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Medical Possibility of recording dreams

  1. Apr 16, 2007 #1
    Possibility of "recording" dreams

    I have been searching for information regarding the possibility of "recording" dreams. By that I do not mean simply making written notes when awakening, but actually recording the "video" of dreams so they can be replayed.

    Personally I have no idea how long dreams last, whether they are a few seconds or minutes, or indeed hours. But I do find dreams fascinating, and would love the ability to record my dreams and review them. I would imagine this technology does not exist today unless it's in some top secret government labratory, but was wondering if anybody had some thoughts on it. Is it feasible, how far away could the technology be?

    Of course, I've seen many hollywood movies which depict dreams being recorded in video format.

    How far away from reality is this?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2007 #2
    you need two main things:

    -a nanotechnological interface with the brain that allows direct recording/transmission of synaptic activity

    -a working knowledge of what the signals mean- how they connect

    the first item is nearly there- there are a few nanowire technologies which look very promising- this technology will provide total access to every neural signal event in the brain- 10-20 years before you go to your doctor [or the mall] for an injection/drink of the stuff paid for by your insurance
    http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=104288&org=NSF&from=news
    PBS video special: http://www.pbs.org/22ndcentury/story_brain.html

    the second item is the big one- or the little one- or perhaps a moot phantom- right now our knowledge of the brain is so limited that there is no solid theory about what dreams are or how they work- we have ideas- we know frameworks and regions effected- but no functional theory as of yet- but our knowledge is undergoing DOUBLE exponentiation so perhaps 20-30 years- but it could be far longer- but as our technology gets smaller and gets inside the brain and starts monitoring the patterns- as well as replacing some functions completely our knowledge should quickly accelerate toward near total understanding of the brain- and even if it doesn't and we only get more questions we will at least know enough to manipulate/copy/replace/augment/stimulate any system or function of consciousness to a level of realism equivalent to 'reality'- you don't need to understand something completely to control it- you just need to be able to copy/duplicate observed functionality and let the big-picture emerge later


    note- the kind of sensory data from the visual cortex that would be recorded in a dream [or waking] would not correspond well with a 600*480 pixel 24 frame per sec video signal- it could probably be adapted into a blurry fish-eye imgage- but would be much easier to adapt to someone else's own visual cortex- if you can record it it would be simpler to play it back as it is: a set of neural signals stimulating the visual cortex allowing you to 'jack-in' to a recording from someone else's eyes
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2007
  4. Apr 29, 2007 #3
    Dreams are like actually seeing something.

    If I see something, it makes a memory in my brain.
    Some of that gets pushed into long-term memory, the rest is erased.

    If I remember my dream, it is available to input into a recording device.
    I can use my concentration to re-create that dream.

    So, all science has to do is figure-out how to move my conscious thought into a circuit.
    SetAI discussed the mechanics of possible input into a recording machine.
    First, work on moving thoughts while awake; later, use that system to record dreams real-time.

    Another way to see that dream again is, pop a Psychedelic.
    If you're lucky, you can re-live that dream, with powerful vivid detail.
     
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