It's like our brain spends an entire night, drawing out a carefully constructed world during our sleep but the next morning, erases it like it's on a giant dry erase board. We forget details and eventually can't remember a thing. But forgetting our dreams may be a thing of the past.
Scientists are approaching a new dawn in understanding our dreams. A team of researchers headed by Yukiyas Kamitani, PHD and head of department of neuroinformatics at ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan are successfully decoding the visual contents of the human brain.
Kamitani connected his subjects to a computer and then showed the people some images. The computer then mapped out what happened in the brain for each image and was then able "read" what a person was seeing without knowing it.
That means, the computer basically translated what a person was looking at without knowing what they were seeing simply by comparing the visual thought patterns to previously seen pictures to the new ones.
In the image above, the top pictures represent what a person was seeing. The bottom pictures represent what the computer deciphered purely from mapping their brains.
This ground breaking science is still in it's infancy. Kamitani's computer can only digitize in black and white right now and the images are a bit blurry but he believes that in a few years, the computer will be able to interpret more accurately and we could actually be able to see our dreams played back to us like a high definition movie.
It begs the question: do we really want to know what's going on in our dreams? And furthermore, do we want everyone else to know what's going on in them too? Perhaps there is a reason why our brain erases them. Could it unlock a part of ourselves that we don't really want to know about?
I'll be honest, I think it would be super cool to see my dreams. Maybe our dreams really do represent something; a fear, a worry, a desire. And being able to access them accurately is the key to understanding ourselves and making ourselves better.
Would you want to see your dreams if you could? What was the last dream you remember?