Forget Inception, Try Extraction: Dream Recorder is ‘Possible’

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Researchers have developed technology that leads them to believe reading a person’s dreams will one day be possible.

Dr. Moran Cerf from UCLA is the lead scientist working with a team on a project that consists of recording the brain activity of volunteers. They’ve found through their research that certain images can consistently cause particular neurons in a person’s brain to light up. So if a volunteer is shown an image of the Eiffel Tower, a particular neuron in their brain will always light up. After showing the volunteer a wide range of images, the researchers keep records of which neurons light up from which images.

(See TIME’s “While You Were Sleeping” for more on the science of dreams.)

Dr Cerf said that the result of that databank of information means that the scientists could simply look at what neurons lit up and “read the subjects’ minds.”

Which leads him to believe that one day a dream recording device could be developed that will allow researchers to monitor what people are dreaming of–provided that they are dreaming of things that were previously noted in the researchers’ tests.

(See why dreams mean less than we think.)

Dr Cerf admits that the technology is still a long way off–right now invasive surgery is required to monitor the neurons–but he believes that with the way technology is advancing, recording dreams in the future will definitely be “possible.” (via BBC)

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