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Dreams are an amazing phenomenon -- and considering you spend roughly 6 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? 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. 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. 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. But it doesn't stop there -- further studies
began to use more complex visuals during the subjects 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. 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 predict and generate their future dreams.
Though by no means perfect, it was clear that the machines predictions were better than
chance, matching up with the dreamers description. Perhaps even more shocking is a study that
actually used video footage; after showing subjects 2 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. 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. 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 have a few more clues into why we dream, in
the first place. And if you'd like to find out about other
amazing and unanswered scientific phenomenon, head over to All Time 10's channel, where
10 fantastic science YouTubers have come together in an attempt to answer some burning questions.
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 favourite
and most popular videos for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
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「夢」可以錄起來嗎? (Could We Record Our Dreams?)

15616 分類 收藏
VoiceTube 發佈於 2016 年 3 月 15 日    ohyawow 翻譯    Kristi Yang 審核
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