Dream world: speaking with dreaming people now possible

The dream world has been the place where everything is possible for centuries. Now speaking with dreaming people is also possible. Even at a pretty high level.

Dream World: enigmatic, inaccessible and fleeting

Dreams take us to another reality, a world of hallucinations that feels as real as any waking experience. These often bizarre episodes are characteristic of human sleep, but are still an unexplained phenomenon. We are a little further than Plato, who in his famous parable assumed that we are living in a dream, but much is still unexplained. Which makes this “inner voyage” all the more fascinating. For the first time, researchers have entered a previously unknown domain.

Eyewitness account from lucid dream

Until now, dream research relied mainly on witness reports from dreaming people. Dream memories fade quickly, within minutes of waking up. our conscious mind also distorts the dream. In this groundbreaking study, subjects were able to answer questions from the study leaders. The test subjects were present in a lucid dream. Lucid dreams are a special type of dreams in which the dreamer is aware of the fact that she is dreaming during the dream. Fellow writer Niek has studied it and regularly dreams lucidly. Here are tips for learning how to dream lucidly yourself.

In the dream world, our brain often makes fun of reality. Source: Pixabay / Kellepics

Questioning about the dream world during REM sleep

We know from previous research that people dream during so-called REM sleep. Brainwaves show an activity that is very similar to the waking state and the eyes make 'Rapid Eye Movements' (REM). The experiments took place in 36 lucid dreaming subjects who were determined by brainwave measurement that they were in REM sleep. During this sleep, they analyzed new information as an awake person would, they memorized information in their working memory, calculated simple answers, and gave voluntary answers. These findings were made by four independent research groups. In short: for the first time, it is now possible to actually communicate with people who are dreaming, and to hear firsthand from them how they experience their dream world. Can we now start exploring the hidden world in which we each spend hours each night? More details in the resource, which is publicly available.


Karen R. Konkoli et al., Real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep, Current Biology, 2021, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.026

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