October 22, 2012 18:48
Japanese neuroscientists have learned to anticipate the visual content of dreams on the basis of functional imaging. Results of their work, scientists reported on neurobiological conference in New Orleans, its summary results NatureNews.
Experiments were carried out in blocks of three hours for a few weeks. Volunteers were placed in a scanner, where they were to sleep. Once in the brain, the experiment participants are beginning to have characteristic electrical activity of the onset of sleep, they woke and asked about the content of the dream. Within an hour, spends six to seven cycles of sleep and waking, but only one of the volunteers told about the content of their dreams about 200 times.
Of verbal, participants experiment, scientists have isolated 20 key words that occur in their dreams more often (such as "car" or "man"). Then the volunteers demonstrated relevant images already awake and record brain activity occurring. The scientists compared the characteristic patterns of excitation in the visual areas of the brain that accompany the emergence of images in a dream and when viewing reality.
As a result, researchers have learned, based on the electrical activity of the brain to guess the images that have seen volunteers during dreaming. "When analyzing brain activity in nine seconds before awakening, for example, we could predict the probability of 75-80 percent, there is a man in a dream" — quotes one of the authors of Nature.
Interestingly, the specific activity of key tags authors observed in areas of the brain working in high-level recognition. These zones are not responsible for the edge detection, color, or motion, and for the "guessing" of the object.
Earlier, in 2008, the same group of researchers was able to decipher the work zones of the primary visual analysis and restore its activity on the basis of the original image. This allowed the scientists to reproduce an image that saw volunteers, using only the data scanner. In 2011, their work was continued by U.S. researchers, who have learned to restore exhibited volunteers.