Visualizing data from the visual cortex: one step closer to dream recording?
December 12, 2008 Dream analysis could be set to become a whole lot easier with news that a Japanese research team has created a technology that could eventually display images from people’s dreams on a computer screen. So far the team at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories has only managed to reproduce simple images from the brain, but, “by applying this technology, it may become possible to record and replay subjective images that people perceive like dreams," the private institute said in a statement.
The technology works by capturing the electrical signals that are sent from the eye’s retina to the brain’s visual cortex. For the experiment the team first figured out people’s individual brain patterns by showing them some 400 different still images and then showed the people the six letters in the word “neuron”. They then succeeded in reconstructing the letters on a computer screen by measuring their brain activity. The researchers revealed the breakthrough in a study unveiled ahead of publication in the US magazine Neuron. Exciting technology to be sure, but if my experiences in listening to other people recount their dreams are anything to go by, tuning into other people’s dreams is likely to be a baffling experience.