Interactive dreams: it is now possible to communicate in your sleep and even solve mathematical problems.

This is an automated machine translation of an article published by Business Insider in a different language. Machine translations can generate errors or inaccuracies; we will continue the work to improve these translations. You can find the original version here.

Dreams have always fascinated scientists and non-scientists alike, since all human beings dream, even if they cannot remember them.

In addition, the dream world has almost always provoked a certain aura of mystery for society as a whole, due to certain issues related to sleep, such as sleepwalking, lucid dreaming, or sleep paralysis.

Now, can you imagine that during sleep you could communicate with the real world? Would you be able to solve a mathematical problem or even write a novel or compose a score for an orchestra?

This is what has been investigated by a group of scientists from different countries, with a sample of 36 people in 4 different laboratories, which have published their findings in Current Biology.

5 exercises and relaxation techniques to help children fall asleep quickly

According to this study, a new form of rest, interactive sleep, has been discovered, in which people in deep sleep or lucid dreaming are able to follow instructions, answer yes or no to different questions, and even solve basic mathematical problems.

“The main finding is that it’s possible to interact with a sleeping person to exchange messages and have that response in real time, without the dreamer waking up, transferred back to the experimenter in the sleep lab,” said, in an interview to The Scientist Kristoffer Appel of the Institute for Cognitive Science and the Institute for Sleep Technologies, both in Germany.

This experiment is of vital importance, as a new form of communication between the dream state of things and the real world has been discovered, which could lead to numerous applications.

Solving mathematical problems during deep sleep

In the case of Appel’s lab, the researcher asked sleeping subjects mathematical questions via Morse code. Thus, he asked them easy questions such as ‘3 1’, all in this code, through beeps. Something similar to what happens in the movie Origin (2010).

“These beep tones are presented to the sleeping subject in the sleep lab and they incorporate this stimulation into their sleep. For example, in their dream, they are in a bus station and there is a ticket vending machine and it beeps,” Appel said.

In turn, the subjects decoded the code in the dream and, in order to answer the mathematical riddle, they did so by facial movements or by moving their eyes from left to right.

In the case of the question ‘3 1’, to give the solution – which is 4 – the subjects moved their eyes 4 times to the left and to the right. That is, the dreamer understood perfectly well what he was being asked and was able to understand it and answer.

“There are many things you may want to communicate that go beyond yes or no, so I am already working on a method for that, with more sophisticated eye movements to transfer words and sentences to the waking world,” Appel added.

On the other hand, the laboratories in France, the United States, and the Netherlands only used verbal language. In this sense, to the same mathematical question, the patient incorporated a kind of voice-over within the dream itself, which offered the question.

“We pooled the results because we felt that the combination of results from 4 different laboratories, using different approaches, more convincingly attests to the reality of this two-way communication phenomenon,” said Karen Konkoly, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University (USA), in a press release.

In addition, according to Appel, this new technique could have applications related to learning, for example, learning a language while in deep sleep.

Another no less important one would be psychotherapy since it could help patients with nightmares in real time. Finally, another of the uses listed by the sleep specialist is to use the technique for creative and playful purposes.

That a musician or a painter can create a work of art while they are asleep and be able to remember it when they wake up is still an unknown terrain. But, who knows, we may soon see the first work of art created in the world of dreams.

Source: Read Full Article