In what seems like a science fiction scenario come to life, researchers have discovered a way to communicate with people while they slumber. Through experiments with lucid dreamers, scientists have opened a portal into the dreaming mind, demonstrating two-way communication is possible during sleep.
Lucid dreamers have the awareness that they are dreaming, allowing them some control over their dreamscapes. Researchers capitalized on this by asking lucid dreamers to respond to questions using agreed upon eye movement signals while in REM sleep. The breakthrough showed external stimuli can penetrate the dreaming mind.
Expanding tests to include non-lucid dreamers and those with narcolepsy revealed that communication windows sporadically open during all stages of sleep. While inconsistent, researchers were thrilled to decode when the portals to the outside world would appear through analysis of brain activity.
“We can now have a real-time dialogue with any sleeper by refining our communication protocols,” said lead researcher Dr. Basak Turker. “We are mapping when the connections form, allowing us to talk to the dreaming mind like never before.”
However, Dr. Turker cautions that the research is still in early phases with plenty of obstacles remaining. “We cannot yet interpret what dreams signify or imply through this method,” she said. “But the doors are open to uncovering more inner mysteries of the mind and expanding our comprehension of dreams.”
The breakthrough has enthralled neuroscientists and sleep researchers who foresee profound impacts on the study of dreams, nightmare therapy, unconscious processing, and more. But for now, the communicating dreams remain more science than science fiction.