MIT researchers have successfully manipulated the dreams of rats using audio cues, leading scientists to believe we have entered the beginning of an age of “dream engineering.”
What do rats dream about anyway? Running through mazes of course. The researchers repeated the same audio cues while they were dreaming that rats heard at a certain point in the maze while they were awake. What they found was neural activity identical to the particular point in the waking life maze that they were trying to recreate in the dream. Using a simple audio cue, they were able to control which part of the maze the rats dreamed of.
Even stranger, researchers are beginning to implant memories and produce artificial memory recall in mice. They have located the neurons specifically responsible for memories, and manipulating these neurons, they can erase specific memories, or even create new ones!
While this could be a breakthrough for several types of psychotherapy, these studies are the stuff of paranoid nightmares.
Don’t be surprised if you wake up tomorrow and realize you’re actually a super agent from Mars, or a brain in a jar being tampered with in some distant future. Okay, fine, be surprised, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.