Scientific articles

Dream Decoding through Brain Scan

A group of Japanese neurologists try utmost to use brain scan technology of individuals when they are asleep in order to discover decoder of human dreams. Benefiting from functional magnetic resonance imaging method (FMRI), Yukiatso et al scanned brains of three persons. Simultaneously, they make electroencephalograph  (EEG) of the brains of the said persons. Whenever said researchers observed a sign of the first phases of dreaming in EEG of the said individuals, they awakened the said persons asking them what they had seen in their dreams a few seconds before. Then, they allowed the said persons to sleep once again. This process repeated for 7-10 times in different days for each candidate within a time lapse of three hours. Finally, the researchers could record 200 dreams on average for each candidate. Apparently, most of dreams, recorded in form of this test, reflected daily experiences of candidates. One of the candidates in the said test stated: “I dreamed of working at a bakery. I took a loaf of bread… then, I left the bakery, proceeding to street; I saw an individual who was taking photos”. Another candidate reported: “I saw a huge statute made of bronze…. On a small hill; there were a few houses down the said hill; there were also a few streets, with trees”. Some of dreams were strange including visitation of a superstar or attending a filming studio”. Using a language database under the name of “Word Net”, Kamitani et al could extra keywords from among verbal reports of candidates and classified the said keywords in twenty groups (Automobile, male, female, computer, etc). The said groups were classified, based on frequency of repetition of the said words in reported dreams. At the next stage, scientists prepared a few images of each group. Showing the said images to candidates, they got scan of brain of the said persons while watching the said images.

Comparing the operation of brain of the said individuals, while watching an image and corresponding one in their dreams, was the principal method, used for dream decoding by Japanese researchers. Consequently, in 2008, Yo Kia So et al announced that they could decode and remodel visual images, similar to activity of V1, V2 and V3 areas of brain.   The said scientists are of this opinion that they could come up with another discovery; and studying activity of advanced parts of brain layer, they could precisely predict contents of dreams of individuals. Kamitani says: “We have developed a model through help of which it is possible to predict which group of our classification has been available in the dream of an individual. Moreover, for example,  through study of brain activity of an individual within nine seconds before he awakens, we could say whether there has been a human in the dream of the individual or not, with a preciseness of 75-80%”. The above-named neurologist further added that respective tests contracted to this date, has not studied visual structure of dream of candidates: “The problem was the meaning of the said dreams. However, I still think of the possibility through which we could extract structural characteristics including appearance and contrast form the dreams of individuals, as we did the same in 2008”. The results of the said research have been presented during annual meeting of Neurology Association, held in last October in New Orleans State of America. Now, said research has also been published in scientific journal of “Science”. The authors of the said Article claimed that the two phenomena of “Dreaming” and “Visual perception” create similar neural presentations in advanced visual parts of brain. Kamitani emphasizes: “Due to excellent preciseness of dream decoding in a few ten seconds before awakening, one may come up with this conclusion that remembering  dreams by an individual depends on his short-term memory”. Now, Kamitani and members of his team try utmost to collect similar data of rapid eye movement (REM) during sleep. It seems that this test is a bit difficult compared to the previous one because “We had to wait for at least one hour until the subject falls asleep and reaches this phase of deep sleep”. Finally, the above-named Japanese Neurologist implies: “I don’t have any personal desirable theory about function of dreams. However, I am sure that more knowledge obtained about contents of dreams and the relationship between the said contents and brain activity may assist us with perception of the said dreams accordingly”.

Science Article