If you have eagerly awaited the day when you can more readily explore the hidden recesses of your mind through your dreams, that day is almost here as a team of researchers at MIT have developed a device called Dormio that allows sleepers to more easily control their dreams while in a hypnagogic state.
According to Motherboard, dreamers everywhere can thank Adam Horowitz and fellow students involved in the new sleep project at the MIT Media Lab for the invention of Dormio.
Their belief was that the very special period that people experience between waking and sleeping is one that is filled with untapped potential when it comes to creativity, and this is something they sought to explore and change.
Dormio works by measuring a sleeper’s muscle tone as well as their heart rate, and at the exact moment when the hypnagogic state ends, a noise signals so that sleepers will continue dreaming instead of falling into deep sleep. With the device uttering a single word, it is expected that sleepers will hear the word and begin a voyage of discovery revolving around the object mentioned, as the Independent reports.
As Adam Horowitz explained, in his opinion the best kind of neuroscience is one which engages individuals and allows them to more thoroughly examine their unique thoughts and feelings more closely.
“Good neuroscience, to me, is effective self-examination. Good technology in service of making neuroscience relevant outside the laboratory, then, should facilitate self-examination.”
As Horowitz further elucidated after exploring his own dreams with Dormio, he believes that experimenting with dreams will be something that is deeply moving for people and could give individuals valuable insight into themselves and their lives.
“The ends of this project are both practical and philosophical. I have no doubt that Hypnagogia holds applications for augmenting memory, learning, and creativity. Yet also, after exploring the state myself, I find it to be a deeply valuable and inspiring sort of self-seeing which was inaccessible to me previously.”
While Cambridge psychologist Valdas Noreika has deemed hallucinations during the hypnagogic state to be something that normally happens during “a normal state of consciousness in the transition from wakefulness to sleep,” those experimenting with the new device may be able to more readily experience controlled hallucinations and dreams with the aid of carefully chosen words spoken through Dormio, which will carry the sleeper on a wave of exploratory visions.
With the official launch of MIT’s Dormio set for this week at the Computer-Human Interface, sleepers may soon be able to test the new device out for themselves and enter a controlled state where they can experiment with their dreams while in a hypnagogic and semi-lucid state.