“It is full of hallucinations both wonderful and terrifying, a mental goulash of reality and fantasy.”

MIT's System for Dream Control

#Science

Wed, Apr 25th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Motherboard developed a method to keep users suspended in hypnagogia — a dream-like state of mind between wakefulness and sleep identified as a place of "bursts of creativity and mental clarity" — for longer periods of time.

Horowitz tested the first version of Dormio on six volunteers from MIT. The participants would arrive at the lab in the early evening and lay down on a couch to go to sleep. As they were falling asleep, the Jibo robot would prompt them with one of two phrases: “remember to think about a rabbit” or “remember to think about a fork.” When the Dormio system detected the participants were falling asleep, the robot would say their name and “you are falling asleep.”

This is the equivalent of Edison dropping his steel balls, but the aim of Dormio is not to wake up the sleeper entirely. Instead, the system is meant to prevent the user from falling deeper into sleep, effectively suspending them in an extended state of hypnagogia. Once the volunteers were in a state of hypnagogia, the Jibo robot would ask them what they are thinking about and record their answers.

The above image is credited to Oscar Rosello/MIT.

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