Scientists have tested a brain implant that stimulates the cerebral cortex of a sleeping person and directly affects the dream world. With further development, this technology will allow people to effectively control dream plots and induce lucid dreams, according to a study by REMspace researchers.

A brain implant being tested in researcher Michael Raduga could one day allow people to control dream plots and induce lucid dreams. Photo credit: REMspace

A preprint of the study is published on ResearchGate

Researchers from REMspace placed electrodes on the part of the motor cortex of the brain responsible for the finger extensions of the left hand. When a weak current was applied during dreams, objects fell out of the hand. Furthermore, even intense stimulation of the cerebral cortex during sleep did not lead to awakening.

People spend one-third of their lives asleep, which is why scientists have been trying to find ways to control dreams since the 1950s. Most of these attempts have consisted of providing sounds, smells, and other sensations to sleeping people. Although such exposure can affect the plots of dreams, this method has low efficiency.

To solve this problem, researchers at REMspace tested the electrical stimulation of the cerebral cortex during dreaming by implanting electrodes in a human. The subject was one of the researchers, Michael Raduga, who was trained to induce lucid dreams. This skill made it possible to trace how electrical stimulation of the fingers penetrated sleep and interacted with dream objects. It was also found that such stimulation did not lead to awakening.

The experiment demonstrated perspectives of controlling dreams by stimulating the cerebral cortex. This approach can evoke most sensations, movements, and even emotions in dreams. These same signals can serve as clues for the occurrence of lucid dreams. To develop these technologies further, researchers have been looking for investors. 

In previous studies, researchers at REMspace have already demonstrated speech decoding from sleep and that “alien contacts” could result from spontaneous lucid dreams.

Photo caption: Imaging shows a brain implant being tested for dream control in researcher Michael Raduga.

Photo credit: REMspace