Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Electric Stimulation Could Help You Control Your Dreams

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the lets-get-lucid dept.

Medicine 138

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A new study suggests that mild current applied to the scalp while sleeping can help people become aware of, and even control, their dreams—a phenomenon called lucid dreaming. Researchers recruited 27 men and women to spend several nights in a German sleep lab. After the volunteers had plunged into REM sleep, a state in which people are unable to move and the most vividly recalled dreams occur, researchers applied electrical current to their skulls near the forehead and temples. This boosted neural activity in the frontotemporal cortex, a brain region associated with conscious self-awareness, which normally gets tamped down during REM. Researchers then woke the participants and asked them to detail any dreams they could remember. People who had received 40 Hz of current were lucid in more than 70% of their reported dreams. The researchers suggest that the technique could potentially be used to help people who suffer from chronic nightmares."

cancel ×

138 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

insert PKD joke here (5, Funny)

waddgodd (34934) | about 4 months ago | (#46975447)

Torn between "Do androids dream of electric sheep" joke and a "we'll remember it for you wholesale" one.

Re: insert PKD joke here (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 4 months ago | (#46975793)

Are you really torn or are you experiencing deja vi because you made this post before in a dream?

Re: insert PKD joke here (2)

torsmo (1301691) | about 4 months ago | (#46977123)

are you experiencing deja vi

He was trying out the experience over a 300 baud modem.

Wait, what? (5, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 4 months ago | (#46977239)

"40 hz of current"

Is that like four cc's of amplification? 18 db of sugar? 16 mph of cotton?

Someone help me here, I'm drowning.

Re:insert PKD joke here (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 4 months ago | (#46976399)

I was going to go with "Electric Dreams". I've been on a bit of an 80's music binge lately.

Re:insert PKD joke here (1)

grcumb (781340) | about 4 months ago | (#46976959)

Torn between "Do androids dream of electric sheep" joke and a "we'll remember it for you wholesale" one.

I was thinking more about tweaking the summary to read:

"Researchers recruited 27 men and women to spend several nights in a sleep lab, located on Elm Street. Each night, the surviving volunteers were plunged into REM sleep..."

Smell that? (1)

DrPBacon (3044515) | about 4 months ago | (#46975455)

That's the smell of your dreams fizzling away.

Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (2)

quax (19371) | about 4 months ago | (#46975485)

... I was a teenager. Was really pretty cool. Especially being able to fly everywhere.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 months ago | (#46975617)

I've heard that flying is particularly common for lucid dreaming... anytime I've become aware of being in a dream without waking up (which is usually what happens when I realize I am dreaming), I usually fly as well.

I wonder why that is.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975649)

Sometimes in my dreams there is a vague opportunity for sex with hot girls. Most of the time a dream like this occurs, I know it is a dream and want to take control over it to take advantage of the situation. However the more I try to control it, the more I wake up, until I'm finally totally awake before I could actually steer the dream in any direction. So it has often occurred to me that the act of dreaming is not compatible with consciously controlling a dream.

I wonder if there is a way to individually try out this experiment on oneself. Nothing wrong with some self-controlled dream sex. ;)

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976809)

" So it has often occurred to me that the act of dreaming is not compatible with consciously controlling a dream."

That is in contradiction with what I know about lucid dreaming.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977909)

You're getting too excited about it, and that's why you lose control and wake up.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 months ago | (#46975659)

Someone once told me that if you dream of flying it really means sex.

I asked her what it meant if you dreamed of sex.

It would appear to mean you aren't getting any, and aren't going to - at least from her.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 4 months ago | (#46975933)

Some answers here... http://www.wikihow.com/Fly-in-... [wikihow.com] I remember reading an old Omni magazine article about influencing your dreams. For instance, to have a flying dream, as you're drifting off to sleep repeat to yourself, "Tonight I'm going to fly." I tried it then, and after a few nights of this, I was flying in dreams like Superman.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 4 months ago | (#46977715)

"I've heard that flying is particularly common for lucid dreaming... anytime I've become aware of being in a dream without waking up (which is usually what happens when I realize I am dreaming), I usually fly as well.

I wonder why that is."

You're a naked ape, falling from your tree.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#46975877)

I worked hard to develop my lucidity. How did you lose it? For me, it never left, and never needed to work to keep it.

For me, it started with being able to "change channels". When I didn't like a dream, I'd pick a new one. I could also wake myself up. Working on that for a while, I got to where I could "tweak" dreams. add in things, take them away, play with them.

Re: Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976131)

If I had this ability, I would never have a reason nor need to ever wake up. Why the hell would I want to come back to reality ?

It consists of cubicle farms, traffic, never ending stress and general discontent as far out as I can visualize.

Even if I only lived a few days, at least they would be worthwhile.

Re: Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#46976213)

You can pick your dream, but you can't choose to be asleep. Those are orthoginal. Now, if there was some sleeping pill that forced REM, that would be more interesting...

Re: Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976611)

I was chronically late my Sophomore year of highschool because of my lucid dreaming. Luckily my history class was easy.

Thank goodness I can't lucid dream anymore. I'd be very poor.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

quax (19371) | about 4 months ago | (#46976337)

"I worked hard to develop my lucidity. How did you lose it?"

Was taken things too far, experimented with meditation techniques and thought it should be possible to get the same extra sensory state that some drugs induce.

Problem is, what I did not take into account, is that drugs add an external control. They leave your system and your neural state is (mostly) re-set.

Messed myself up quite a bit, and really panicked when I realized it. Experienced some nasty sensory overload. Fortunately wasn't really all that hard to put myself back together, but the experience left me raw. Ever since no more lucid dreams ...

Of course all this was three decades ago don't even remember how old I was, 14 maybe 15.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#46976603)

I'll make sure to never try that.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

quax (19371) | about 4 months ago | (#46976791)

Yes, it was stupid.

Then again it was at the age that should be list in the dictionary next to 'stupid'.

Nowadays I hardly remember my dreams anymore.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#46977053)

Took me to about 12 just to get a basic lucid, and another 5 years to get to full lucid dreaming. Of course, I was a very very heavy sleeper before, and a light sleeper after, so it isn't as good a thing as people think. It came with a downside for me.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

quax (19371) | about 4 months ago | (#46976859)

Out of curiosity, can you do math in your dreams?

I never tried that when I still had the ability, and later found that dreams that involve math were some of my worst.

They aren't exactly nightmares, but I sometimes had dreams were I am circling some equations and I want to solve them, and are pretty certain I could easily enough when awake, but in my dream no matter how hard I try, I just cannot work them.

These kind of dreams always left me utterly exhausted.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#46977089)

I've solved lots of problems in my dreams, some involving math. I've never had an exhausting dream. Though when I solve problems in dreams, I just relax and think about it, not focus hard on it and work on the details.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977927)

I've been able to do absolutely enormous things in my dreams, architectural perfection, like designing massive underground cities to save humanity from impending doom, all the way down to where pipes would be in the large cement tubes that hold the city, which made optimizing homes to have all pipe-connected stuff against one wall, including electrical stuff, crawl space bedroom/ storage area, even a low-profile vehicle system to get around really quickly. (it was one-way serial traffic in that regard because there other side was for stairs to homes and other stuff)
Even whole separate sections for farms, waste recycling and such. I thought of it all.
I even made a terrible model of a rough cross-section of it in Blender before I got annoyed and stopped because they changed everything: Picture related [minus.com]
As you can see, I never got far in bringing it to a 3D model. That is awful. I never fixed the stair-height problem where you'd whack your head off the middle dividing section, no walls, no nuthin.

The only math involved was 26feet. (the diameter of your typical large cement tubes I believe, or 28, I can't remember now)
Any time I try to go near something detailed like writing or math, my dreams fall to bits.
Ratios of one thing to another are the only way I can really do mathematically correct things.
So, anything visual and I am a GOD.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (3, Interesting)

dcw3 (649211) | about 4 months ago | (#46978007)

By anecdotal evidence, I can verify at least one person can do basic math in her sleep...

When I was a teen, my mom would frequently fall asleep on the couch. She would also talk in her sleep. I was able to get her to respond to simple questions, and even do basic math, but nothing more than multiplication. I suspect that since those answers were already memorized, it would be different when asking for an answer that required more than a canned reply.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

0x537461746943 (781157) | about 4 months ago | (#46979091)

That is exactly how it works for me. I can fly if I want to, switch to different dreams like channels, and control some aspects of them. I could do it more often when I was younger but I still get control and switch to different channels if I don't like them a few times a month. I blink my eyes (in the dream) to change channels.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (2)

fabioalcor (1663783) | about 4 months ago | (#46976037)

I still do, at 30 years old. Especially when I sleep at evenings, it's almost certain that I will have a lucid dream, sometimes I incorpore the sounds around me in my dream, even whole conversations.
And yes, is's totally cool when I am able to fly in my dreams, even when sometimes I can't control my flight.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 4 months ago | (#46976569)

I'm of a mind that dreaming is a useful sandbox, and I need not disturb it.

That may be due to brain research being nascent, or it may be rationalizing my lack of effort to develop the talent. I do hope to avoid the headline "Lucid dreamer? You may be interfering with your ability to $(hobby) in first life. Read more here, $(name)"

Because personalized ads are more lucrative than basic brain care and feeding.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (1)

quax (19371) | about 4 months ago | (#46976829)

"I'm of a mind that dreaming is a useful sandbox, and I need not disturb it."

There's just not enough hard science around this to say either way. Don't think that lucid dreaming has been researched much at all. Back then I didn't know of anybody else who could do that, and feared people would think I was nuts if I said that I was able to control my dreams (a fear probably heightened by teenage anxiety).

At any rate from what I remember I could still immerse in my dreams and let them role, only to step in and take control when they became scary.

But sometimes I very much directed them, such as when tasking myself with finding answers to arbitrary questions in my dreams.

Re:Used to be able to dream lucidly when ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977649)

I can still do it at 27.

That is mainly because I nurtured it in to something wonderful. I can literally just sit down and within 3-5 minutes go lucid. But it requires a lot of effort not to come out of it.
In fact, to be honest, on the CEV scale, I have done level5 stuff.
I haven't done it again since because it freaked me the hell out. And this was without any external aids, drugs or whatever, just extreme concentration and persistence.
I can remember doing all sorts of things through that, like scratching an itch with a 3rd hand, increasing the visual size of the blind spot. (I had donut vision. I also gained a new respect for people that are blind. Holy shit, they literally don't see a thing, not even darkness.)
I also remember trying to form visual patterns in my eyes in to the outlines of faces, but it was really hard. And for some reason, I could only do it with blue and green colors, no red. No idea why that is.
But I stopped doing it after the blind spot thing. The thought of accidentally nulling my vision and being unable to undo it freaked me out. It would be unlikely, but still.

Not sure why they picked out the 40Hz frequency from it, the 25Hz band was far more effective at control rather than observing, which is in line with what is known about brainwave frequencies and dream research. Glad that has been demonstrated in lab with something that is so easy to perform.

I did use binaural beats for years to train myself in to being able to do it this effectively. The thought of using electrical signals never actually occurred. I did hilariously and naively once put my head on to an electrical globe to see if it would do anything back when I was a kid. Only made me more insane.
Time to fire up that raspberry pi. Jam it in.

40 hz of current? (2)

radaos (540979) | about 4 months ago | (#46975509)

40 hz of current? Looks like the editor is the one asleep.

Re:40 hz of current? (1)

waddgodd (34934) | about 4 months ago | (#46975541)

I've got a good deal for them on 60Hz electrodes, only $1,000 each...

Re:40 hz of current? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975657)

why not? That just implies that specifying current makes more sense than voltage in this case probably due to the variance in skin resistance? The question to ask is what levels of current?

Re:40 hz of current? (4, Funny)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#46975719)

Makes as much sense as megabytes of keyboards.

Re:40 hz of current? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 4 months ago | (#46976351)

It's all about shuffling the units. A 101 key keyboard can be represented as 8 bits, therefore each key represents a byte of information.

Thus 1kb (keyboard) = 0.000101MB or 9901 keyboards per megabyte.

Re:40 hz of current? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977677)

Or it might refer to the amount of space devoted to firmware for keyboards and mice, also known as "insert clever backdoor here".

Re:40 hz of current? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46978575)

I guess you've never dealt with nonlinear systems where the current and voltage can be doing different things. Of course it makes sense when the voltage and current are doing the same thing, and one is just trying to emphasize that the current is what is measured or of importance. But if you say have a system where the voltage output is 100 kHz square wave, but the current is following a 200 kHz sine wave, someone saying there is "200 kHz current" wouldn't be correct by changing that to "100 kHz voltage"

Re:40 hz of current? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46978917)

Hey dipshit, the problem is the word OF. And that's not what nonlinear systems do, dumbass.

Re:40 hz of current? (3, Interesting)

sillybilly (668960) | about 4 months ago | (#46976233)

The brain exhibits electric waves in the extremely low frequency region 5-10-15 Hz, and there have been experiments where submitting someone to such stimuli interferes with normal thought, even such simple things as motor vibration sounds inside a factory, which are inaudible, but create pressure sensations on the skin or chest hairs and other body hairs, or even creating a "beat frequency" between 2 audible sounds, such a 300 and 310 Hz, which will create a 10 Hz beat, and affect the brain. It is strange that these researchers would find 40 Hz affecting the brain, because that seems high. The brain seems like a low 6-10 Hz frequency massively parallel CPU, with much more processing power than a 2 GHz (or 2 billion Hz) regular CPU. By the way back in 2001-2005 I had a bed where there was constant hum from a nearby hospital-like building, and kind of a resonance zone, and unless I moved my head into an unnaturally edge position, I could feel my skull vibrate from the hums, and I was unable to fall asleep at all. I was aware of the ELF(extremely low frequency) stimulus effect on the brain (my high school physics professor taught me about it), but it didn't bother me that much, as the rent was really cheap, and all you had to do was to physically move your head away from the low frequency noise. Especially the russians put a lot of effort into mind control experiments through ELF, but it didn't seem to work or even have any effect back in 2005, other than just plain nuisance from your head vibrating. I can't say that anymore, in 2014, whatever way they figured out telepathy, it does not seem to have anything to do with ELF.

40 hz (1)

h5inz (1284916) | about 4 months ago | (#46978091)

Maybe you should read a bit more about the topic.
This one first: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]
It's probably tDCS with 40hz pulsed direct current that was used and those who don't seem to figure it out are either dumb or playing dumb to look smart, either way they are lame.

Re:40 hz of current? (2)

GrpA (691294) | about 4 months ago | (#46976249)

if 40Hz of current can elicit lucidity, imagine what 40 MHz of current would do !

Or better yet, 2.4 GHz,,,, You'd dream you were the Internet -

Well, I'm tired today so I might go get a few amps of sleep...

GrpA

Re:40 hz of current? (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 4 months ago | (#46978029)

Just imagine what a Volkswagen Beetle of current could do.

Re:40 hz of current? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46978805)

Yeah, 40 Hz of current for lucid dreaming is like when I dreamed about purchasing a forty bushel farm. Oh I was going to make beaucoups bucks by selling miles and miles of asparagus at harvest time.

Re:40 hz of current? (1)

AJWM (19027) | about 4 months ago | (#46976827)

>40 hz of current?

Sure, at a frequency of 30 mA for about 0.5 volt-hours.

Re:40 hz of current? (1)

ballpoint (192660) | about 4 months ago | (#46977277)

Units and laymen...

An interview on the radio a few minutes ago mentioned "a community windmill that produces 5MWh."

I assume said windmill probably generates 10 rotations and rotates hundreds of amps.

lucid ain't that hard. (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 4 months ago | (#46975607)

we don't need no stinkin' current. essentially: wake up then go back to sleep, with instructions for Mylie Cyrus or your choice of avatars.

Re:lucid ain't that hard. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#46975655)

lol.. It sometimes is really that easy to have a lucid dream. But come on, Mylie Cyrus? Sure, maybe several years ago but after seeing her make out with a foam finger, I kind of think of here like a Tijuana donkey show without the donkey. You know, getting all hyped up and excited until you start to actually see it then you can't stand to be in the same room and swear never again, wondering what you were ever thinking while hoping more and more booze will help you forget the night ever happened.

It doesn't work. It gets burned into your memory and you never forget.

Re:lucid ain't that hard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977121)

But come on, Mylie Cyrus? Sure, maybe several years ago...

Dude, she's 21. What do you mean by "several years ago"?

Fucking Slashdot...

Re:lucid ain't that hard. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#46978227)

Several as in two or 18-19.

Re:lucid ain't that hard. (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#46978233)

Look, I don't like her music, but I would let Miley suck my dick. She's cute. I'd guess a little vacant, but she may be a decent person if you got to know her. Or not. Only one way to find out.

70% dreamt they were Ted Bundy (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 4 months ago | (#46975629)

Researchers then woke the participants and asked them to detail any dreams they could remember. People who had received 40 Hz of current

Of which 70% dreamt they were Ted Bundy at his execution. Another 10% thought they were they were Horace Pinker from Shocker. [wikipedia.org] , and 5% thought they were Michael Clark Duncan in the Green Mile [imdb.com]

Re:70% dreamt they were Ted Bundy (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#46978241)

When was Ted Bundy executed? Was that the end of the series?

Do people really dream? (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 4 months ago | (#46975663)

I'm starting to suspect that what really happens is a bunch of junk floods our mind. Then in the instant before we wake up, we start making sense of those signals and remember dreaming.

Re:Do people really dream? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#46978245)

Scientifically, lucid dreams aren't a thing. There's no proof.

current (1)

confused one (671304) | about 4 months ago | (#46975667)

"40 Hz of current"? current is not measured in Hz.

This sounds technically easy, maybe fun! (3, Interesting)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about 4 months ago | (#46975673)

It's trivially easy to give 40 small shocks per second to the temples. Really, I'm tempted to try this for fun. But a small device that could both detect REM and then deliver the 40Hz stimulation would probably not need to cost more than $10. The theory seems sound, and it really could be awesome! I'd love to see a homebrew version.

Re:This sounds technically easy, maybe fun! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976019)

Hello, Kickstarter!

Re:This sounds technically easy, maybe fun! (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 4 months ago | (#46976239)

You might be able to modify a TENS unit to do exactly that.

Re:This sounds technically easy, maybe fun! (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#46978261)

NMES units are more fun. They really work: you can tone your existing muscles some, and provide a smooth cool-down and better strengthening when combined with typical exercise. Of course you need no more than a thin layer of fat over said muscles; and NMES delivers one hell of a jolt. Try not to cry.

So much for getting fit the easy way.

TDCs (3, Informative)

h5inz (1284916) | about 4 months ago | (#46978177)

It is called tDCS and it has already formed an amateur community, search in Reddit for example, many have bought their devices and many of them have made them themselves. If you are going to try this, then do your research and try to be safe. There are safety guidelines made by some guy here for example:
http://speakwisdom.wordpress.c... [wordpress.com]
Also there was a study on rats which found that :"Brain lesions occurred at a current density of 142.9 A/m2 for durations greater than 10 minutes."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19403329
Exceeding recommended current will probably give you skin burns long before you reach anything brain damaging. Don't get me wrong though, I don't recommend you anything and I am not a doctor either.

Rekall (5, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46975681)

Choose your ego trip:
- Millionaire Playboy
- Sports Hero
- Industrial Tycoon
- Secret Agent

Re:Rekall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975923)

Secret Agent? Sounds dangerous. I think I'll go with millionaire playboy.

Re:Rekall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976325)

C'mon... Don't bullshit me.

Re:Rekall (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46976613)

I'm telling you, AC, your brain won't know the difference. Guaranteed, or your money back.

Re:Rekall (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 4 months ago | (#46976357)

Media Conglomerate?

prior experimental failures (2)

schmidt349 (690948) | about 4 months ago | (#46975723)

We applied the cortical electrodes, but were unable to get a neural response from either patient.

Re:prior experimental failures (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 months ago | (#46976975)

Nice. I wish I'd remembered that.

Re:prior experimental failures (1)

Buck Feta (3531099) | about 4 months ago | (#46977129)

It's ok, we can remember it for you.

Re:prior experimental failures (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 months ago | (#46977413)

Wholesale?

Hmm, the thing about lucid dreaming is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975735)

The thing about this stuff is that there is no way to empirically observe whether or not a sleeping person that is not yourself is having a lucid dream. Which means that all data is of the form "these subjects reported lucid dreaming," rather than, "these subjects had lucid dreams." The difference is that the electrical stimulation of the planning area of the cortex may be just giving the subjects a feeling of control rather than actual control of the dream. Or it may even be effecting the way they remember or report their dreams rather than effecting the dreams themselves.

Re:Hmm, the thing about lucid dreaming is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977009)

That's a distinction without a difference. What matters is your experience of the event. We're talking about dreams, for heaven's sake, and you're splitting hairs about what's "real"?

Also, you're just plain wrong. They've done MRIs of lucid dreamers and the brain activity comports with their stated experience. If they say they clenched their fist, for example, the neural activity which corresponds with that kind of motor control was detected. While that's not conclusive (because we're splitting hairs about what "dreaming" means), it's significant evidence.

Lucid dreaming is but one of several interesting sleep phenomenon. There's sleep walking, of course. There's also sleep paralysis. All of these things are way more common in children, presumably because the brain is still developing and our neural machinery isn't yet fine tuned.

No News: AKA Known Since 1950s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975741)

Fool !

Don't you go to the Public Library !

This has been known since the 1950s and utilized by the Global Powers during the Cold War and event today. Fool !

Unfortunately... (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 months ago | (#46975821)

The researchers suggest that the technique could potentially be used to help people who suffer from chronic nightmares.

... my recurring nightmare is that people attach electrodes to my head and zap me while I sleep.

Electrocute my brain, have sexytime dreams (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 4 months ago | (#46975957)

Got it.

better strategy (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#46975983)

There was an article on slashdot a while ago about how frequent gamers tend to not have nightmares because they're so used to staying calm and winning in frightening situations. I can personally say that that is extremely true. That seems safer and more long-term than this treatment.

Re:better strategy (1)

Kittenman (971447) | about 4 months ago | (#46976283)

There was an article on slashdot a while ago about how frequent gamers tend to not have nightmares because they're so used to staying calm and winning in frightening situations. I can personally say that that is extremely true. That seems safer and more long-term than this treatment.

Forgive me, but I suspect that's also adulthood. Us folks old enough to have existed pre-game times used to have nightmares. We (well, me certainly) outgrew them. I suspect it's tied in with growing confidence and the ability to handle situations. Which is what you said.

Re:better strategy (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#46976995)

That isn't completely true. Dreams are agreed on by psychologists to be simulations of things your brain perceives to be dangerous so that you feel less nervous and make a smarter decision if they happen in real life. Children are still determining from what they see and hear what is real and what is not. Adults have a pretty firm grasp on it. They simply wouldn't dream about monsters under their bed if their brain found the idea laughable and sincerely unrealistic. But if you want 6 hours of serial killer movies in a row and go to bed, your brain marked that is real and percentage-wise, it now thinks your life circumstances significantly include serial killers. So you will dream about it because it is a real thing and your subconscious is concerned. If you went camping in Africa and saw lions all day, you would dream about a lion attack and hopefully do better in real life if a lion attacked. That's just how it works.

I've been attacked by every animal imaginable in every game you could imagine and in every case, I killed it. So the only difference between me and a non-gamer is that my dream would always end with me winning because that's the only way I've ever seen it play out.

By the way, I hold a record high score in animal dream kills inside my own head and got an achievement for it, lol.

Re:better strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977615)

Winning, you say? No wonder playing NetHack didn't help.

So, 40Hz aside, how many without it were lucid? (1)

Kartu (1490911) | about 4 months ago | (#46975991)

So, 40Hz aside, how many were lucid if no current was applied? I mean being woke up in REM phase surely helps.

Re:So, 40Hz aside, how many without it were lucid? (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 4 months ago | (#46976259)

lucid dreaming = being self-aware, that is, being aware that you're dreaming, while you're dreaming.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

Re: So, 40Hz aside, how many without it were lucid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977585)

Yo Dawg!

I train my children to do this, no zaps required. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976007)

They only ever have one nightmare and when they report it to me it is time to train them to take control of their dreams and use simple techniques to "change channels", "teleport" or thrown balls of "white light" to erase unwanted details. later on when they are older we talk about much more subtle control and analysis of their dream experiences to ensure they are moving from being able to just defend themselves to being productive within the dream.

Re:I train my children to do this, no zaps require (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976715)

later on when they are older we talk about much more subtle control and analysis of their dream experiences to ensure they are moving from being able to just defend themselves to being productive within the dream.

I do love those dreams in which I am being reproductive!

Help me out here exactly what is 40Hz of current? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976047)

I thought current might be in amps or that an oscillation might be in Hz.

So what frequency do I need (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#46976245)

for lurid dreaming?

Re:So what frequency do I need (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 4 months ago | (#46976309)

Anything below 8 Hz, with 2 - 4 Hz being best

Also see The Monroe Institute Lucid Dreaming DVD

* http://www.monroeinstitute.org... [monroeinstitute.org]

Re:So what frequency do I need (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 4 months ago | (#46976413)

4.625 MHz

Re:So what frequency do I need (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977197)

I believe the optimal frequency for lurid dreaming is 69 Hz.

50,000 volts at 40Hz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976583)

Wonder what effect a stun gun would have on my dreams?

Re:50,000 volts at 40Hz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46978019)

You literally become Jupiter.

Again with the electro-shock (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 4 months ago | (#46976653)

You let me know the first time someone chooses to electrocute their own brain for fun and convenience; then we can all declare Darwin the biggest idiot to ever live.

Headline is not quite accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976819)

Should be:

Electric Stimulation Could Help Someone Else Control Your Dreams

"40Hz" isn't a measure of current (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46976861)

Current is measured in amps. 40Hz describes the frequency.

Another way to obtain it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977611)

Another trick is to get used to squeeze your arm hard enough to feel pain very frequently, at least every 5 minutes. You need to be aware of doing it and make sure you feel the pain every time. If you do it while dreaming you will only feel somewhat numb no matter how hard you squeeze, and this is what you need to look for. I got lucid dreams several times using this method, but I stopped doing it because my sleep quality got much worse.

"40 Hz of current"? Sigh... (1)

ThaumaTechnician (2701261) | about 4 months ago | (#46977919)

Firstly: the study says "synchronous oscillations around 25 and 40 Hz". Secondly: I wonder what voltage they're using...2 amps? Maybe 14,000 Ergs? Or how about 350 grams?

Old news, sort of. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46977969)

Twenty years ago when I was very interested in lucid dreaming I read about
a setup that would flash LEDs into your (closed) eyes when you went into
REM sleep to prod you into lucid dreaming.

Nothing new under the sun.

Total Recall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46978045)

This technique seems similar to the machine they used in Total Recall to induce a mental vacation.

Hmmm... (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | about 4 months ago | (#46978431)

I already dream in full color, and I shit you not, feel like I am able to use my senses - sound, sight, touch, smell, taste, etc, as if I were awake.

A while back, I had a dream where I found a shitload of cash - I recall in the dream saying "Let me put it in this draw,I'll get it later - and the person I was with saying "Yeah, but this is a dream, you'll look there and nothing will be there," to which I replied "Damn, you're right." I woke up after a few more things occurred in said dream, not as soon as I was aware I was dreaming. I was in control of my dream, aware I was dreaming, and this is just one example of things I go through almost every night.

Sometimes this is awesome, sometimes this is terrifying, sometimes it's neither extreme, just fun. To actually have more control
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>