Scientists develop algorithm to display images from dreams in real time

By on April 9, 2013, 8:30 AM

Dreams have captivated mankind since the beginning of time and have been the subject of countless studies over the years. Case in point: researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, have been working to visualize the images that a sleeping person sees in real time.

Led by Yukiyasu Kamitani, the team appears to be on the brink of success. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) which monitors the flow of blood in the brain, the team was able to build an algorithm that can display images in dreams as they happen. This is believed to be the first time that objective data has been captured from dreams.

The study consisted of three test subjects that each slept for three hours at a time in an MRI machine while attached to an EEG machine. Subjects exhibited brain activity as they drifted into State 1 non-REM sleep. Researchers would then awake the patients and ask them what they saw, a move that was repeated roughly 200 times over the course of 10 days.

Scientists then found images of the 20 most common dream categories and showed them to the test subjects. Then they went back into the machine for more observation. At the end of the study, the algorithm was only able to correctly visualize what the person was dreaming 60 percent of the time – a figure that Kamitani said is too high to be chance.




User Comments: 20

Got something to say? Post a comment
VitalyT VitalyT said:

This should eventually develop into a dream-programming machine, so you can choose your dream for yourself. This also opens doors to dreams and consciousness manipulation, like in Inception.

The first time I saw this in cinema was Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within, where Dr. Aki was recording her dreams to analyze them later. Now dreams analysis seems like something feasible in the near future.

7 people like this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I wonder to whom I can send my resume. I'm a specialist at sleeping on the job.

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Subjects exhibited brain activity as they drifted into State 1 non-REM sleep. Researchers would then awake the patients and ask them what they saw, a move that was repeated roughly 200 times over the course of 10 days.
OMG, wake me from sleep 200 times in 10 days, I'd cram that EEG machine where the sun don't shine (wait; this day and age the sun does shine there).

Guest said:

Inception technology becomes reality

Guest said:

VitalyT don't get too excited. Reading and writing are not the same thing. (Especially when talking about human mind / brain I suppose).

1 person liked this | Critica1Hit said:

I could probably surpass that 60% success rate, with men at least. Show random p0rn images and I bet I'd be right at least 80% of the time hah!

1 person liked this | lalaman lalaman said:

I could probably surpass that 60% success rate, with men at least. Show random p0rn images and I bet I'd be right at least 80% of the time hah!

Now that I think of it... the 60% success rate was probably due to them showing the subjects pr0n images after they woke up LOL

2 people like this | Tygerstrike said:

Next thing you know your dreams will be used as evidence in a court of law.....

MannerMauler said:

Oh deer...

Next thing you know your dreams will be used as evidence in a court of law.....

that, my friend is why I said what I said.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

that, my friend is why I said what I said.

Nothing to worry about.

Judge: Did you or did you not have sexual relations with that woman?

Defendant: Yes sir, your honor. I even slit your throat a few times, but I see you are still walking so no damage done.

dms96960 said:

I'd volunteer if they showed me images of Kate Upton.

JC713 JC713 said:

This is really creepy.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'd volunteer if they showed me images of Kate Upton.
The idea is that you are determining what the images are through your dreams.

Unless you are suggesting that they encourage your dreams by first showing you images. But then that wouldn't be an impartial study afterward would it?

Guest said:

There would be so many dead husbands.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

There would be so many dead husbands.

You honestly believe it wouldn't go both ways?

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Seems that the future Matrix wasn't too far off the mark.....

Guest said:

We don't even know why we have to sleep or dream in the 1st place. BS study to get more credits for booze and fancy useless equipement...Oh yeah and that things the great apes crave; social recognition.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Seems that the future Matrix wasn't too far off the mark.....
We still have to go through a Terminator period and scorch the skies first.

1 person liked this | wiyosaya said:

This should eventually develop into a dream-programming machine, so you can choose your dream for yourself. This also opens doors to dreams and consciousness manipulation, like in Inception.

The first time I saw this in cinema was Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within, where Dr. Aki was recording her dreams to analyze them later. Now dreams analysis seems like something feasible in the near future.

It is already proven scientifically that you can control your dreams if you learn lucid dreaming - http://www.lucidity.com/ and [link]

As to someone using this to manipulate consciousness it is not possible at this moment in time. It may not be that easy to do the kind of dream manipulation that you suggest. See the interesting

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.