It may seem like science fiction, but it is a reality. It has all occurred to all of us what would happen if we were able to control our dreams, to manipulate them. Well, it seems that the chimera is very close to being a fact.
A group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed an experimental device capable of manipulating the content of people’s dreams while they sleep, allowing them to remember specific signals and trigger specific themes and experiences.
The electronic device, called Dormio, allows for a ‘targeted dream incubation’ (TDI) during the first stage of sleep in which people experience a borderline state of consciousness called hypnagogia, and which Adam Haar HorowitzThe neuroscientist leading this MIT project has described it as “lazy, flexible, and divergent.”
Dozens of films have dealt with this topic, always within the science fiction section. But as the saying goes, sometimes reality beats fiction. And so it is in the XXI century.
The Dormio device consists of a glove with sensors that detect when a person has fallen asleep. In the experiment with 49 participants, an audio signal led them to think of a tree. Once the person has fallen asleep, the system wakes them up briefly to tell what was going through their minds while they slept.
As the researchers explain in an article published in Science Direct, “targeted sleep incubation is a protocol for reactivating memories during sleep in a way that leads to the incorporation of specific memory, or related memories, into the content of the dream “
“Dreaming about a specific theme seems to offer benefits after the dream, as in the creativity tasks related to this theme. This is not surprising in light of historical figures such as Mary Shelley or Salvador Dalí, who were creatively inspired by their dreams. The difference here is that we purposely induce these creatively beneficial dreams specifically, ”he concludes.