Real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep

Autor(en): Konkoly, Karen R.
Appel, Kristoffer 
Chabani, Emma
Mangiaruga, Anastasia
Gott, Jarrod
Mallett, Remington
Caughran, Bruce
Witkowski, Sarah
Whitmore, Nathan W.
Mazurek, Christopher Y.
Berent, Jonathan B.
Weber, Frederik D.
Turker, Basxak
Leu-Semenescu, Smaranda
Maranci, Jean-Baptiste
Pipa, Gordon 
Arnulf, Isabelle
Oudiette, Delphine
Dresler, Martin
Paller, Ken A.
Stichwörter: ACTIVATION; Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Biology; BRAIN; Cell Biology; EYE-MOVEMENTS; FREQUENCY; IMAGERY; INFORMATION; Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics; LOCAL SLEEP; MEMORY; RECALL; RESPONSES
Erscheinungsdatum: 2021
Herausgeber: CELL PRESS
Volumen: 31
Ausgabe: 7
Startseite: 1417+
Dreams take us to a different reality, a hallucinatory world that feels as real as any waking experience. These often-bizarre episodes are emblematic of human sleep but have yet to be adequately explained. Retrospective dream reports are subject to distortion and forgetting, presenting a fundamental challenge for neuroscientific studies of dreaming. Here we show that individuals who are asleep and in the midst of a lucid dream (aware of the fact that they are currently dreaming) can perceive questions from an experimenter and provide answers using electrophysiological signals. We implemented our procedures for two-way communication during polysomnographically verified rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep in 36 individuals. Some had minimal prior experience with lucid dreaming, others were frequent lucid dreamers, and one was a patient with narcolepsy who had frequent lucid dreams. During REM sleep, these individuals exhibited various capabilities, including performing veridical perceptual analysis of novel information, maintaining information in working memory, computing simple answers, and expressing volitional replies. Their responses included distinctive eye movements and selective facial muscle contractions, constituting correctly answered questions on 29 occasions across 6 of the individuals tested. These repeated observations of interactive dreaming, documented by four independent laboratory groups, demonstrate that phenomenological and cognitive characteristics of dreaming can be interrogated in real time. This relatively unexplored communication channel can enable a variety of practical applications and a new strategy for the empirical exploration of dreams.
ISSN: 09609822
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.026

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