“Hacked” Dreams: Scientists Learned to Influence Human Dreams

"Hacked" Dreams: Scientists Learned to Influence Human Dreams

Scientists can introduce new scenes or smells into a person’s dreams, helping to improve the psychological state of people.

The Dream Lab team notes that incorporating sounds and smells into people’s dreams can improve their psychological state. To this end, researchers focused on hypnagogia – an intermediate state between wakefulness and sleep.

“People can use a third of their life in a dream to become better,” said laboratory researcher Adam Horowitz. According to him, this may relate to improvements in memory or creativity, improving mood and other aspects of life.

The central element of the experiment is Dormio, a glove-like device equipped with sensors that track muscle movements, heart rate, and electrical conductivity of the skin. When the owner of the glove enters the hypnagogic stage, Dormio begins to play sound signals and broadcast smells, recording all the characteristics of a person.

Tests have proven that sounds affect dreams. For example, when a device played the word “tiger,” participants had dreams about cats. Scientists also used the sense of smell of people, broadcasting the aroma that they associated with a certain memory. Researchers believe this can soften traumatic memories.

However, scientists also have serious ethical concerns about experiments. They note that the same tools may not control sleep, but cause its disturbance.

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