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Development of a reliable lucid dream induction technique Michael Mross, Peter, and Joachim Kildau.. , 28 Feb 2017. Experiment. doi: 10.18258/9092
· Purchasing all necessary materials to set up our prototype: OpenBCI hardware, 3D printer, microcontrollers, sensors, electrodes, amplifiers, cables and software licenses.
· Building and programming the prototype: printing the EEG-Headset with flexible material. Sleep laboratories tend to use preceding sleep deprivation to raise the probability of uninterrupted sleep in the following testing nights. Due to this, regular sleep behavior is mostly distorted. We aim to create a design that enables comfortable and regular sleep as much as possible. Regarding this, we would adjust an existing framework for 3D printers from OpenBCI to our criteria. Furthermore, we will print our own dry electrodes out of flexible conductive material, since commercially available dry electrodes are too uncomfortable for sleep investigations. Reaching performance and comfort in all stages makes this process highly iterative.
· Detailed research on lucid dream induction techniques, identification and operationalization of relevant variables: The starting point will be the review of Stumbrys et al. (2012), in which around seven induction techniques are important for us. These techniques were classified as promising or included certain elements that need further investigation. Additionally, we will search for the most successful techniques used by lucid dreamers by conducting an online survey in different lucid dreaming communities.
· Generating hypotheses. In particular, we are interested in the investigation of the following questions: What exactly happens at the neural level while performing different lucid dream induction techniques? Are there any differences between the techniques? What are the physiological correlates of successful lucid dream induction? Which techniques have the highest success rates? How can audio-visual stimulation reproduce observed patterns of successful lucid dream induction? Does it make sense to create a general approach or do we need to consider individual differences?
Testing phase & evaluation of data:
· Testing of the prototype, adjusting and debugging.
· Creating the experimental design and recruitment of subjects. Training of different lucid dream induction techniques, planning and conducting test nights.
· Important physiological measurements for our analysis are neural frequencies and amplitudes (in general and in certain brain areas), source localization, eye movements, muscle tension and body movement.
· Analyzing of the most successful cognitive lucid dream induction technique and its neural correlates.
· Developing of an algorithm for audio-visual stimulation to evoke the neural correlates. While past stimulation approaches used stimulation as a “cue”, we will use the frequency-following-response characteristic of the brain to have a direct influence on brain activity. This characteristic describes the adaptation of neural frequencies to a given stimulation frequency. Audio-visual stimulation will be adjusted in its frequency, depending on the observed frequencies of lucidity.
Writing and publishing phase:
· Summarizing our work through scientific papers.
· Reviewing phase.
· Publishing the results.
Some of these steps will run simultaneously or may have to be re-thought, since this process is highly explorative. In addition, this seems to be a great opportunity to include retesting of other hypotheses in our ongoing experiments and to look for stable results. We have already experience through building several prototypes and our previous academic work. With your help, we can create an appropriate design for neurophysiological sleep investigations and complement our setup with a 16 channel EEG.
For the experiments, we aim for a minimum size of 30 participants. Our city is located in an area with a high density of students, who are generally open to participate in experiments. No room rent will be necessary since we have access to a room that will be checked for possible sources of interferences.
We plan to work the next three years on this project. As of now, we meet biweekly to coordinate tasks and this seems to be sufficient, since every one of us knows what to do.
This project has not yet shared any protocols.