Scientists have made a new breakthrough on a different front called the hallucinatory world inside dreams.
A team of researchers have achieved to do real-time dialogue with people while they were lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is also known as ‘interactive dreaming’.
The participants in the study were able to correctly respond to questions, like basic arithmetics. It is noteworthy that the participants were in deep sleep while they answered these questions.
It is “a relatively unexplored communication channel that could enable a new strategy for the empirical exploration of dreams”, said the researchers’ team.
“There are studies of lucid dreamers communicating out of dreams, and also remembering to do tasks. There’s a fairly limited amount of research on the stimuli going into lucid dreams,” said Karen Konkoly, a PhD student at Northwestern University.
“One thing that surprised us is that you could just say a sentence to somebody, and they could understand it just as it actually is,” she added.
The researchers experimented on 36 volunteers in laboratories located in the United States, France, Germany, and the Netherlands to enter the lucid state in which the person was aware that they are in a dream.
The participants had entered rapid-eye-movement (REM) when electrodes were placed next to their eyes, on the scalps, and their chins. From brainwaves activity and eyeball movement, sleep experts can determine if a person is sleeping.
These eye signals along with facial contortion were used as a means of communication during sleep sessions.
During sleep, the researchers asked 19-years-old American participants to subtract six out of eight while he was sleeping, and he correctly answered: “two” with two eye movements from left to right.
“It’s amazing to sit in the lab and ask a bunch of questions, and then somebody might actually answer one. It’s such an immediately rewarding type of experiment to do. You don’t have to wait to analyze your data or anything like that. You can see it right there while they’re still sleeping,” said a researcher, namely, KonKoly.
Moreover, many participants were able to recall the interactions with the researchers after they woke up, with individuals reporting that the prompts sounded like a voiceover narrator or a radio speaker that was clearly coming from outside of their dream.
The team plans to take this study further with more experiments that will analyse the possibilities of two-way communication with lucid dreamers.