Scientists record lucid dreams with EEG and fMRI simultaneously


Scientists at the Max Planck institute in Munich, Germany recruited six lucid dreamers with years of experience for their study. Once in their dream, the subjects signaled researchers with left-right-left-right eye movements and then immediately started clenching their left hand ten times. Then they performed the eye movements again and made ten clenches with their right hand. The sideways eye movements were distinguishable from the spontaneous rapid eye movements on the EOG (motor eye component of an EEG) and gave a time point for researches to measure the dreamed fist clenches. Scientist found the clenche activated the expected areas in the contralateral sensorimotor cortex.

Previous brain lesion studies in cats and Rapid eye movement behavior disorder indicated that the brain might enact dream movements activity similar to when awake, but that the movements are prevented by active motor paralysis downstream of the signal. This study was the first to image the brain during specific dream content, and it showed that dreaming movements have similarity to actual and imagined fist clenches. If this finding also holds true for the sensory areas of the brain, it indicates that the visual decoding work of labs like Jack Gallant at the University of California, Berkeley could be used to record and visualize dreams–that is if you canstay still and manage to fall asleep through the loud clunkings of a claustrophobic fMRI machine.

The Gallant Lab reverse-engineers video from the brain activity from subjects watching it.

Interested in the neuroscience of sleep? Check out my post: Genetics of Sleep – How much do you need? 

One Response to “Scientists record lucid dreams with EEG and fMRI simultaneously”

  1. 1

    Stephen Laberge at Stanford University has been doing this, before 2000. I learnt his method of Lucid dreaming well before 2000.


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