October 31, 2011 9:55
The ability to dream — a fascinating aspect of the human brain. However, the way the images and feelings that we feel so alive, are formed in our head when we dream, for a long time remained a mystery to scientists. Study the process of dreaming man was impossible, until, until scientists from the Max Planck Institute, in collaboration with colleagues from the Charite Hospital in Berlin were the first to analyze the activity of the brain at the time when a person dreams.
Scientists were able to understand this mystery with the help of people who can see the lucid dreams, that is, to be in a specific altered state of consciousness in which they realize that they had seen a dream, and can, to some extent, to change its content.
Scientists have found that brain activity during dreams corresponds to that observed in a person when he is in a state of wakefulness. The study was published in the journal «Current Biology».
Methods of using images of magnetic resonance imaging allowed scientists to fully imagine and establish the exact spatial position of brain activity during sleep. However, to date, the researchers could not analyze the specific brain activities related to the content of the dream: that if a person sees a dream or not, you can only learn from the words of the man himself.
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich and Berlin Charite hospital benefited people's ability to consciously dream for his research. These people had to enter into a state of conscious sleep while scanning their brains using magnetic resonance imaging, and the researchers reported that the condition of "informed" by the movement of the eyes. Then respondents with unusual abilities were to go into a state of natural sleep, as the knowledge of the researchers performed a conditional motion.
The coincidence of brain activity recorded during sleep and the conscious human action shows that the content of dreams can be investigated. "The complex methods used: electroencephalography, brain imaging using MRI and the participation of people able to see lucid dreaming, let us learn not only simple movements during sleep, but also activities in the developing brain in the visual perception of Dreams" — said Martin Dresler (Martin Dresler), a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck.
The researchers were able to confirm the data obtained by MRI scans, which relate to other subjects, using a variety of methods and technologies. Using near-infrared spectroscopy, they also observed increased activity in areas of the brain that plays an important role in planning movements. "Our dream, therefore, are not 'film' in which we merely passively observe the course of events, and initiate activity of brain areas that are closely related to the content of dreams" — explained Michael Kzich (Michael Czisch), leader of the research team from the Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck.
Original (in English. Language): Sciencedaily Translation: M. Potter