US scientists hope to record people’s dreams

A NEW system that records higher level brain activity could one day allow scientists to record and interpret people’s dreams, US researchers have claimed.

Dr Moran Cerf, from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and his colleagues, said Wednesday that they found electrodes could record neuron activity in the part of the brain that controls memory.

In tests, volunteers were shown images of famous people like Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson while scientists identified individual neurons in their brains that uniquely and reliably responded to the images.

They then superimposed two of the familiar images onto each other and asked volunteers to isolate one of the images. Scientists observed the cognitive strategies used and discovered how humans can use thinking to alter perception of competing visual images.

Dr Cerf said: “The environment offers some reality, but your own brain can shape it and override it with its internal deliberations.”

This type of brain-machine interface could be used in the future to read people’s dreams and the thoughts of “locked-in” patients – who are awake but cannot communicate because they are paralysed.

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