Japanese scientists developing software that can record images from your dreams

15 Dec

Brain Coral Reef Photo by Audi Insperation

Brain Coral Reef Photo by Audi Insperation

 

This is amazing.

Japanese scientists claim they have developed a technique that visually records ones thoughts and dreams onto a computer monitor.

The technique is done by analyzing changes in blood flow in the region of the brain where vision is processed, called the visual cortex.

A spokesman for Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, says that “by applying this technology, it may become possible to record and replay subjective images that people perceive like dreams.”

These are big words, with enormous implications!

So much¬† that I thought immediately, “No… this is certainly a hoax.”

But such is not the case.

However, the research is not as far along as some of these headlines lead you to believe. While still an amazing feat, all I can deduce from the information released thus far is that researchers were able to reconstruct different letters that were seen by subjects, and this was done by only looking at brain processing data. (In this case, data from a type of MRI.)  I do not see specific mention that images from a dream were captured.

But if this technology is perfected for bigger and more complex images, then theoretically, images you see in a dream could be captured and outputted onto a monitor! Ahhhh! (And we won’t even get into the creepy mind-reading privacy invasion issues this technology would bring about.)

Here’s an idea:

When the research gets to this point, experienced lucid dreamers would make excellent lab subjects.

Studies could be done in which a dreamer becomes lucid, finds a pre-existing object or manipulates the dreamscape to produce a specific object, marks the moment using an eye signal (such as looking left then right 8 times in a row), then focuses on the object for a specific period of time, and finishes with another eye signal to mark that they have stopped looking at the object.

If an image is produced from an analysis of the brains processing data from the time range in between eye signals, the dream subject would be able to concur if this is in fact, what he or she was looking at.

Wow. (And that would be just the tiniest tip of the iceberg for this technology…)

I wonder if this is something that in 5-10 years will be possible to do in the lab? Or will this run into unforeseen hurdles that are never jumped?

It just sounds too amazing to be true, I’m in shock.

Here’s some quality sources reporting on the study:

New Scientist: Mindreading Software Could Record Your Dreams

Scientific American: Can Brain Scans Read Our Minds?

Pink Tentacle: Scientist Extract Images Directly from Brain

    Photo by Audi Insperation


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