Real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep. [February, 2021]
Recent paper published in Current Biology features interactive dreaming. From the abstract: "Here we show that individuals who are asleep and in the midst of a lucid dream (aware of the fact that they are currently dreaming) can perceive questions from an experimenter and provide answers using electrophysiological signals. We implemented our procedures for two-way communication during polysomnographically verified rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep in 36 individuals. Some had minimal prior experience with lucid dreaming, others were frequent lucid dreamers, and one was a patient with narcolepsy who had frequent lucid dreams. During REM sleep, these individuals exhibited various capabilities, including performing veridical perceptual analysis of novel information, maintaining information in working memory, computing simple answers, and expressing volitional replies. Their responses included distinctive eye movements and selective facial muscle contractions, constituting correctly answered questions on 29 occasions across 6 of the individuals tested. These repeated observations of interactive dreaming, documented by four independent laboratory groups, demonstrate that phenomenological and cognitive characteristics of dreaming can be interrogated in real time. This relatively unexplored communication channel can enable a variety of practical applications and a new strategy for the empirical exploration of dreams."
Recent article in The Scientist features several Dream Engineers. [December, 2020]
Scientists Engineer Dreams to Understand the Sleeping Brain By Catherine Offord | Dec 1, 2020 "Technologies such as noninvasive brain stimulation and virtual reality gaming offer insights into how dreams arise and what functions they might serve."
Blog Posts in Psychology Today Review Dream Engineering Papers. [September, 2020]
Several recent posts on Michelle's Dream Factory blog for Psychology Today review articles from the Special Issue. Including posts on links between lucid dreaming and positive morning mood; Flying dreams induced by virtual reality; Re-creating real-world scenes in lucid dreams; and a failed replication study attempting to induce lucid dreams using electrical stimulation.
Special Issue in Consciousness and Cognition. [July 2020]
The Special Issue brings together a collection of papers on the theme of Dream Engineering – applying techniques and technologies for influencing, recording, and manipulating dreams to benefit memory, creativity or wellbeing. Invited contributors include those who attended the first international workshop on Dream Engineering hosted at the MIT Media Laboratory in January 2019, which was very successful in bringing together over 50 leading scientists, dream researchers and engineers who have an interest in influencing, recording, or studying dreams through innovative technological developments. Topics explored at the workshop included the science of lucid dreaming, physiological/sensory influences on dreaming, and memory replay and directed reactivation in sleep and dreams. Technologies explored included flexible circuit boards, optogenetics, portable olfactometers, and wearable cortisol sensors, each an opportunity for translating sleep laboratory dream influencing techniques into real-world settings.