A US researcher has said he plans to electronically record and interpret dreams. Writing in the journal Nature, researchers said they have developed a system capable of recording higher-level brain activity. "We would like to read people's dreams," says the lead scientist Dr Moran Cerf. The aim is not to interlope, but to extend our understanding of how and why people dream. For centuries, people have been fascinated by dreams and what they might mean; in ancient Egypt for example, they were thought to be messages from the gods. More recently, dream analysis has been used by psychologists as a tool to understand the unconscious mind. But the only way to interpret dreams was to ask people about the subject of their dreams after they had woken up. The eventual aim of Dr Cerf's project is to develop a system that would enable psychologists to corroborate people's recollections of their dream with an electronic visualisation of their brain activity.
Tag Archives | Dreams
Extrasensory abilities, or hoax? The University of Maryland has a retrospective on the work of Ted Serios, an alcoholic bellhop who, though intense concentration, could produce dreamlike “mind photos” using a Polaroid camera. The Chronicle of Higher Education is a believer:
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Strange as it may seem, such “thought” photographs do exist, and a selection of them are on display in an exhibition through March 27 at the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
“Psychic Projections/Photographic Impressions: Paranormal Photographs from the Jule Eisenbud Collection on Ted Serios” features a series of images produced by Theodore Judd Serios (1918-2006), a bellhop from Chicago who appeared to possess a genuinely uncanny ability. By holding a Polaroid camera and focusing on the lens very intently, he was able to produce dreamlike pictures of his thoughts on the film; he referred to these images as “thoughtographs,” and many striking examples are on display in the exhibition.
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Klint Finley: What possessed you to undertake this process of creating a collage painting for every line of Bill’s original Dream Manual?
Michael Skrtic: The Dream Manual appeared first in 1984 or 1985 in a magazine called The Negentropy Express, which was an APA (an amateur press association) by the Society for Creative Thought. I was one of the founding members of the Society for Creative Thought and I was immediately taken with Bill’s original text and the original short little collage things that he did to accompany the text. It sort of followed me around since then. In the early 90s, I had just moved to Stockholm and I was looking for a project. I thought, ah, I know what I’ll do, I’ll colorize Bill’s original collages, so I blew them up and I colorized a couple of pages, and then I got involved with something else.
The Times of India says that the best way to avoid daydreaming is to have sex. Okaaaay!:
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Mind-wandering turns out to be extremely common – users reported daydreaming almost 50 per cent of the time – mostly during brushing their teeth or doing other grooming, reports New Scientist.
During only one activity – making love – did the frequency of mind-wandering drop below 30 per cent.
Crucially, episodes of mind-wandering tended to precede bouts of low mood, but not vice versa, suggesting that the former caused the latter.
Matthew Killingsworth and colleague Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University conducted the study, and found that daydreams about pleasant things were linked to improvements in mood, but only slight improvements.
Thinking about neutral topics while mind-wandering was linked to a similarly modest drop in happiness, but daydreams about unpleasant topics coincided with a sharp drop.
But the claim that mind-wandering causes unhappiness needs to be further evaluated, they said, because he and others have shown the effect can run in the opposite direction.
Jeremy Hsu writes on LiveScience:
Playing video games before bedtime may give people an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams, LiveScience has learned.
That ability to shape the alternate reality of dream worlds might not match mind-bending Hollywood films such as The Matrix, but it could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma.
Dreams and video games both represent alternate realities, according to Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. But she pointed out that dreams arise biologically from the human mind, while video games are technologically driven by computers and gaming consoles.
“If you’re spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it’s practice,” said Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. “Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams.”
Read More: LiveScience