Dream engineering: Simulating worlds through sensory stimulation

Carr, Michelle, Adam Haar, Judith Amores, Pedro Lopes, Guillermo Bernal, Tomás Vega, Oscar Rosello, Abhinandan Jain, and Pattie Maes. "Dream engineering: Simulating worlds through sensory stimulation." Consciousness and cognition 83 (2020): 102955.


We explore the application of a wide range of sensory stimulation technologies to the area of sleep and dream engineering. We begin by emphasizing the causal role of the body in dream generation, and describe a circuitry between the sleeping body and the dreaming mind. We suggest that nearly any sensory stimuli has potential for modulating experience in sleep. Considering other areas that might afford tools for engineering sensory content in simulated worlds, we turn to Virtual Reality (VR). We outline a collection of relevant VR technologies, including devices engineered to stimulate haptic, temperature, vestibular, olfactory, and auditory sensations. We believe these technologies, which have been developed for high mobility and low cost, can be translated to the field of dream engineering. We close by discussing possible future directions in this field and the ethics of a world in which targeted dream direction and sleep manipulation are feasible.

Authors outside of Media Lab include : Michelle Carr, Pedro Lopes

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