How Lucid Dreamers Helped Scientists Measure Dream Content

Being able to dream is one of the most fascinating functions of the human mind. Things get far more interesting when you bring lucid dreaming into play. Over the years, we have made great advances towards understanding the mysteries of our dreams.

Will we be able to alter the content of our dream? Will we be able to play back our dreams and analyze them? Probably considered science fiction a few years back, these and other such questions have now entered the minds of scientists and they are looking for answers.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI)

The recent advances in brain imaging technology have allowed scientists to identify the exact spatial locations of brain activity during a sleep state. However, the problem was that this specific activity could not be linked to dream content as what was dream could only be recounted by the person (who was sleeping and had no chance of pulling off that miracle).

In Come Lucid Dreamers

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, the Charité Hospital in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig teamed up with several lucid dreamers to carry out a groundbreaking research.

At a decided point in the procedure, the lucid dreamers were asked to become aware of their dreams and signal their awareness to the researchers through their eye movements (they could do that which was why they were so instrumental to the study). After that, they were asked to consciously dream about clenching their right fist repeatedly and then the left one for 10 seconds.

The Findings

Having lucid dreamers signal the start of a lucid dream allowed scientists to study REM sleep phase—a phase where dreams are intense—with EEG (Electroencephalogram).

The brain activity was them matched with the lucid dream of fist clenching. It was found that the brain region responsible for handling movements (sensorimotor cortex) was stimulated during the lucid dream.

The same area must have been stimulated if the person had clenched his fist while awake, but the stimulation of this region when the lucid dreamer just imagined clenching his fist was quite strange.

What this implies is that the brain activity of conscious action and an action in a dream corresponds. It clearly indicated that the dream content can be studied. This research will surely pave the way for studying more complex visual dream patterns.

With a complete understanding of the subconscious mind, Rekha Shrivastava offers hypnosis for pain management, anxiety treatment, weight loss and several other conditions in Rochester, New York. Contact Blossom Hypnotherapy to know more about her services.


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