Sleep is a forgotten country of the mind. A vast majority of our technologies are built for our waking state, even though a third of our lives are spent asleep. Current technological interfaces miss an opportunity to access the unique, imaginative, elastic cognition ongoing during dreams and semi-lucid states. In turn, each of us misses an opportunity to use interfaces to influence our own processes of memory consolidation, creative insight generation, gist extraction, and emotion regulation that are so deeply sleep-dependent. In this project, we explore ways to augment human creativity by extending, influencing, and capturing dreams in Stage 1 sleep. It is currently challenging to force ourselves to be creative because so much creative idea association occurs in the absence of executive control and directed attention. Sleep offers an opportunity for prompting creative thought in the absence of directed attention, especially if dreams can be guided.
Adam Haar Horowitz, Research Assistant, Fluid Interfaces group
Kathleen Esfahany, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Fluid Interfaces group
Ishaan Grover, Research Assistant, Personal Robots group
Pedro Reynolds-Cuellar, Research Assistant, Personal Robots group
Tomas Vega Galvez, Research Assistant, Fluid Interfaces group
Oscar Rosello, Research Assistant, Fluid Interfaces group
Abhinandan Jain, project collaborator
Pattie Maes, Principal Investigator, Fluid Interfaces group
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To contact the lead authors of our recent study on dreams and creativity, please email Adam Haar Horowitz (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kathleen Esfahany (email@example.com).