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  • Dreams are an amazing phenomenon.


  • And considering you spend roughly six years of your life dreaming, it's quite curious that we often brush them aside to be quickly forgotten.


  • Night after night, our brains go to work and bring us some of the most incredible, bizarre, and often seemingly random imagery and storylines.


  • But what are dreams?


  • And like the many science fiction stories or movies, could we ever record and figure out what we're seeing while we're dreaming?


  • You may have heard of people referring to 'brain waves' before, but have you ever stopped to think: Are these actual waves, and do they carry information?

    你可能聽過其他人談論「腦波 」,但你有沒有好奇過:腦波是真實的波嗎? 這些波是否帶有任何訊息?

  • Are brain waves similar to, say, radio waves?


  • The answer is, yes.


  • Both brain and radio waves are forms of electromagnetic radiation, waves that travel at the speed of light.


  • Every time you think, thousands of neurons fire at the same frequency and generate a wave.


  • These waves oscillate at around 10 to 100 cycles per second.

    這些波以每秒 10 到 100 次的頻率振動。

  • Radio waves, on the other hand, oscillate at around 50 million to 1 billion times per second.


  • Scientists have long used this phenomenon to measure brain activity and interface the brain to electronic devices.


  • It allows us to see which parts of the brain are active for different activities, and similarly, which parts of the brain are active during dreaming.


  • Strange as it may seem, we still barely understand why we sleep let alone why we dream.


  • Michael from Vsauce does a fantastic job explaining the main theories for why we dream.

    Vsauce 頻道的 Michael 對於人類作夢的主要理論做了一個很棒的解釋。

  • But there are so many theories because we can't really measure or know what people are dreaming about without waking them up and asking them.


  • Of course, this is subject to forgetting or other errors.


  • Unfortunately, there is no device that exists to allow us to peer into the mind of a dreamer, or is there?


  • Crazy as it sounds, scientists have created a technique to do just that.


  • This mind-reading technology began with a functional MRI Scanner, inside which, subjects were shown simple pictures made up of black and white pixels.


  • The software then finds patterns in the brain activity that corresponds to the specific images.


  • For example, if the letter "T" was shown, the software would record exactly how the brain reacted.


  • After sufficient data, the subjects were then shown completely different images, and the software would predict and recreate what it thought the subjects were seeing.


  • After being shown the word "neuron", these were the images the software generated.

    這是受試者看到單字「neuron 」後,分析軟體描繪的圖案。

  • But it doesn't stop there.


  • Further studies began to use more complex visuals and started monitoring the subjects in their sleep.


  • In this case, they first had the subjects fall asleep while in an fMRI, and would wake them up in the middle of dreaming, quickly asking them what they were dreaming about.

    在實驗中,科學家先讓受試者在 fMRI 儀器內睡著,並在受試者作夢期間叫醒他們,立刻問他們剛剛夢到的內容。

  • They then used thousands of images from the internet to get a best approximation of what the subject was seeing based on brain scans.


  • After doing this nearly 200 times with each person, and plugging the information into a learning algorithm, software was used to interpret and generate their next dreams.

    在和每個受試者進行了近 200 次的試驗後,科學家將蒐集而來的資訊輸入學習演算系統中,讓分析軟體轉譯和預測受試者的下一個夢。

  • Though by no means perfect, it was clear that the machine's predictions were better than chance, matching up with the dreamers' description.


  • Perhaps even more shocking is a study that used actual video footage.


  • After showing subjects two hours of movie footage and analyzing their brain activity, they then used a library of 18 million, 1 second YouTube clips to match the brain activity.

    科學家在讓受試者觀看兩個小時的電影並分析完他們的腦部活動數據後,再拿出 1800 萬個 1 秒鐘長度的 YouTube 影片片段給受試者觀看,以再次比對受試者的腦部活動數據。

  • Here are the results: On the left are new, unrelated clips that the subjects were later shown, and on the right is what the software guessed they were seeing, using a mashed-up combination of the YouTube clips as an approximation.

    這是數據比對後,儀器產生的夢境模擬結果:畫面左邊是受試者之後觀看的全新影片,畫面右邊是儀器以 YouTube 影片庫為基礎,所預測受試者看見的畫面。

  • All of this based on their brain waves.


  • As these software programs become more and more complex, we come that much closer to accurately visualizing and recording our thoughts and dreams.


  • At which point, perhaps, we'll find a few more clues into why we dream, in the first place.


  • And if you'd like to find out about some other amazing and unanswered scientific phenomenon, head over to AllTime 10's channel, where 10 fantastic science YouTubers have come together in an attempt to answer some burning questions.

    如果你對解讀一些驚奇和未知的科學現象感興趣,鎖定 All Time 10's YouTube 頻道,我們召集了 10 位很棒的科學系 YouTuber 來一起解答熱門科學問題。

  • It's a super-collaboration of science! And if you're new to AsapSCIENCE, be sure to subscribe for more weekly science videos! We've made a playlist of some of our favorite and most popular videos for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

    這可是我們的超級企劃!如果這是你第一次來到 AsapSCIENCE 頻道,訂閱我們就可以觀看我們週更的科學影片囉!我們也把精彩和熱門的前期影片整理成播放清單,方便你觀看。慢用!

Dreams are an amazing phenomenon.


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