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MIT Scientists Are Trying to Hack Your Dreams With What Looks Like a Nintendo Glove

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There is a team of researches over at MIT’s Dream Lab, who are currently developing an open source instrument that is a wearable device which can interact and track your dreams in a multitude of ways, which include giving the dreamer control over what they’re dreaming about.

This team is going for an incredible goal of proving that you dreams aren’t just a bunch of nonsensical garbage – but they can also be, “hacked, augmented, and swayed” to our benefit, says OneZero.

You have to think about it as the movie “Inception” but being manipulated with a Nintendo Power Glove. “People don’t know that a third of their life is a third where they could change or structure or better themselves,” says Adam Horowitz, who is a PHD student over at MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group and he’s also a Dream Lab Researcher.

“Whether you’re talking about memory augmentation or creativity augmentation or improving modd the next day or improving test performance, there’s all these things you can do at night that are practically important,” added Horowitz.

This glove that resembles a Nintendo Power Glove was developed by Dream Lab team, it’s fitted with a bunch of sensors that detect which sleeping state the person who is wearing it is in. Then when the user slips into that state between conscious and subconscious, hypnagogia, it will start playing pre-recorded audio, which most of the time is just one word.

“Hypnagogic imagery or hallucinations is a normal state of consciousness in the transition from wakefulness to sleep,” says Valdas Noreika who is a psychologist over at Cambridge. Hypnagogia can be different for a lot of different people, and some even say they’re completely woken up from hypnagogia. They report they were experiencing vivid hallucinations. While others are also capable of interacting with other people in this state.

However Dram Lab might really be on to something with this crazy dream glove. For example, during a 50-person experiment they used the glove to insert a sort of trigger into people’s sleep which made the glove play that prerecorded message that just said, “tiger.”

This device is supposed to change the science of how researchers track sleep, and step-by-step instructions were also put online for users and the biosignal tracking software is on Github, which is going to allow everyone to pretty much download their own Dormio dream glove. There is also a similar device out there that was built by Judith Amores who is a PhD candidate at Dream Lab, but heres is a more scent based device which is released when the dreamer gets to the N3 stage of their sleep.

They are hoping that these sleepers can take full control of their dreams, and during a “Dream Engineering” workshop that was hosted by Dream Lab they discussed the strange world of “lucid dreaming,” which is the state that people are in when they realize that they’re having a dream.

Tore Nielsen is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal and said that “It’s such an exhilarating feeling to lucid dream, you can try flying, singing, having sex – it’s better than VR.” The problem however, lies with the science behind lucid dreaming. Only about one percent of people who are actually able to reach this state regularly, makes it incredibly difficult to study. The state of the mind during a lucid dream is also not completely understood yet.

However, researchers are also completely convinced that there is a lot to gain from learning about what’s going on in our subconscious – rather than trying to record everything with scents or prerecorded messages. “The unconscious, it’s another kind of intelligence,” says Rubin Naiman, who is a dream and sleep expert at the University of Arizona. “We can learn from it. We can be in dialogue with it rather than dominate it, rather than ‘tap in’ and try to steer it in directions we want.”

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