Now you can hack the human brain with scientifically created sleep-interrupting techniques.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a device that enables an individual to take care of a semi-conscious state between wakefulness and sleeping.
Usually, we pass through the state of half-wakefulness on our way to deep sleep within minutes. This brief period is called hypnophagia. We may experience different micro dreams during the transition, but the content of these micro dreams appear to be random and we usually don’t have any memory of them when we wake. A team of researchers led by MIT doctoral candidate Adam Horowitz wanted to change that.
Horowitz and his colleagues at the MIT Media Lab have developed a relatively simple device called Dormio to record this unique stage of sleep. Their hypothesis is that this short period between wakefulness and sleep is full of creativity that is usually lost in the ocean of sleep. They believed that by controlling the amount of time we spend in hypnophagia, and later interrupting the mind before it can completely fall asleep, we may be able to take advantage of certain cognitive associations we have never been able to before.
The first generation of Dormio consisted of an Arduino microcontroller mounted to a glove with a small pressure sensor in the palm that Horowitz designed with his colleagues Ishaan Grover, Sophia Yang, and Pedro Reynolds Cuéllar.
A person wears the glove before going to sleep and clenches their hand into a fist, putting pressure on the sensor. At the same time electroencephalograph (EEG) sensors monitored electrical activity in the brain. As the hand and head sensors detect that the person’s muscles are relaxing and brain waves are changing as they fall asleep, it triggers a nearby Jibo robot to say a pre-programmed phrase. This phrase stimulates the sleeper’s brain to change the content of the dream based on what the robot said.
What do you think about this new device? Will it really be used to enhance your cognitive abilities? Let us know in the comment section.