By Sofia Moutinho
On a stormy night in 1816, Mary Shelley had a terrifying dream about a corpse coming to life—a nightmare that inspired her to write Frankenstein. More than a century later, a melody in a dream led Paul McCartney to compose one of The Beatles’s most beloved songs, Yesterday.
Is there something about dreaming that enhances our creativity? Or is it just sleep itself? Scientists say they’re closer to an answer, thanks to an unusual study that used an electronic glove to guide people’s dreams while they slumbered.
“This is a truly seminal scientific contribution,” says Jonathan Schooler, who studies creativity at the University of California, Santa Barbara, but was not involved in the work. “It makes major inroads on a topic that has fascinated humanity for centuries, if not millennia.”