Researchers from Kyoto, Japan have successfully created an fMRI-algorithm system which can peek inside your dreams and extract images of exactly what you’re dreaming about at any given moment. Popular Science writes: “The idea, like the process, isn’t all that complicated: Our brains react measurably differently to different stimuli: looking at a book or a building doesn’t cause the same reaction. So the Kyoto team had three people sleep in an fMRI for three-hour stints over 10 days, and hooked them up to an EEG, which used electrical signals from the body to track which stage of sleep the were in were in. Early on, just a few minutes after falling asleep, dreams started coming in bursts. The scientists woke the subjects up soon after and asked them what they saw … the algorithm was right 60 percent of the time. It was better at distinguishing between, say, a scene, like a street, and a person, but it couldn’t guess specifically if the ‘scene’ was of a building or something else. In 2011, we reported on a study from another team that’s reminiscent of this one. The researchers in that study pulled off a similar trick by scanning subjects’ (awake) brains to reconstruct a video clip they’d watched. (We took an even deeper look at the process, actually, back in 2010). This study is similar, but the researchers say it’s the first time the contents of a dream have been plucked from a sleeper’s head. So even if the team was only able to do it with a relatively low 60 percent accuracy, the technique is probably just going to get better from here.” You can read the full story by visiting Popular Science.
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