https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26185603 - Real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep (https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(21)...)
47 points | kasperni | 5 days ago | 21 comments
Me: (snoozing/dreaming) what's behind my head?
Wife: A pillow.
Me: Oh! I thought it was a spaceship.
The more I read how close we are getting to communicating with the brain a bit more directly, the more I feel we are entering a stunning and scary world.
A lot of scientific research has been inspired by science fiction, but i tend to think that the worlds of H. P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, etc might best be avoided rather than sought out.
I absolutely love it!
You can check out the English version for their stuff here: https://obe4u.com
The first time I had a proper, photo-realistic dream with complete awareness that it was a dream it blew my fucking mind in a way that was almost religious. I could feel the sun on my face, and the texture of the sidewalk I was walking on. I couldn't stop looking at plants! It was incredible to see every leaf and twig with the realization that they were being entirely rendered by my brain in real time. TRUST ME, those experiences are completely possible, and the detail a brain can create is nothing short of ASTOUNDING.
Upon reflection, it makes perfect sense. EVERYTHING you conceive of or percieve in your waking life is a lie, essentially a hallucination of sorts. It is a mostly high-level construction and summary made by some part of your brain based on sensory input. It turns out, your brain is perfectly capable of synthesizing the high level construction without the fine-grained sensory input.
2. Keep a dream journal.
3. Do reality checking throughout the day.
4. Meditate before sleep. Do a relaxation exercise. There's 100s of them.
"Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life" is the definitive book on the topic that everyone copies. No one has additional information.
It haunted me for some time after because I never expected something like in the movie inception to be possible in real life.
A study to test this would be simple - test skills level at something (e.g. chess), and then have the study participant study "in their sleep" for a month. Test again. It has never been done. Not even close. As it has never been done, I strongly believe you are misinterpreting / over-stating your results.
I have managed to fly a few times, but the first couple of times I tried, I jumped and fell flat on my face! I don't really experience pain in my dreams though.
Back when I dabbled in extreme sleep deprivation I'd be forced into a sort of wakeful sleep where what I can only describe as "eye movies" would forcibly take over my vision center. They were entirely fabricated, and indistinguishable from normal vision. My eyes would still be open, in some cases I'd still be engaged in a demanding activity like riding a motorcycle (this was insane), but my mind was completely out to lunch and I'd be observing a completely different world than the one reflected on my retinas.
My conventional sleep dreams never had that amount of consciously-accessible fidelity, but I presume some people can access their dreams as well as my sleep deprivation experiences proved for me.
Some people can't access their dreams at all, why wouldn't variety in the other direction occur as well? I think we should assume it's a spectrum across the whole gamut.
The other reason I have a hard time believing this is that I know normal people can't visualize anything. Artists, really good artists, are able to visualize a face with some detail. Most can't visualize a circle and toggle its color, let alone anything complex.
To me, that is a strong argument to believe the mind can't generate clear worlds, as people claim.
What? I’m doing this right now. I can do it with a white tiger. I can see Barrack Obama in a marching band on Mars.
I have a friend who cannot picture anything in their mind, so it’s probably a spectrum. You might be projecting your experience onto others.
What do you mean ‘lost’ his ability? […] Shouldn’t we be amazed he ever had that ability?
We’ve heard from many people who have experienced a similar epiphany to Ross. They too were astonished to discover that their complete lack of ability to picture visual imagery was different from the norm.'
This sounds like a perversion of synesthesia to me. This is like LSD.
Do these people have strange accents like people born deaf?
Aphantasia seems to be a defect in (or a difference in, I don't know) one portion of the brain whereas dreaming seems to use a separate portion of the brain. I can also see images when I'm between being awake and asleep, which seems to be related to dreaming. I've had a couple of dreams where I've successfully used the WILD technique (wake induced lucid dreaming) where you use hypnagogic imagery to create an environment and (if you're successful at it) go directly from being awake to being in a lucid dream. It's an experience that will lead you to believe that you do actually visually experience your dreams, since there was no apparent break between lying on your bed and entering a dream. I've also watched a dream fade before, and woke up immediately afterwards with no apparent loss in consciousness.
You don't have to believe me, of course, that's up to you. I'm as surprised as anyone that I can visualize while dreaming but not at all when I'm awake.
You aren't holding it if you can't draw from it. End of story.
That doesn't sound plausible.
In my personal case, I can maintain a clear image but be unable to translate it accurately to paper or to another medium (electronic or not) since it involves skill. The fidelity I am able to attain has improved as my skill has improved, and I can clearly see the frustrating differences between the image in my mind and what I then drew without yet being able to remedy it. If the proposition were correct neither of these things would be possible.
isn’t that exactly what the mind (or at least the brains visual cortex) is doing all day long?
I've been able to read magazines, have full conversations with multiple people, stare at a brick wall and notice all the little pits. It does not happen every day, but maybe a couple times a month. I used to have severe sleep apnea and those were the most intense dreams. So I don't think it's possible to extrapolate your own experience to others. The mind already constructs a model of reality, so why wouldn't it be able to in a dream state?
As far as your image - I still maintain that if you can "hold it", you can draw it, especially for simple geometric shapes like a star.
Everything I do makes me sweaty and winded, even walking.
It's a direct result of influencers selling a lifestyle. I work out, and have my entire life, but it definitely doesn't feel amazing - it's just a grind and you feel a bit better afterward.
That was my thought when I first saw this episode many years ago and I can't tell if I'm reaching or it's one of those things that's obvious to everyone else.
— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (1881-1906)
Isn't is just as plausible that he wasn't lucid dreaming at all, and was instead in a half-asleep, half-awake stupor and responding to the questions from his awake consciousness?
It would be much more convincing if the subject were in a different landscape.
I was actively interested in this topic when I was younger and had much time to sleep and practice, but after I got my job and life problems kicked in, suddenly I realized that the only thing I require from a dream is to get a good night sleep so I will have strength to face problems during the day. A little bit sad but true.
But, during my lucid dreaming endeavors I realized the technique itself is incredibly powerful. Especially for people who have tendencies for daydreaming. One easy technique used during learning is to create a habit of looking at the watch and asking oneself if this is a dream or not. Doing it for a few times during a day will eventually create a habit, and will eventually increase the chances of unintentionally doing it during the actual dream. Then, the question "is this a dream?" will have a chance of recalling that we have consciousness, while still being inside the dream. It will be a lucid dream.
Maintaining lucid state of a lucid dream is another topic. Sometimes a few seconds after starting to be in a lucid dream, we forget about the state and we go right back to a normal, non-lucid dream. There are techniques for prolonging the state, but require training (like everything I guess).
How to activate superuser mode in dreams?
Some people classify the lucidity of a dream as "non-lucid", "semi-lucid" and "lucid".
"Non-Lucid" is just a normal dream.
"Semi-Lucid" is a dream in which you know that you're dreaming, but you don't have real control and are just going with the flow.
In real lucid dreams you're fully aware that you're dreaming and can control yourself (movement & talking).
Experiencing a lucid dream is just plain awesome in my experience. You know that the experience is not real, but it feels real.
Controlling the dream itself (surroundings, other people, flying etc) is something the dreamer has to learn, as it isn't as straight-forward as just thinking/saying "I want to fly now"/"Let there be an orgy". If your brain doesn't expect something to happen, then it likely won't happen.
Flying is relatively easy because it really doesn't change your surroundings. I just imagine how I'm flying and it happens.
To change my surroundings I usually use the "spinning"/"blinking" trick: Either spin around or slowly blink with your eyes while imagining what you want to change. With some good luck it happens.
But dreams are unstable. Things can change quickly and without your control. It's a constant fight against your subconscious. A fight which often leads to waking up.
I have a recommendation for anyone still reading: Instead of flying or fucking/killing people (those were the most common themes on the forums back then), just talk with the people in your dream. You're not talking with real people, you're talking with yourself, but it doesn't feel that way.
Talking with dream characters can be useful for introspection, as dreams are heavily influenced by your feelings.
Man, that all sounds so esoteric and non-scientific. Just my experience.
said it in this podcast:
It goes back to the late 70s with Stephen LaBerge's and Keith Hearne's research, but as far as I know, those experiments were always involving one-way communication.
A few years ago, the author of the awesome blog lucidcode, trained himself to communicate in Morse code with the outside world: https://lsdbase.org/2012/05/11/hello-dream-world/
I also recall someone doing a full-on two-way communication experiment involving eye signals and light flashes a couple years ago, but I don't remember the source.
> Scientists communicate with people in lucid dreaming state
Interesting article, though.
(I didn't read this article.)
When I was a kid I could just live in my dream for hours. Seem to have lost that ability.
I have sleep apnea and bought it in order to keep track of the quality of my sleep.
Though Apnea is not in our initial target group, we'll be looking into ways we can resolve apnea in the future. I have central apnea (brain stops breathing).
Do you continue to use your Dreem? How does knowing the "quality of your sleep" help you? We're more interested in improving the quality of your sleep than in just giving you the data.
Details are in my profile if you feel like reaching out.
Tracking REM sleep seems to be fairly easy. My Xiaomi wristband seems to reliably detect when I go into REM, even though the device is very cheap.
I have a polar watch that also tracks my sleep and presents it in a nice plot. I have no way to check whether that plot is a good representation of my night, or whether they just randomly put in a few blocks and mark them as REM.
I don't mean to imply that I don't trust the device or anything. I'm just saying I have no way to verify how reliable it really is.
Dreem 2, for example, has a few studies to back it up:
> The aim of this study was to assess the signal acquisition and the performance of the automatic sleep staging algorithms of a reduced-montage dry-electroencephalographic (EEG) device (Dreem headband, DH) compared to the gold-standard polysomnography (PSG) scored by five sleep experts.
And the relevant results:
> The algorithm achieved an overall accuracy comparable to human-level performance of 85.76% (N1: 56%, N2: 88%, N3: 85%, REM: 92%, and Wake: 85%).
Most wristbands have a heart rate monitor and an accelerometer. Is there a pattern in the heart rate that shows REM sleep versus deep or light sleep? Or do they use the accelerometer to detect twitches you make during REM sleep? How do they discriminate that from my cat jumping onto the bed?
Compare that to EEG-based devices : I think it is well known that sleep phases can be read in an EEG. The Dreem has fewer channels than a medical EEG, and maybe a little less accuracy, but that is beside the point : it is measuring the relevant signals for sleep phase detection.
You need more modalities like heart rate, and a very sensitive heart rate monitor (the one in my Xiaomi/Amazfit is nowhere near the quality needed).
On the other hand, you can make quite good guesses based on the recurring pattern of REM sleep (in healthy subjects). Because REM sleep is quite prevalent in the later stages, your accuracy when guessing will be quite high.
Additionally, I can also quite reliably see when my CPAP needs adjusting by my doctor.
The Dreem 2 has two functions I'm rather fond of:
1) It can wake you up in light sleep within a specific timeframe you've set. That made me less groggy and grumpy in the mornings.
2) It can generate pink noise which is said to enhance the quality of your deep sleep (there are a handful of studies about it).
Both features work well for me but I think the pink noise function is not available in the US for some FDA-related terminology reason.