Last updated at 12:19 GMT, Tuesday, 01 February 2011

Scientists hope to record dreams

Summary

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.

Reporter:
Pallab Ghosh

Illustraion of a 'dream machine'

Scientists are monitoring brain activity and hope to record dreams

Listen

Click to hear the report:

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

Listen

Click to hear the vocabulary:

Vocabulary

fanciful

unrealistic

to explore

to look at, to find out about

brain cells

the smallest units found in a person's brain

specific

particular

lit up

become more active

volunteers

people who do something for free

associated with

connected with, linked with

make sense of

understand

correlate with

match with

accounts of

stories of

  1. Home
  2. Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation
  3. Words in the News
  4. Scientists hope to record dreams