MIT scientists have figured out how to manipulate your dreams by combining an app with a sleep-tracking device called Dormio. In their new study, the researchers were able to insert certain topics into a person’s dreams, with some pretty bizarre outcomes.
To do so, the researchers at MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces — a group that develops wearable systems and interfaces to enhance cognitive skills — used a technique called targeted dream incubation (TDI).
Prior studies have shown that during a rare dream state known lucid dreaming, in which a sleeper is aware that a dream is taking place, dreamers can use that awareness to consciously shape aspects of their dreams. TDI takes advantage of an early sleep stage, known as hypnagogia, to achieve a similar result (though not quite “controlling” dreams outright), researchers told Live Science.