Control experimentation with dreams

It was Imran who sent me a signal message, although I did actually see it on twitter via flokk

“…we induce these creatively beneficial dreams on purpose, in a targeted manner.” https://link.medium.com/1nPMioFVk8

The blog talks about MIT’s research into dreams

In a new paper, researchers from the Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces group introduce a novel method called “Targeted Dream Incubation” (TDI). This protocol, implemented through an app in conjunction with a wearable sleep-tracking sensor device, not only helps record dream reports, but also guides dreams toward particular themes by repeating targeted information at sleep onset, thereby enabling incorporation of this information into dream content. The TDI method and accompanying technology serve as tools for controlled experimentation in dream study, widening avenues for research into how dreams impact emotion, creativity, memory, and beyond.

Of course I find it all fascinating and I’ve been thinking more about mydreamscape and being doing some experiments myself.

Absinthe with sugar melting

One which I always wondered about is Absinthe and dreams. Its most likely the most out there I personally would ever be prepared to experiment.

I marked down my dreams were so vivid and intense I couldn’t clearly remember them (yes there was multiple). I remember trying to control them and I couldn’t do it, as it was so intense. Looking at my sleep graph, you can clearly see a large block of REM sleep about 8am.

My lucid dreams with absinthe

A few weeks ago midweek, I experienced a dream inside a dream. As you can see there was a heck of a lot of time in REM. I remember having a dream sat at a desk somewhere, felt it was a dream and took control. Something happened (can’t remember now) then I woke up but not in my bed but in another dream, which I was able to check as I took control.

I certainly need a better way do control experimentation… Bring on TDI?

 

In layman’s terms, how does Dormio work?

The system is conceptually quite simple. The aim is to influence and extend a transitional state of sleep. To do so, we must track this transitional state (hypnagogia) and interrupt when it is ending. So,  a user wears a device which collects biosignals that track transitions in sleep stages. In our new device, those signals come from the hand, where we can gather data on loss of muscle tone, heart rate changes, and changes in skin conductance. When those biosignals appear to signal the end of a transitional state, audio from the social robot is triggered, and that person is knocked just a little bit back into wakefulness, but not into full wakefulness. We use this audio cue as an inception protocol, doing this slight wake up with words (like “fork” or “rabbit”), and have found that in the subjects we tested, those words reliably entered the hypnagogic dreams as dream content. Pretty happy about that! After this slight wake up, we initiate a conversation about dream content with users via the Jibo social robot and record anything that is said, as hypnagogic amnesia is reported and we don’t want people forgetting their useful ideas. After this conversation, the system lets users drift back towards sleep, only interrupting again when their biosignals appear to signal another transition into deeper sleep. This is done repetitively to incept dreams and extract dream reports.

 

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.