Development of a reliable lucid dream induction technique

$1,624
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26%
Funded
$6,370
Goal
22
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  • $1,624
    pledged
  • 26%
    funded
  • 22
    days left

About This Project

While dreaming, you can become aware of the fact that you are dreaming and control your dream. This is called lucid dreaming. Although it would be great to know the science behind this phenomenon, research in lucid dreaming is difficult since frequent lucid dreamers are rarely encountered. We want to investigate the neurophysiology of lucid dream induction and develop a reliable lucid dream induction technique.

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What is the context of this research?

Most lucid dream induction techniques can be categorized into cognitive induction techniques, which are learned by the dreamer, and technical devices, which use stimulation to induce lucid dreams. Currently, nearly no reliable way of cognitive induction exists. However, certain elements of different techniques could produce desired effects.

Neurophysiological investigations linked lucid dreaming with brain activity in the gamma frequency band and activity in certain brain areas. Electrical stimulation in the gamma frequency band of these brain areas evoked lucidity in dreams up to 77%. While this approach is difficult and questionable, other approaches, like audio-visual stimulation, could also be a possible method for lucid dream induction.

What is the significance of this project?

Lucid dreaming offers the possibility to create a simulation of reality, in which any conceivable scenario is possible. Practical applications could be centered on the treatment of nightmares, anxiety and phobias, or even post-traumatic stress disorder. It could be used to train motor abilities in sports or to gain access to the “core of creativity” which can be helpful in solving difficult problems (Holzinger, 2014). Lucid dreaming offers vast practical possibilities and its investigation is essential for the understanding of consciousness (Metzinger, 2010).

What are the goals of the project?

First, we are going to design a setup to record physiological data. This setup will be used to differentiate sleep stages, detect eye movements to verify lucidity, record neurophysiological data for the investigation of patterns of lucidity induction at the neural level, and conduct audio-visual stimulation.

Second, we will collect and test scientifically validated cognitive lucid dream induction techniques, as well as new techniques developed in lucid dreaming communities. This includes the recording of physiological data, induction success rates and dream reports. Finally, we will try to evoke the neural correlates of the most successful lucid dream induction technique with audio-visual stimulation.

Budget

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For EEG investigations like source localization, around 35 channels are recommended. Systems with this many channels are very expensive. An affordable system that is already in use is the 16 channel OpenBCI R&D Kit for $1,000. For our approach, these specifications are adequate, since our primarily investigated variables will be observed brain frequencies.

Laboratory systems are uncomfortable to wear and for uninterrupted sleep, sleep deprivation is often necessary. We want to overcome this obstacle by designing a comfortable framework for our biosensors. For the iterative construction of these wearables and dry-electrodes, we would buy a 3D printer, the Makergear M2 for $2,225.

Endorsed by

The available data about natural lucid dream induction related topics are quantitatively inadequate. By enabling an articifal induction method, the mechanisms behind this phenomena can be investigated better. At this time, no reliable method is available yet and have to be developed further - instead of remaining static. A breakthrough would promise a much of new possibilities for data generation in several fields of neuroscience and experimental psychology.
I am really convinced that this project will be successful and provide helpful insights in lucid dreaming. I know Peter Mross as an ambitious and intelligent young man. He will reach his goal.
Lucid Dreaming is particularly fascinating because it connects conscious human feeling and thinking to deeper layers of our mind. Understanding how this works, and how it can be reliably induced, will improve our understanding of human consciousness and have therapeutic benefit. Peter Mross spent an internship in my research group conducting a psychophysiological experiment. His knowledge and skills are best, and his way of proceeding is very straightforward. He is the right one to perform this well-planned, innovative, and important project.
Peter wrote his Master's thesis on gamma EEG induction by visual stimulation in my working group. He is a highly motivated researcher who really wants to get to the bottom of the things. His strong interest in lucid dreaming has grown out of his personal experiences. Now he gathered a group of young talented colleagues to study this phenomenon scientifically and to develop innovative technological aids for lucid dream induction. I am confident that he will obtain and share results that will advance our knowledge in this important research area.

Flag iconProject Timeline

Apr 19, 2017

Project Launched

Jul 01, 2017

Building phase: designing and printing the recording setup

Jan 01, 2018

Research phase: summary of all necessary induction techniques 

May 01, 2018

Testing phase and evaluation of data

Jan 01, 2019

Writing phase: summarizing our work through scientific papers

Meet the Team

Peter Michael Mross
Peter Michael Mross
Research Associate

Affiliates

University Hospital of Giessen and Marburg
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Joachim Kildau
Joachim Kildau
PhD student

Affiliates

Giessen University, General Psychology
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Peter Michael Mross

I am a frequent lucid dreamer and psychologist (M.Sc.) with a background in neuroscience, especially in the neuroscience of meditation and lucid dreaming. Currently, I am training to be a clinical neuropsychologist and plan to set up the topic for my doctoral thesis. Lucid dreaming has fascinated me since childhood. The infinite possibilities of lucid dreaming motivated me to create a team of inspired people with multiple professions to design this project.

Joachim Kildau

I am a psychologist (M. Sc.) with a background in general psychology and design. At the moment, I am working as a PhD student investigating the perception of gloss. I enjoy painting and solving interesting problems. Trying to understand lucid dreaming is a fascinating problem and a worthwhile scientific endeavor.

Lab Notes

Nothing posted yet.

Additional Information

*This is an institutionally independent project. All funded materials will be private property of the researchers (Peter Michael Mross & Joachim Kildau) which will mainly be used in this and follow-up projects.

References:

Title image - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mandel_zoom_12_satellite_spirally_wheel_with_julia_islands.jpg - CC BY-SA 3.0 - created by Wolfgang Beyer - changes: zoom and color

Beauchene, C., Abaid, N., Moran, R., Diana, R. A., & Leonessa, A. (2016). The Effect of Binaural Beats on Visuospatial Working Memory and Cortical Connectivity. PloS one, 11(11), e0166630. https://doi.org/10.1371/journa

Dresler, M., Wehrle, R., Spoormaker, V. I., Koch, S. P., Holsboer, F., Steiger, A.,. . . Czisch, M. (2012). Neural correlates of dream lucidity obtained from contrasting lucid versus non-lucid REM sleep: a combined EEG/fMRI case study. Sleep, 35(7), 1017–1020. https://doi.org/10.5665/sleep

Holzinger, B. (2014). Der luzide Traum: Forschung und Praxis (3., aktualis., überarb. u. erw. Aufl., erw. Ausg). Wien: Facultas.

LaBerge, S. P., Nagel, L. E., Dement, W. C., & Zarcone, V. P., JR. (1981). Lucid dreaming verified by volitional communication during REM sleep. Perceptual and motor skills, 52(3), 727–732. https://doi.org/10.2466/pms.19

LaBerge, S.P., (1988). Induction of lucid dreams including the use of the Dreamlight. Lucidity Letter, 7(2).

Lau, T. M., Gwin, J. T., & Ferris, D. P. (2012). How Many Electrodes Are Really Needed for EEG-Based Mobile Brain Imaging? Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 02(03), 387–393. https://doi.org/10.4236/jbbs.2

Metzinger, T. (2010). The ego tunnel: The science of the mind and the myth of the self (Paperback edition). New York: BasicBooks.

Paulsson, T., & Parker, A. (2006). The Effects of a Two-Week Reflection-Intention Training Program on Lucid Dream Recall. Dreaming, 16(1), 22–35. https://doi.org/10.1037/1053-0

Spoormaker, V. I., & van den Bout, J. (2006). Lucid dreaming treatment for nightmares: a pilot study. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 75(6), 389–394. https://doi.org/10.1159/000095

Stumbrys, T., Erlacher, D., Schadlich, M., & Schredl, M. (2012). Induction of lucid dreams: a systematic review of evidence. Consciousness and cognition, 21(3), 1456–1475. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conc

Stumbrys, T., Erlacher, D., & Schredl, M. (2016). Effectiveness of motor practice in lucid dreams: a comparison with physical and mental practice. Journal of sports sciences, 34(1), 27–34. https://doi.org/10.1080/026404

Voss, U., Holzmann, R., Tuin, I., Hobson, A. (2009). Lucid Dreaming. A State of Consciousness with Features of Both Waking and Non-Lucid Dreaming. Sleep.

Voss, U., Holzmann, R., Hobson, A., Paulus, W., Koppehele-Gossel, J., Klimke, A., & Nitsche, M. A. (2014). Induction of self awareness in dreams through frontal low current stimulation of gamma activity. Nature neuroscience, 17(6), 810–812. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.371

Zadra, A. L., & Pihl, R. O. (1997). Lucid dreaming as a treatment for recurrent nightmares. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 66(1), 50–55,

Zaehle, T., Lenz, D., Ohl, F. W., & Herrmann, C. S. (2010). Resonance phenomena in the human auditory cortex: Individual resonance frequencies of the cerebral cortex determine electrophysiological responses. Experimental Brain Research, 203(3), 629–635. doi:10.1007/s00221-010-2265-8


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