Scientists studying lucid dreamers – men and women who can become fully aware in and control their dreams – have pinpointed a specific area of the brain that enables people to perceive the world in a self-reflective manner. The organic components that allow for this kind of metacognition have eluded scientists for some time, and this ground-breaking study could pave the way for a better understanding of how people think and process information.
The human capacity of self-perception, self-reflection and consciousness development are among the unsolved mysteries of neuroscience. Despite modern imaging techniques, it is still impossible to fully visualise what goes on in the brain when people move to consciousness from an unconscious state. The problem lies in the fact that it is difficult to watch our brain during this transitional change. Although this process is the same, every time a person awakens from sleep, the basic activity of our brain is usually greatly reduced during deep sleep. This makes it impossible to clearly delineate the specific brain activity underlying the regained self-perception and consciousness during the transition to wakefulness from the global changes in brain activity that takes place at the same time.
Read more at EurekaAlert.