We are living in odd times. Scientists are making significant progress on recording people’s dreams, and they’re a lot closer than you might believe.
Moran Cerf, an Israeli neurologist at Northwestern University, researches decision-making processes in both awake and sleeping humans. Cerf said he is putting electrodes on the brains of persons undergoing brain surgery as part of his research to “listen to activity of specific brain cells.” This allows him to get a sense of what individuals are thinking. “We may assume you dreamed about your mother and father,” said Cerf, a Tel Aviv University alumnus. “However, we’re not sure what your mother was wearing.”
Those visuals may get clearer in the near future. Kyoto University’s Yukiyasu Kamitani is a Japanese researcher. Using a gadget that detects brain activity, he has already begun reconstructing images from a waking person’s mind. He wants to use the same technology to record his dreams.
And scientists don’t need to go into your skull to figure out what’s going on. You’re paralysed during REM sleep, so you can’t act out your dreams. When you dream about running away from a dinosaur, though, your brain still sends electrical signals to your legs instructing them to move.
“Nerve impulses are still travelling to those muscles,” said Daniel Oldis, a lucid dream researcher at the University of Texas who collaborated with David M. Schnyer, an American neuroscientist. These signals are being measured by Oldis and Schnyer. They’re also looking at the signals in people’s lips and throats to see what they’re saying in their dreams.
So, when will you be able to witness your fantasies come true? This will most likely happen in stages. According to Cerf, you could have a device that tells you what you dreamed about in a general sense in a few months to a year. You’ll probably have to wait decades for a true dream cinema.
Naturally, this poses a slew of concerns. Will you be able to peek into other people’s dreams? Will businesses begin to place advertisements into our dreams in the near future?