Brain scanner `reads` people`s dreams

London: The secret world of dreams could soon be cracked open, say scientists.

A team at the Max Planck Institute in Munich in Germany predict that people could soon use computers to "see" what they have dreamed about -- and perhaps even record dreams to watch the next day.

The scientists think it has already demonstrated that brain scanners can see into the dreams of "lucid dreamers" -- people who can control their dreams, the `New Scientist` reported.

In fact, to find out whether dreams could be read in the same way as waking thoughts, the team turned an array of brain -monitoring technology on lucid dreamers.

After tracking down six individuals who claimed to be able to have lucid dreams almost nightly, the team used both functional MRI scanning and near-infrared spectroscopy to observe each person`s brain activity as they clenched a hand while awake.

They then compared this with the activity associated with imagining clenching the same hand, and clenching the hand in a lucid dream.

"The participants have to fall asleep in a scanner, reach REM sleep and enter a stable lucid dream state. This is a proof-of concept study and provides the first evidence that it may be possible to use brain imaging to read the contents of a person`s dream," said Michael Czisch, who led the team.


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