A British filmmaker has finally developed a way for people to record their dreams.
Dream recorders – devices which allow the subconscious mind to produce films – have long been a staple of science fiction stories, but the technology to turn such fantasy into reality has until now been out of reach.
Richard Ramchrun, 36, has developed a technique which uses a biosensor headset to edit moving images according to changes in brain activity. The resulting films are visual records of the headset wearers’ unconscious minds – giving a fascinating glimpse into the dream world.
Mr Ramchrun, of Manchester, said: “The goal of the project is for people to be able to physically see and hear their dreams.
“We tested the device at Manchester University last year and a lot of people who used it compared the experience to lucid dreaming.”
The technique relies on the MindWave Mobile, a headset developed by tech company NeuroSky, which costs just £100. Volunteers are asked to wear the headset and watch a short film.
Mr Ramchurn said: “The rhythms of the editing, how the movie jumps from scene to scene, depends on the mind state of the person watching it.
“Much like a dream you can’t really control what happens on screen. Your brain chooses the sounds and sights your experience but you can’t really direct them – you just have to go with it.”
Mr Ramchurn was inspired to undertake the project, which he has named “#Scanners”, after reading Walter Murch’s book “In The Blink of An Eye”, which compares dreams to films.
He said: “Films and dreams are very similar. The problem is it’s easy to remember a film because you’re conscious while it’s playing, but it can be hard to recall a dream once you’re awake.
“The headset is the perfect device for exploring dreams, because it brings your subconscious to the forefront, placing it on a screen for you to experience consciously.”
Mr Ramchurn predicts that scientific advances may make detailed dream recording possible in the near future.
“There is research which suggests we may be able to fully record a dream within the next 10 to 15 years,” he said.
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