Recent research from D.A.R.P.A has revealed that transcranial stimulation (tACS) during sleep can help to consolidate conscious memories .
- Overnight brain stimulation improves memory
- Closed-loop slow-wave tACS improves sleep dependent long-term memory generalization by modulating endogenous oscillations
The research is related to previous DARPA work .
Cultocracy note :
Probably field tested on the ‘White Helmets’ .
Although that particular dream turned into a nightmare .
The DARPA research uses an applied alternating current to enhance synchronicity between the brainwaves of the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus .
Neurostimulation in medical or research terms usually means placing electrodes on the scalp to deliver the stimulating current . Similar transcranial stimulation methods make use of magnetic fields (TMS) or a direct electrical current (tDCS) .
A more recent method involves the use of directed ultrasound to stimulate the brain , ultrasound can penetrate deeper into the brain than TMS or tCS .
- Is Ultrasonic Brain Stimulation The Future?
- Targeting the Brain with Sound Waves
- How Bursts of Ultrasound Can Be Used to Flip Switches in the Brain
Human targets can be covertly implanted with an electrode array to enable remote neurostimulation . Directed energy in the form of electromagnetic waves or ultrasound can be delivered to the target using a wide variety of radar systems and communications systems that utilize beamforming .
In slang terms , human targets with this type of implant are said to have been ‘spiked’ .
Alternative methods utilize nano particles .
- Magneto-Electric Nano-Particles for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation
- Noninvasive Targeted Transcranial Neuromodulation via Focused Ultrasound Gated Drug Release from Nanoemulsions
Tiny electrode arrays or coils can be implanted anyewhere in the neocortex .
There are several side effects of transcranial stimulation . Possible side effects include sensations such as tingling , itching , pain or burning , another side effect is hypomania .
Other side effects include the sensation of a ‘bright flash’ and retinal phospenes .
- Adverse events of tDCS and tACS: A review
- TACS with both alpha and beta frequencies has a high likelihood to induce retinal phosphenes
When introduced to a new experience the brain forms an initial ‘snapshot’ of the experience , this snapshot is thought to initially form and then be further processed in a section of the brain known as the hippocampus .
A section of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex is also though to play a part in memory formation and retrieval . The prefrontal cortex forms a part of the neocortex , the neocortex makes up around 76% of the human brain .
In fact the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex work together to encode memories and then retrieve them . The process is complex , there is a constant two-way flow of information between the two brain regions , a synchronised flow of information .
- Interplay of Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex in Memory
- Prefrontal cortex and hippocampus subserve different components of working memory in rats
Dreams are often related to events in your conscious life .
The prefrontal cortex is thought to govern the incorporation of memories within dreams .
More from Professor Mark Blagrove :
REM & NREM Dreams
During non-REM (NREM) sleep the hippocampus and the cortex are communicating and are synchronized . Memories are thought to be reinforced during NREM sleep , as waking memories are replayed . This process is thought to be controlled by the hippocampus which allows a more creative and structured approach to further memory consolidation , often recent memories are linked to past memories during NREM sleep .
During REM sleep the hippocampus and the cortex are not communicating as much and are less synchronized . Memories are thought to be reinforced during REM sleep as in NREM sleep . The difference is that REM sleep is controlled by the cortex which creates a more random approach to memory retrieval .
The stress hormone cortisol is believed to regulate the interaction between the hippocampus and the neocortex . Increased levels of cortisol during REM sleep is the primary factor regarding decreased communication between the hippocampus and the neocortex . An increase in cortisol is thought to shut off the hippocampus , thereby disrupting memory consolidation , in particular cortisol affects the ability of the hippocampus to ‘tag’ a particular memory with a specific time and context .
Cultocracy note :
Useful if for some reason you would like to ‘blur’ a person’s memories .
- Sleep, dreams, and memory consolidation: The role of the stress hormone cortisol
- Sleep, Dreams and the Hormone Cortisol
To sum up , your ‘waking life’ and your ‘dream life’ appear to be closely connected , something scientists and are already well aware of . Events and memories from your daily life are replayed during dreaming , although these can often appear as abstract constructs . If dreaming also plays a role in memory consolidation then it logically follows that your waking life will be affected by your dreams , after all we are constantly remembering events and sensations throughout the day , even if we are only daydreaming .
Of course dreams play a wide variety of roles besides sorting and storing your physical memories .
If the dream state plays a significant role in a persons waking life , we can assume that any disruption of the dream state may have a significant effect on that persons life in general . Alternatively the perceptions of a waking person could be altered by disrupting their dream state .
Dream loss has been attributed to a wide variety of health issues , in fact one researcher describes it as an ‘unrecognized public health hazard’ .
Decoding your Dreams
As stated earlier there is a correlation between conscious , ‘waking life’ events , memories and dreaming , so what if you could decode a dream ? Would this not give an insight into the inner thoughts of a person ? Maybe it could offer a glimpse into their memories ? Perhaps you could even glean information from the dream , such as what a person had for dinner the previous day ? You could also possibly gain an insight into what they intend to have for dinner the following day .
The stuff of science fiction ?
Scientists have discovered that the waking brain and the dreaming brain are very similar . That means that measurements taken from EEG scans or similar will correspond to both the dream state and the waking state .
A simple example would be if a person thought of an apple in his waking life this would produce a specific neuronal firing pattern which could be measured and categorized . If the same person thought of an apple in his dream , theoretically the brain pattern should be the same , or at least similar .
- Neuroscientists Can Now Read Your Dreams With a Simple Brain Scan
- Memories can be decoded from brain waves during sleep, say researchers
- Neural Decoding of Visual Imagery During Sleep
- Scientists identify parts of brain involved in dreaming
- We’ve started to uncover the true purpose of dreams
- Decoding dreams with fMRI
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
So , can artificial neural networks (ANN) dream ?
Not quite .
- Yes, androids do dream of electric sheep
- This is What Happens When Deep Learning Neural Networks Hallucinate
- Artificial Neural Networks Can Day Dream–Here’s What They See
This whole area of research opens the door for synthetic dreams and dream manipulation , using biologically active signals transmitted to a human target or targets whilst asleep . It will enable the complete deconstruction of a targets subconscious mind and allow the rebuilding of a new psyche , a mindset which can be carried forward into the conscious mind . I believe the term used is behavioral modification .
You can be sure that any research regarding ANN’s and dreaming is in no way whatsoever about creating intriguing and interesting images .
- How Can You Control Your Dreams?
- The Neurology of Dreaming
- Inside The Brain Of The REM Sleeper
- Extrastriate cortex
- Scientists Reconstruct Brains’ Visions Into Digital Video In Historic Experiment
- EPISODIC & SEMANTIC MEMORY
- The Neurobiology of Dreaming
Further reading :