Scientists Developing Real-Life ‘Dream Catcher’

October 28, 2010

(ChattahBox Science News) — Forget about keeping a dream journal or hanging a Native American dream catcher over the bed — American scientists are working on a device that they hope will actually record dreams, BBC News reports.

California-based researcher Dr. Moran Cerf found that his team was able to link specific objects or concepts to individual neurons in the brain, the BBC said, citing a study originally published in the journal Nature. For instance, when the investigators showed volunteers an image of the Eiffel Tower, a particular neuron illuminated. Extracting that research to the bigger picture, Cerf believes that watching which brain cell lights up could allow scientists to basically read patients’ minds.

The scientists would have to develop a mammoth database connecting each image to a specific neuron, but once complete, the information could someday be used outside of dream interpretations – for instance, Cerf envisions using the data to help determine what comatose patients are thinking, BBC reports.

Scientists gathered the data by studying subjects who had already been implanted with brain electrodes to treat them for brain seizures.


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