Yoshizen's Blog

Decoding the Human Dream

There is a very interesting report in the SCIENCE Magazine, that the

Japanese researchers had successfully decoded the man’s Dream.

(In fact, I’ve read the article in the Japanese news though, to save a work of translation

I quote the Abstract in the on-line magazine, of which you can see its original in this link.)


[ Visual imagery during sleep has long been a topic of persistent speculation,

but its private nature has hampered objective analysis. Here, we present a

neural decoding approach in which machine learning models predict the

contents of visual imagery during the sleep onset period given measured

brain activity, by discovering links between human fMRI patterns and

verbal reports with the assistance of lexical and image databases.

Decoding models trained on stimulus-induced brain activity in visual

cortical areas showed accurate classification, detection, and identification

of contents. Our findings demonstrate that specific visual experience

during sleep is represented by brain activity patterns shared by stimulus

perception, providing a means to uncover subjective contents of dreaming

using objective neural measurement. ]


The actual studies were to match MRI patterns during the dream (of cause, while sleeping)

to the patterns when the volunteer actually seeing the photographic image of each objects.

Hence, when the same pattern appeared while sleeping, the image in the

dream should be the same object which the volunteer could tell.

And this test has been repeated 200~250 times on the 3 volunteers. —– I guess, those

volunteers must be very very patient to be a guinea-pig who was asked to SLEEP and

DREAM while wearing the helmet with electrodes as well !

What a nightmarish pains-taking experiments !   (While sleeping, the MRI live image was

observed and when dreaming brain activity was detected, the volunteer was wake-up

and asked what was in the dream. = Once the cohesive consistency was established,

observer can tell what was in the dream, before volunteer reviled the contents. )


After all, virtually all the brain activities are in the business of matching

the pattern.   Cognition mean capture the pattern.   Then matching its pattern through

categorization to lexical pattern. = Thence, we can process it in the pattern of word.

If its pattern matches to the knowledge or existing memory pattern, we say

understand.   And if it matches the pattern what we deduced from other

pattern, in logical process or inference, we say comprehend.

So, the same pattern of stimulus trigger the same pattern of reaction = hence consistency

maintained.  (If expected amount of oxygen doesn’t come = pattern was broken, we die.  🙂 )


Pattern of brain activities doesn’t necessary to be a visual objects. It can be a word or even

a notion.   So that, in near future, human mind could be peeked or even spied rather fancy way.

Only a trouble I see is, existence of particular visual pattern such as car or mountain doesn’t

define any meaning.   Same image could appear in totally opposite context.

Even if I saw Osama bin Laden in the dream and it was detected —– it doesn’t mean I’m a

terrorist.   Far from it, in the dream, I could be a soldier chasing him. 😀


So, it is not much different from an Access Pass-word by Pr-registered Finger-print Pattern or

Voice Pattern kind.   It is still long way from meaningful practical application

to decipher human mind though, it’s definitely a start.

(To discover general = common to any body’s brain activity Pattern is crucial)



6 Responses

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  1. elenacaravela said, on April 5, 2013 at 20:37

    I do love to dream:)

    • yoshizen said, on April 5, 2013 at 22:35

      I guess, your dream must be fantastically complicated
      and out of reach of dream machine 🙂
      (I used fly a lot though, these days, I just sleep and
      see almost no dream = how shame, I’ve lost adventure 😀 )

  2. Lemony (Gr)Egghead said, on April 6, 2013 at 15:00

    I saw this article, too, and at first thought WOW, this is amazing. My second reaction was, Whoa, this is worrisome. Eventually, not even our dreams will be private….

    • yoshizen said, on April 6, 2013 at 16:59

      Yes that is a possibility Lemony.
      Still, to invent a machine, other than MRI with huge magnet and scan and
      detect the brain activity is long way off.
      My guess is, such as Facebook or Google analyze deep into our mind from
      what we had written and searched, is more likely scenario.
      In fact, in the Net-sphere we are naked.

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