29 October 2010
US researchers say they want to record dreams electronically. Writing in the journal Nature, scientists in California developed a system that can record a higher level brain activity. The lead researcher believes that it could possibly be used to study dreams.
Click to hear the report:
The idea of a machine recording dreams sounds fanciful but a research team in California is to explore whether it might be possible, at least in a limited way.
A study by the team suggests that the activity of individual brain cells, or neurons, is associated with specific objects: for example when a volunteer was thinking of the actress Marilyn Monroe, a particular neuron lit up.
By showing volunteers a series of images, the team was able to identify neurons associated with a wide range of objects and concepts.
The next step for the researchers is to see whether they can make sense of the brain waves of sleeping volunteers and if so, whether they correlate with the accounts of the volunteers' actual dreams.
Pallab Ghosh, BBC News
Click to hear the vocabulary:
- to explore
to look at, to find out about
- brain cells
the smallest units found in a person's brain
- lit up
become more active
people who do something for free
- associated with
connected with, linked with
- make sense of
- correlate with
- accounts of