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Science & Technology

Study achieves communication through dreams

By T.K. Randall
February 20, 2021 · Comment icon 15 comments

Can we talk to people who are dreaming ? Image Credit: Pixabay / LeandroDeCarvalho
Scientists have found that it is possible to achieve real-time communication with a person who is dreaming.
We don't often remember the details of what we dream, but for some people, it is not only possible to recall every detail of a dream, but also to control the narrative while they are asleep.

Now scientists collaborating across multiple universities have demonstrated that it is even possible to communicate in real-time with a person who is lucid dreaming by asking them questions and receiving informed responses, despite that person being unsconcscious.

This extends to having the sleeper perform simple maths, follow instructions or answer yes/no questions with the responses coming in the form of eye movements or facial twitches.

"We found that individuals in REM sleep can interact with an experimenter and engage in real-time communication," said senior study author Ken Paller of Northwestern University.
"We also showed that dreamers are capable of comprehending questions, engaging in working-memory operations, and producing answers."

"Most people might predict that this would not be possible - that people would either wake up when asked a question or fail to answer, and certainly not comprehend a question without misconstruing it."

The research could teach us much about the way dreams and memories actually work.

"Most people might predict that this would not be possible - that people would either wake up when asked a question or fail to answer, and certainly not comprehend a question without misconstruing it," the study authors wrote.

The findings have been published in the journal Current Biology.

Source: Medical Xpress | Comments (15)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Tom1200 3 years ago
Miraculous?  Vile, nefarious Satanism, more like.  A sorcerer lulls his unsuspecting victim into a trance that allows devils and demons to possess him and make him... do things.  Like forget his name, or think he's a washing machine.  Or forget his anniversary (that excuse really didn't go down very well).  It's monstrous!  As John Dee once told me - never trust a man whose name rhymes with Drown. Ditto.  And in reverse - I've been 'woken' from a deep sleep and had an apparently lucid chat that I have no recollection of.  So - was I awake?  asleep?  mesmerised?  possessed by Lucifer... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by moonman 3 years ago
I know because in one instance I woke them up after the conversation (it was a very strange talk so I suspected) and they didn't remember what we just talked about a few seconds previous. There are other examples that I won't get into, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know they were asleep, and I'm not stupid enough to think it was something that only happens when I'm around. It has to be common.
Comment icon #8 Posted by godnodog 3 years ago
actually I rarely have nightmares because way to often I have lucid dreams, I often wake up tired. the best part of lucid dreams is the detail of stuff, for example I can see the small details in people's faces, and in nightmares I can always fight back with "this is a dream and I will beat you or at least not be defeated. Overall it's a mixed experience, nice when occasionally, bad when often. also its quite frequent to "see" bizarre stuff, and think that's not how physics works and suddenly you realize its connected to something you've experienced while awake, so yes our rational mind does n... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
Interesting stuff ! My wife talk a lot during sleep, sometime answer to questions but nothing make any sense most of the time or it wake her up... she never remember the interaction tho.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Mr Walker 3 years ago
I agree. This is one form of sleeping and dreaming I experienced 60 years ago Plus "sleepwalkers'  can do it all the time.  The brain is capable of being asleep, and awake, (consciously aware ) at the same  time.   As a kid I could be in a lucid dream, and  maintain the dream ,while going out of the house to an outside toilet, then returning, washing my hands and going back to bed, while maintaining the dream in a separate part of my mind.    It is basically just splitting the operation of your mind into  two (or more ) parts, operating at the same time. 
Comment icon #11 Posted by Mr Walker 3 years ago
Fascinating, and fun, isn't it? 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Mr Walker 3 years ago
It must vary a lot  I can read and do mathematics in my dreams. I always know I am dreaming, and that everything in  a dream is a construct of my mind (which then allows me to construct any dream content iI want to)  I havent had a nightmare since I was child, 60 years ago, because I KNOW that dreams are not real; and I can also consciously shape and direct my dreams   So if I was falling I would simply begin flying or call up a magic carpet or flying dragon   . if someone was trying to kill me I would respond in an interesting way eg i might take control of their mind, or make their... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Bed of chaos 3 years ago
Sleepwalking and lucid dreaming are completely different. I'd sleepwalk as a child. However I couldn't recall what happen until I awoke. Lucid dreaming usually takes months of practice and persistence (to achieve prolonged lucid dreams). You're coherent inside ur dream with a heightened state of awareness. This never happened to me while sleepwalking. I'm not sure about "breakthrough" but do consider this progress. Similar studies have been done since the mid 70's (by Alan Worsley and Keith Hearne). Asking lucid dreamers to perform physical responses while dreaming. I'm not sure we're at t... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by godnodog 3 years ago
yes it can be fun and frustrating, as you still have some weird limitations, I can´t run for example, I just can´t, maybe its because I´m laying on a bed and am "restricted" in movements (I´ve never sleepwalked). Best part is that I can fly nd still have some type of vertigo, now that is fun. But the very worst part of "lucid dreaming" is that I usually wake up somewhat mentally tired.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Mr Walker 3 years ago
There is something in your own mind creating tha t limit of not walking. (it could be as simple as not believing you can and thus not being able to)  Try to identify what it is, and then overcome it in a dream   ANYTHING is possible in a dream. Apart from  flying, one cool abilty is to move through any solid object Glass is the easiest .  Thick stone and wood  is harder, and travelling long distances through the earth or rocks or castle walls, takes a lot of practice,  so  that you don't get lost in the darkness.  Sometimes I find walking in a dream slow and tedious (but not tiring)... [More]

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