dreams!?

This week, news have reported that scientists can read your dreams. Examples are here and here, and a more scientific and older one here. First all, just be aware that the titles "Scientists can read dreams" is exaggerated. It is not like they are watching a video of what you are dreaming... What the scientists actually can do is to "read" your brain looking at specific categorized information. Then, scientists "read" your brain while you are sleeping and wake you up to categorize those "readings". They "read" the brains with fMRI and EEG (a well established technology to study sleep disorders). Then, they compared the information and try to guess what the person is dreaming with the information that have collected awake. It is like the awake patterns build a database for the sleeping patterns. The scientists reported “We built a model to predict whether each category of content was present in the dreams”, so not exactly watching a video of your dreams... Now, when they put together this experiment with these one, we will have videos of our dreams!

Image copied from here.

Second thing I would like to point out is that while it is interesting for research to study dreams and sleep, I am not sure this research is really good news for everybody... I personally don't want anyone looking into my dreams... I hope this topic stays inside the boundaries of research.

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