Information

Will some people ever be able to make our dreams visible on a screen?

Will some people ever be able to make our dreams visible on a screen?

There are many SF-films in which dreams of people can be seen by others on a TV-screen. Don't you have to put so many information gathering devices in a person's brain for this to accomplish, that dream can't enter your brain anymore?


As @AaronWeinberg stated in the comments, just like many other technologies within Science Fiction, the Science Fiction of viewing dreams on screen has started to become Science Fact.

Rebecca Morelle, a science reporter for the BBC World Service wrote an article about researchers in Japan who used MRI scans to reveal the images that people were seeing as they entered into an early stage of sleep.

From the articles I have seen, it looks like the research has been led by Professor Yukiyasu Kamitani, from the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories, in Kyoto. It seems that the research started in 2005 with an article titled Decoding the visual and subjective contents of the human brain (Kamitani & Tong, 2005) followed by the article Neural Code Converter for Visual Image Representation (Yamada, et al. 2011), follwed then by Decoding visual experience from the human brain (Kamitani, 2012) and then the source of the first linked article Neural Decoding of Visual Imagery During Sleep (Horikawa, et al. 2013)

The results of the first study within the 2005 article demonstrated that

fMRI activity patterns in early visual areas, including primary visual cortex (V1), contain detailed orientation information that can reliably predict subjective perception.

The 2011 article says

[T]he neural code converter may provide a basis for brain-to-brain communication of visual images.

The 2012 article says

Despite the wide-spread use of human neuroimaging, its potential to read out, or "decode", mental contents from brain activity has not been fully explored. In this talk, I present methods for decoding visual representations from fMRI activity patterns based on machine learning techniques.

and the final article in 2013 says

Our findings demonstrate that specific visual experience during sleep is represented by brain activity patterns shared by stimulus perception, providing a means to uncover subjective contents of dreaming using objective neural measurement.

References

Horikawa, T., et al. (2013) Neural Decoding of Visual Imagery During Sleep. Science 340(6132): pp. 639-642
DOI: 10.1126/science.1234330

Kamitani, Y. & Tong, F. (2005) Decoding the visual and subjective contents of the human brain. Nature Neuroscience 8(5): pp. 679-685
DOI: 10.1038/nn1444

Kamitani, Y. (2012) Decoding visual experience from the human brain. Proceeding MM '12 (Proceedings of the 20th ACM international conference on Multimedia). New York:Association for Computing Machinery pp. 5-6
DOI: 10.1145/2393347.2393353

Yamada, K., et al. (2011) Neural Code Converter for Visual Image Representation. 2011 International Workshop on Pattern Recognition in NeuroImaging: pp. 37-40
DOI: 10.1109/PRNI.2011.13


What makes a healthy habit?

You may be surprised to learn that more than 40 percent of the actions you perform every day aren&rsquot actually decided by you. They&rsquore actually habits. Habits dictate how we live, how we perform, and the results we achieve in life. This is why it is so important to have strong, positive habits.

In case you&rsquore wondering what habits consist of, think of them this way: something that you regularly do without having to consciously think about.

According to Medical Dictionary, a healthy habit is

&ldquoa behavior that is beneficial to one&rsquos physical or mental health, often linked to a high level of discipline and self-control.&rdquo

Positive habits are the basis of your success, while healthy habits improve your overall well-being and make you feel good. Good habits include things like regular exercise, a balanced diet, punctuality, keeping promises, etc. [1]

Positive habits make it possible for us to do things without spending exorbitant mental effort. For instance, instead of thinking how to walk down the stairs in a morning, this is taken care of by your subconscious mind which has learned the habit of walking safely down stairs. You don&rsquot need to think about moving your legs, and controlling your balance, etc.


How Can You Control Your Dreams?

Some dreams feel so revelatory&mdashif only returning to sleep would take us back there. It turns out, however, that our ability to shape our dreams is better than mere chance. In the blockbuster movie Inception, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his compatriots use drugs and psychological profiles to trigger specific dreams in people. Although the heavy sedation and level of detail incited are far-fetched, dream control isn't entirely a Hollywood fantasy.

Techniques to control, or at least influence, our dreams have been shown to work in sleep experiments. We can strategize to dream about a particular subject, solve a problem or end a recurring nightmare. With practice we can also increase our chances of having a lucid dream, the sort of "dream within a dream" that Inception's characters regularly slip into.

The ability to influence other people's sleep worlds is still crude. But emerging technologies raise the prospect that, at the very least, we'll get an idea of what others are dreaming about in real time.

We asked Deirdre Barrett, author of the book The Committee of Sleep: How Artists, Scientists and Athletes Use Dreams for Creative Problem-Solving&mdashand How You Can, Too (Crown, 2001) and assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, about what dream-control strategies do and don't work&mdashand why.

[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]


We're all familiar with dreams, but what's the scientific definition?
The literal definition is a narrative experience that occurs during sleep. A few people will define it as a REM (rapid eye movement) sleep experience but, actually, the research doesn't support that. Some things that seem to look like dreams occasionally occur in other stages of sleep.

Why do most dreams seem to occur in REM, and what's happening during that sleep phase that seems to produce dreams?
REM is generally the only time during sleep that most of the cortex is pretty much as active as it is when we're awake. During this phase, there are rhythmic bursts of activity in the brain stem. There's one school of thought that this rhythmic firing is the sole cause of dreaming and all the upper cortical activity is a simple response to that. It just doesn't look that way. It looks like the lower brain stem activity wakes the cortex up and then the cortex does a lot of organized, meaningful thinking once it's activated.

The thing that is very frustratingly not neat and clean is that every once in awhile when you wake somebody out of a non-REM period, they report something that looks pretty much like the elaborate narrative of a dream. This is especially common in people who have big traumas and shift workers who have their sleep disrupted, so it may be that it happens mainly when something isn't operating completely properly with the regular sleep cycle.

During dreams, are certain regions more active than others or does that depend on what you're dreaming about?
It's sort of halfway in between the extreme version of either of those.

On average, there are several areas that are more active than they would be during the waking state. Those are parts of the visual cortex, parts of the motor cortex and certain motion-sensing areas deeper in the brain. That's probably related to why dreams are so very visual compared to other sensory modes or types of content and also why they have a lot of motion and action in them relative to our waking experience. The parts of the brain stem that fire those bursts of activity are also active.

There are other areas that are less active on average during REM sleep. Those are the prefrontal areas, which have to do with the fine points of logical reasoning and also where you might say censorship resides. That's not only for censorship of things that are socially inappropriate, what Freud would have meant by censorship of sexual and aggressive impulses, but also the impulses that say, "that's not the logical way to do things." That seems to be why even though we continue to think about all kinds of problems and issues in our sleep, and sometimes come up with really creative, interesting solutions their logic is less linear than our waking thought is.

Given that there's higher-level thinking going on in our dreams, to what extent can we control them?
That we can control our own dreams is quite true and really much more so than people seem to know or realize. The details of how to do it are very different depending on whether you're trying to induce lucid dreams, whether you're trying to dream about particular content or whether you're trying to dream a solution to a particular personal or objective problem. Another really common application has been influencing nightmares, especially recurring post-traumatic nightmares&mdasheither to stop them or turn them into some sort of mastery dream.

So how can you problem-solve in a dream?
Although any kind of problem can make a breakthrough in a dream, the two categories that really crop up a lot are things where the solution benefits from being represented visually, because the dreams are so vivid in their visual-spatial imagery, and when you're stuck because the conventional wisdom is just plain wrong.

You may have heard the example of August Kekulé and the benzene ring, which represents both these themes. He was thinking that in all nonchemical molecules, the atoms were lined up in some kind of straight line with 90-degree side chains coming off it. Once he knew the atoms in benzene, he was trying to come up with arrangements of them that were straight lines with side chains and it just wasn't working. Then he dreamt of the atoms forming as a snake, eventually reaching around with the snake's tail in its mouth. It seems exactly related to the fact that the prefrontal lobes that control censorship are, on average, much less active during dreams.

If you want to problem-solve in a dream, you should first of all think of the problem before bed, and if it lends itself to an image, hold it in your mind and let it be the last thing in your mind before falling asleep. For extra credit assemble something on your bedside table that makes an image of the problem. If it's a personal problem, it might be the person you have the conflict with. If you're an artist, it might be a blank canvas. If you're a scientist, the device you're working on that's half assembled or a mathematical proof you've been writing through versions of.

Equally important, don't jump out of bed when you wake up&mdashalmost half of dream content is lost if you get distracted. Lie there, don't do anything else. If you don't recall a dream immediately, see if you feel a particular emotion&mdashthe whole dream would come flooding back. [In a weeklong study I did with students that followed this protocol] 50 percent dreamed of the problem and a fourth solved them&mdashso that's a pretty good guideline, that half of people would have some effect from doing this for a week.

What about if you want to, say, dream of a certain person or about a particular experience&mdashhow can you do that?

If you're just trying to dream about an issue or you want to dream of a person who's deceased or you haven't seen in a long time, you'd use very similar bedtime incubation suggestions as you would for problem solving: a concise verbal statement of what you want to dream about or a visual image of it to look at. Very often it's a person someone wants to dream of, and just a simple photo is an ideal trigger. If you used to have flying dreams and you haven't had one in a long time and you miss them, find a photo of a human flying.

Image-rehearsal therapy has gotten attention as a strategy to overcome nightmares. How does this technique work, and is it effective?
Different people mean different things by that. The details are different but the techniques are very similar&mdashthey all grow out of the observation that when people are having bad, repetitive post-traumatic nightmares, a certain proportion seem to move on to having some kind of mastery dream spontaneously. The same way the nightmares had been re-traumatizing them, the mastery dream seemed to carry over into helping them feel much safer and more healed in their daytime state.

[Therapists or researchers] have the person work out an alternate scenario they want the dream to take, where they might ask them to close their eyes and imagine and generally talk them through a kind of vivid enactment of it. Usually the person incorporates some degree of the rehearsed scenario at bedtime or listens to a tape where the therapist or researcher is recounting the alternate scenario.

Barry Krakow does this in a group format and gets statistically significant, positive outcomes. He gets a remarkably high number of people who don't report the mastery nightmare and yet their nightmares stop and/or their daytime anxiety gets much better. We can't know whether they had a mastery dream and don't recall it or if something else about that positive, soothing imagery as you're falling asleep&mdasheven if it does not carry over into the dream&mdashcarries over into decreasing the number of the nightmares or the daytime anxiety, heightened startle response and flashbacks. In the one-on-one clinical studies there seems to be a much higher rate of actually having the rather dramatic mastery dream.

In the case of the successful techniques, what may be happening in the brain that allows these dream-control strategies to work?
Only if you're buying this idea that dreams should all be random or are being generated in the lower brain stem is there anything we need to explain about why you'd remember a suggestion you'd made to yourself for dream content or that intensely studying a problem before you fell asleep wouldn't be likely to turn up in your dream. Our ability to request that of ourselves at some point in the future is very analogous to what we might do awake. When it happens in a dream, it's happening in a state that by its nature is more vivid, much more intuitive and an emotional kind of thinking, and much less linear in its logic and much less verbal in orientation. That we're going to respond to this request from this very different biochemical state is what makes it such that sometimes we'll kind of respond but it will be in this vaguely nonsensical kind of way other times it will be that we have this amazing breakthrough because we're thinking about this problem we've had this false bias about how to solve when we're awake.

Can we dream that we're dreaming?
Yes. That is the most common definition of a lucid dream&mdasha dream where you know you're dreaming as the dream is occurring. A few writers on lucidity have chosen to make some degree of dream control part of the definition, but most choose to see that as a separate, additional element. Lucid dreams are infrequent&mdashless than 1 percent of dreams in most studies&mdashbut they certainly do crop up in any large collection of lots of people's dreams.

How can you up your chances of having a lucid dream?
By reminding yourself you want to just as you're falling asleep, either as a verbal statement or idea: "Tonight when I dream, I want to realize I'm dreaming." That's the single most important thing, other than simply getting enough sleep. For any sort of dream recall or influencing of dreams, or for lucidity, simply getting enough sleep is one of the most boring pieces of advice, but one of the most important. When you deprive yourself of sleep, you are getting a lower proportion of REM. We go into REM every 90 minutes through the night, but each REM period gets much longer and occupies a larger chunk of that 90-minute cycle each time. So if you're only sleeping the first part of a normal eight hours of sleep, you're getting very little of the REM sleep you could.

Beyond that, if you check on whether you're actually awake in a systematic way during the day, you'll eventually find yourself doing this in a dream, and that can make it likelier that you will have lucid dreams.

You can do this by identifying something that is consistently or usually different from your sleeping and waking experience. Lots of people find they can't read text in a dream, that if they see text it's almost always garbled or hieroglyphics or doesn't make sense or it's fuzzy. People who can read in a dream will still report that the text is not stable if they look away and then back, it says something different or there's no longer any writing there. So trying to read something in a dream is a good test for lots of people. Others find that things like light switches and other knobs that are supposed to turn things on and off work normally in their real world and don't do what they expect them to in a dream.

If you work out one specific check and then ask yourself, does everything look logical, you'll find yourself doing that in a dream. Some of these techniques are successful in as many as 10 percent of people in the course of a week for a few studies.

What are less effective ways of controlling a dream?
People who decide that they want to alter their nightmares or solve a problem through lucid dreaming have carved out an infinitely more difficult path&mdashnot that it's impossible but there's a lot more hard work and a lot less chance of success that way.

When lucidity was getting press in the 1970s, people were thinking it's a great way to end nightmares and have problem-solving dreams. But it turns out that lucidity takes a lot more effort and happens more unreliably than other forms of dream control. The study where I had students select real-life problems within their ability to solve&mdashwith strong motivation, in one week half dreamed about the problem and one fourth dreamed an answer to their problem, and that's much higher than you'd get for lucidity techniques. In transforming-nightmare studies, that rate is higher and happens quicker than it does for lucidity. So approaching these goals by almost demanding that the dream do what really you can do much better awake is not the smartest approach.

What about controlling someone else's dream&mdashis this possible?

Occasionally there are some ways that one might influence someone else's dream content ahead of time via waking suggestions or during sleep via sensory stimuli that are impinging on the dreams.

The auditory seem to things work best, such as water or a voice saying something. Very strong stimuli wake us up. You want it to get in some narrow threshold where it gets detected by the brain and processed but it doesn't wake you up, and then there's a shot at it getting incorporated into the dream.

In his research on lucid dreams, psychophysiologist Steve LaBerge tested a dream light that sleep subjects wore on their faces that detected REM and flashed a low-level, red light during that phase. He found that it often got incorporated into people's dreams&mdashthey saw a pulsing red glow. If you combine that with the suggestion that when you see the flashing red light you know you're dreaming, you can promote lucidity.

Magnetic input is being done in the waking state to improve depression and to halt psychomotor seizures. If you can influence mood awake, it would seem you could influence the mood of a dream. We will get more precise about what we know about different brain areas and targeting magnetic signals toward them.

Lastly, we can image the brain well enough awake or asleep to know things like: there's an unusual amount of motor activity or this person is probably doing mathematical calculations right now or this person is processing incoming language or speaking or writing or is very likely sad or very likely happy. And we will probably get better at that. We can already do more things with animals: If you've trained rats in a maze, during REM sleep they look like they're dreaming the maze&mdashthey show the same pattern of firing left-right turns. That's done by sinking needle electrodes into their brains, which we obviously don't do to humans. But we may get good enough at imaging nonintrusively from the outside to see a lot more about the content. That's not directly controlling a dream, but it's one of the things that you might want to know if you were trying to control dream content.


Job security is a myth. &ldquoRegardless of pension promises or signed contracts, the real fact of the matter is there is no &lsquojob security&rsquo in working for someone else. If at any time for any reason the boss has a problem with you, the market goes south, your contract&rsquos over, the clientele fades, the account goes red, or the business goes belly-up, then you&rsquore high and dry on your way to becoming an unemployment statistic.&rdquo

Yep. And so will most other people. But think about it: what has &ldquosanity&rdquo has gotten them? What did &ldquosanity&rdquo get you?


Altered states

The robotic experiment also shows that the illusion occurs when people have a disturbed sense of “agency” – the sense that they are initiating bodily movements – because of the delay in the response of the slave robot.

An altered sense of agency has been implicated in people with schizophrenia, and has been used to explain why they attribute, for instance, their own actions to other people, often leading to paranoid delusions. A lot of people with schizophrenia claim to feel a presence, says Judith Ford, a schizophrenia expert at the University of California, San Francisco.

Blanke suggests that both a disturbed sense of agency and a mismatch between sensory signals and motor signals could be contributing to the alien presences felt by people with schizophrenia. The hypothesis is “on target”, says Ford.

Peter Brugger, a neuropsychologist at University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, says the argument is convincing. “The leap from the robotic experiments to explain complex psychiatric phenomenology is certainly not too big,” he says.

The finding could one day help patients with schizophrenia. “The same way that you can trick the brain into creating an alien presence, you could train the psychotic brain to relearn the difference between self and other,” says Rognini. “The dream would be to down-regulate psychosis. But we are far from that.”


What Does White Light During Meditation Mean?

This white light varies from one individual to another. One mediator might see small sparkles that look like comet flashes while another might experience huge glowing balls unlike anything they’ve seen before. Your meditation experiences could be responsible for this white light. Some meditators are normally so startled by their meditation white light experience that they’re prompted to open their eyes fearing that something’s not right. However, experts agree that experiencing a flash of white light while meditating is completely natural. It just means that your mind and soul are completely rooted inside your body.

The Science Behind It

You’ve probably heard about the Third Eye. It’s one of seven chakras that exist within your body. After months (or years) of consistent meditation, your Third Eye gets activated. You start noticing flickers of white light during meditation. You might even see colors and shapes. There’s a variety of things you’ll start noticing once your Third Eye gets activated. Rather than focusing all your attention on the flash of white light while meditating, it’s advisable to concentrate on your meditation experiences just as you did when you started out.

To fully comprehend what happens during a meditation white light experience, you must first understand how various forms and scenes are created in your mind’s sight center. Normally, past experiences and impressions are stored in your memory. Whenever you recall a past experience or event, the mental impressions are reproduced and projected onto your mental screen. You’re therefore able to remember people, places or objects that you interacted with in the past. The memory centers within your brain are also responsible for visions and imaginations.

Our Incredible Brains

There are essentially two types of minds accepted by modern psychologists: the subconscious and conscious mind. These two are very different. The subconscious mind normally stores all your life experiences, your memories and beliefs. Your conscious mind, on the other hand, helps to create visions or scenes when you’re in a wakeful state. So the more you concentrate, the more you’re likely to see a white light during meditation. This meditation white light experience might be frightening at first, but you’ll get used to it after a while.

Some Buddhist meditation techniques require you to visualize a holy light. However, this is a totally different kettle of fish – it’s different from viewing an actual flash of white light while meditating. As Tokpa Korlo explains in his Mind Talk, the purpose of mindfulness meditation is to develop love and compassion for others. Being rooted in the present moment helps an individual to appreciate the beauty of now. As a result, he/she develops an overwhelming peace of mind and cultivates lovingkindness. So you don’t need to see a beautiful white light during meditation. The seemingly mild mental, physical and psychological developments that result from your daily meditation practice is really all that matters.

Next time a white light shows up in your meditation experiences, don’t be afraid. Just embrace it as a natural part of your practice. Also remember that nothing is exempted from change – it’s one of the key features of Buddhist meditation. Just as anything else, the white light that shows up while meditating is also subject to impermanence. It may show up during certain times and then disappear during others. The white light spectrum is usually regarded as the purest form of light. So when you view it, you might be experiencing a new, powerful energy that could allow you to connect better to your inner self.

If you yearn to meditate daily, get the Headspace Meditation App. It contains a variety of daily meditations that will guide and motivate you in your practice. It also has interesting Talks from numerous experts that will leave you inspired and engaged.

Recent Articles About Mind & Body

Meditation is not just a one-time thing, your mind is like a muscle. It means, you have to train it in order to balance it. We have selected the most serious and popular meditation apps for your smartphone.

Why are we meditating and what can you achieve by meditation and awareness? There is a very important reason why 18 million people in the United States alone meditate regularly.

What triggers these Autonomous Sensory Meridian Responses or Tingles? Have you ever experienced a tingling sensation after someone whispered into your ear or gently massaged your scalp?

A spiritual-oriented type of meditation has cropped up and led some people to try out some form of higher self meditation called “channeling meditation”.


10 Things Your Dreams Can Tell You About Yourself

Everybody dreams, but how many take advantage of the wisdom dreams provide? As a student and teacher of the School of Metaphysics, I record and analyze my dreams daily. Through years of analysis, we&rsquove discovered that every dream is about the dreamer, each part of the dream is part of the dreamer, and every dream reveals the person&rsquos state of mind 24-48 hours before the dream.

What does that mean? All dreamers have the ability to better understand themselves and their lives through their own dreams. It takes practice and a desire to learn! Here are 10 useful dream insights to start you on the path to personal discovery and the interpretation of your own dreams!


Why you dream about dead people

There are a number of reasons as to why you see dead people in your dreams. These reasons are as follows

Guilt

You are having dreams about a dead person or people because you feel guilty. Guilt is brought about by a variety of reasons.

You maybe never took your time to know the person well, you never told them how much you love them and you simply did not care about them.

It also could be that perhaps when they were sick, you never paid a visit or never showed concern at all. Things happened so fast and the person passed away.

Learn to value others before it is too late. Guilt is a too much emotion to handle. Do the little things you got to do while you still have the opportunity.

A sign of new beginnings

Dreaming about dead people can as well as be a sign of you having new beginnings. When someone dies, it marks the beginning of a new life away from this life.

A new life meaning, one could either have eternal life or forever perish and that depends on what you believe in. You could dream about a dead person around the time of your wedding or any other life changing event.

A Wedding is a new beginning in that one moves away from his or her parents’ house and starts living with the spouse.

A warning of trouble

Your dream about dead people is giving you a warning about trouble that is coming. You could have let yourself fall into this trouble by the things you do. Everyone experiences trouble at one point in life. Sometimes, you cause yourself to fall into trouble.

Examine your life well and if you happen to realize the kind of trouble you are getting yourself into, make a turn around and flee away from it.

You have been thinking a lot about death

It is normal to think about your own death because you know you will die. These thoughts about death may be brought about by different events or circumstances.

You may be visited a graveyard, your relative died or you could have watched movies that contain death as the main theme. This makes you start thinking a lot about how you will die.

It is known that we shall all die but for a happy life, do not spend too much of your time thinking about it. Instead, live life to the fullest despite the fact that death is for everybody.


How to Dream Walk

Now that you know the difference between dream walking and astral projection, it’s time to ask yourself if you want to be dream walking.

You may choose to walk into someone else’s dreams because you are interested in learning more about them, or you want to share an adventure with them. Dreams are helpful tools for unearthing secrets and solving problems. However, before you decide to pursue dream walking, it’s good to first identify the motivation behind your dream walking quest.

Why are you looking to do it? If your reason is good, ethical, and justified, then there is nothing wrong with choosing to walk the dreams of another. However, if you are breaching someone else’s privacy, doing it for malicious reasons, or otherwise doing something that you know deep down is wrong, then it’s best not to dream walk. Trust your own judgement in this!

Without further ado, here is everything you need to know to enter someone’s dreams and start dream walking in 5 easy steps:

#1: Prepare properly

First, you need to state a clear purpose. This can be through planning a ritual to go along with your attempt, or by meditating and focusing the energy needed. A clear understanding and focus will help you immensely in accomplishing your goals. Seek out a sacred place to go through the process uninterrupted.

#2: Set your thoughts on your target

Let the person whose dreams you are trying to occupy enter your thoughts. Remember that your efforts will have a much higher chance of success if they are in on this plan. If you are able to synchronize the timing, there will be a level of focus with increased meaning. This also allows you to fact check after the process is over. If they don’t remember it, then you have a lot more practice to do.

#3: Meditate on your target:

Meditate with their face, using a photo or your mind’s eye. Put yourself in their point of view and think about their feelings without imposing your own thoughts. Align yourself with the energy they have, so that you can build a psychic bridge.

#4: Drift off without losing your thoughts of them:

Allow yourself to fall into sleep, holding onto the sensation of being your target person. Repeat affirmations like, “I am crossing into his/her dreams,” or “I am about to enter his/her dreams.”

#5: Practice lucid dreaming:

Lucid dreaming allows you to be aware that you are dreaming. When you do this in your own dreams, then you are able to consciously enter another person’s dream. By saying his/her name or focusing on a familiar portal that holds meaning to them, you can enter their dreams.


Battery Life

Microsoft claims that the Surface Laptop 4 gets up to 19 hours of battery life, which would be huge if it actually did. Unfortunately, we found that the number was closer to 11-13 hours. That's still nothing to shake a stick at.

In the PCMark 10 Home Office battery test, which simulates a variety of workloads from video chatting to word processing, the Surface Laptop 4 lasts 13 hours and 20 minutes. Sure, that's not quite the 19 hours that Microsoft promises, but it's still more than enough to get you through all but the longest international flights.

The Surface Laptop 4 struggles a bit more in our video playback test, where it lasts 11 hours and 2 minutes. That's still not bad, though, and means that the Surface Laptop 4 should see you through a pretty long Netflix binge.

When you consider that the Surface Laptop 3 only lasted 6 hours and 28 minutes in the PCMark 8 battery test, the Surface Laptop 4 marks a huge generational improvement. Hell, the Surface Laptop 4 even outlasts the Dell XPS 13 by two whole hours.


Altered states

The robotic experiment also shows that the illusion occurs when people have a disturbed sense of “agency” – the sense that they are initiating bodily movements – because of the delay in the response of the slave robot.

An altered sense of agency has been implicated in people with schizophrenia, and has been used to explain why they attribute, for instance, their own actions to other people, often leading to paranoid delusions. A lot of people with schizophrenia claim to feel a presence, says Judith Ford, a schizophrenia expert at the University of California, San Francisco.

Blanke suggests that both a disturbed sense of agency and a mismatch between sensory signals and motor signals could be contributing to the alien presences felt by people with schizophrenia. The hypothesis is “on target”, says Ford.

Peter Brugger, a neuropsychologist at University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, says the argument is convincing. “The leap from the robotic experiments to explain complex psychiatric phenomenology is certainly not too big,” he says.

The finding could one day help patients with schizophrenia. “The same way that you can trick the brain into creating an alien presence, you could train the psychotic brain to relearn the difference between self and other,” says Rognini. “The dream would be to down-regulate psychosis. But we are far from that.”


How to Dream Walk

Now that you know the difference between dream walking and astral projection, it’s time to ask yourself if you want to be dream walking.

You may choose to walk into someone else’s dreams because you are interested in learning more about them, or you want to share an adventure with them. Dreams are helpful tools for unearthing secrets and solving problems. However, before you decide to pursue dream walking, it’s good to first identify the motivation behind your dream walking quest.

Why are you looking to do it? If your reason is good, ethical, and justified, then there is nothing wrong with choosing to walk the dreams of another. However, if you are breaching someone else’s privacy, doing it for malicious reasons, or otherwise doing something that you know deep down is wrong, then it’s best not to dream walk. Trust your own judgement in this!

Without further ado, here is everything you need to know to enter someone’s dreams and start dream walking in 5 easy steps:

#1: Prepare properly

First, you need to state a clear purpose. This can be through planning a ritual to go along with your attempt, or by meditating and focusing the energy needed. A clear understanding and focus will help you immensely in accomplishing your goals. Seek out a sacred place to go through the process uninterrupted.

#2: Set your thoughts on your target

Let the person whose dreams you are trying to occupy enter your thoughts. Remember that your efforts will have a much higher chance of success if they are in on this plan. If you are able to synchronize the timing, there will be a level of focus with increased meaning. This also allows you to fact check after the process is over. If they don’t remember it, then you have a lot more practice to do.

#3: Meditate on your target:

Meditate with their face, using a photo or your mind’s eye. Put yourself in their point of view and think about their feelings without imposing your own thoughts. Align yourself with the energy they have, so that you can build a psychic bridge.

#4: Drift off without losing your thoughts of them:

Allow yourself to fall into sleep, holding onto the sensation of being your target person. Repeat affirmations like, “I am crossing into his/her dreams,” or “I am about to enter his/her dreams.”

#5: Practice lucid dreaming:

Lucid dreaming allows you to be aware that you are dreaming. When you do this in your own dreams, then you are able to consciously enter another person’s dream. By saying his/her name or focusing on a familiar portal that holds meaning to them, you can enter their dreams.


Job security is a myth. &ldquoRegardless of pension promises or signed contracts, the real fact of the matter is there is no &lsquojob security&rsquo in working for someone else. If at any time for any reason the boss has a problem with you, the market goes south, your contract&rsquos over, the clientele fades, the account goes red, or the business goes belly-up, then you&rsquore high and dry on your way to becoming an unemployment statistic.&rdquo

Yep. And so will most other people. But think about it: what has &ldquosanity&rdquo has gotten them? What did &ldquosanity&rdquo get you?


How Can You Control Your Dreams?

Some dreams feel so revelatory&mdashif only returning to sleep would take us back there. It turns out, however, that our ability to shape our dreams is better than mere chance. In the blockbuster movie Inception, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his compatriots use drugs and psychological profiles to trigger specific dreams in people. Although the heavy sedation and level of detail incited are far-fetched, dream control isn't entirely a Hollywood fantasy.

Techniques to control, or at least influence, our dreams have been shown to work in sleep experiments. We can strategize to dream about a particular subject, solve a problem or end a recurring nightmare. With practice we can also increase our chances of having a lucid dream, the sort of "dream within a dream" that Inception's characters regularly slip into.

The ability to influence other people's sleep worlds is still crude. But emerging technologies raise the prospect that, at the very least, we'll get an idea of what others are dreaming about in real time.

We asked Deirdre Barrett, author of the book The Committee of Sleep: How Artists, Scientists and Athletes Use Dreams for Creative Problem-Solving&mdashand How You Can, Too (Crown, 2001) and assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, about what dream-control strategies do and don't work&mdashand why.

[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]


We're all familiar with dreams, but what's the scientific definition?
The literal definition is a narrative experience that occurs during sleep. A few people will define it as a REM (rapid eye movement) sleep experience but, actually, the research doesn't support that. Some things that seem to look like dreams occasionally occur in other stages of sleep.

Why do most dreams seem to occur in REM, and what's happening during that sleep phase that seems to produce dreams?
REM is generally the only time during sleep that most of the cortex is pretty much as active as it is when we're awake. During this phase, there are rhythmic bursts of activity in the brain stem. There's one school of thought that this rhythmic firing is the sole cause of dreaming and all the upper cortical activity is a simple response to that. It just doesn't look that way. It looks like the lower brain stem activity wakes the cortex up and then the cortex does a lot of organized, meaningful thinking once it's activated.

The thing that is very frustratingly not neat and clean is that every once in awhile when you wake somebody out of a non-REM period, they report something that looks pretty much like the elaborate narrative of a dream. This is especially common in people who have big traumas and shift workers who have their sleep disrupted, so it may be that it happens mainly when something isn't operating completely properly with the regular sleep cycle.

During dreams, are certain regions more active than others or does that depend on what you're dreaming about?
It's sort of halfway in between the extreme version of either of those.

On average, there are several areas that are more active than they would be during the waking state. Those are parts of the visual cortex, parts of the motor cortex and certain motion-sensing areas deeper in the brain. That's probably related to why dreams are so very visual compared to other sensory modes or types of content and also why they have a lot of motion and action in them relative to our waking experience. The parts of the brain stem that fire those bursts of activity are also active.

There are other areas that are less active on average during REM sleep. Those are the prefrontal areas, which have to do with the fine points of logical reasoning and also where you might say censorship resides. That's not only for censorship of things that are socially inappropriate, what Freud would have meant by censorship of sexual and aggressive impulses, but also the impulses that say, "that's not the logical way to do things." That seems to be why even though we continue to think about all kinds of problems and issues in our sleep, and sometimes come up with really creative, interesting solutions their logic is less linear than our waking thought is.

Given that there's higher-level thinking going on in our dreams, to what extent can we control them?
That we can control our own dreams is quite true and really much more so than people seem to know or realize. The details of how to do it are very different depending on whether you're trying to induce lucid dreams, whether you're trying to dream about particular content or whether you're trying to dream a solution to a particular personal or objective problem. Another really common application has been influencing nightmares, especially recurring post-traumatic nightmares&mdasheither to stop them or turn them into some sort of mastery dream.

So how can you problem-solve in a dream?
Although any kind of problem can make a breakthrough in a dream, the two categories that really crop up a lot are things where the solution benefits from being represented visually, because the dreams are so vivid in their visual-spatial imagery, and when you're stuck because the conventional wisdom is just plain wrong.

You may have heard the example of August Kekulé and the benzene ring, which represents both these themes. He was thinking that in all nonchemical molecules, the atoms were lined up in some kind of straight line with 90-degree side chains coming off it. Once he knew the atoms in benzene, he was trying to come up with arrangements of them that were straight lines with side chains and it just wasn't working. Then he dreamt of the atoms forming as a snake, eventually reaching around with the snake's tail in its mouth. It seems exactly related to the fact that the prefrontal lobes that control censorship are, on average, much less active during dreams.

If you want to problem-solve in a dream, you should first of all think of the problem before bed, and if it lends itself to an image, hold it in your mind and let it be the last thing in your mind before falling asleep. For extra credit assemble something on your bedside table that makes an image of the problem. If it's a personal problem, it might be the person you have the conflict with. If you're an artist, it might be a blank canvas. If you're a scientist, the device you're working on that's half assembled or a mathematical proof you've been writing through versions of.

Equally important, don't jump out of bed when you wake up&mdashalmost half of dream content is lost if you get distracted. Lie there, don't do anything else. If you don't recall a dream immediately, see if you feel a particular emotion&mdashthe whole dream would come flooding back. [In a weeklong study I did with students that followed this protocol] 50 percent dreamed of the problem and a fourth solved them&mdashso that's a pretty good guideline, that half of people would have some effect from doing this for a week.

What about if you want to, say, dream of a certain person or about a particular experience&mdashhow can you do that?

If you're just trying to dream about an issue or you want to dream of a person who's deceased or you haven't seen in a long time, you'd use very similar bedtime incubation suggestions as you would for problem solving: a concise verbal statement of what you want to dream about or a visual image of it to look at. Very often it's a person someone wants to dream of, and just a simple photo is an ideal trigger. If you used to have flying dreams and you haven't had one in a long time and you miss them, find a photo of a human flying.

Image-rehearsal therapy has gotten attention as a strategy to overcome nightmares. How does this technique work, and is it effective?
Different people mean different things by that. The details are different but the techniques are very similar&mdashthey all grow out of the observation that when people are having bad, repetitive post-traumatic nightmares, a certain proportion seem to move on to having some kind of mastery dream spontaneously. The same way the nightmares had been re-traumatizing them, the mastery dream seemed to carry over into helping them feel much safer and more healed in their daytime state.

[Therapists or researchers] have the person work out an alternate scenario they want the dream to take, where they might ask them to close their eyes and imagine and generally talk them through a kind of vivid enactment of it. Usually the person incorporates some degree of the rehearsed scenario at bedtime or listens to a tape where the therapist or researcher is recounting the alternate scenario.

Barry Krakow does this in a group format and gets statistically significant, positive outcomes. He gets a remarkably high number of people who don't report the mastery nightmare and yet their nightmares stop and/or their daytime anxiety gets much better. We can't know whether they had a mastery dream and don't recall it or if something else about that positive, soothing imagery as you're falling asleep&mdasheven if it does not carry over into the dream&mdashcarries over into decreasing the number of the nightmares or the daytime anxiety, heightened startle response and flashbacks. In the one-on-one clinical studies there seems to be a much higher rate of actually having the rather dramatic mastery dream.

In the case of the successful techniques, what may be happening in the brain that allows these dream-control strategies to work?
Only if you're buying this idea that dreams should all be random or are being generated in the lower brain stem is there anything we need to explain about why you'd remember a suggestion you'd made to yourself for dream content or that intensely studying a problem before you fell asleep wouldn't be likely to turn up in your dream. Our ability to request that of ourselves at some point in the future is very analogous to what we might do awake. When it happens in a dream, it's happening in a state that by its nature is more vivid, much more intuitive and an emotional kind of thinking, and much less linear in its logic and much less verbal in orientation. That we're going to respond to this request from this very different biochemical state is what makes it such that sometimes we'll kind of respond but it will be in this vaguely nonsensical kind of way other times it will be that we have this amazing breakthrough because we're thinking about this problem we've had this false bias about how to solve when we're awake.

Can we dream that we're dreaming?
Yes. That is the most common definition of a lucid dream&mdasha dream where you know you're dreaming as the dream is occurring. A few writers on lucidity have chosen to make some degree of dream control part of the definition, but most choose to see that as a separate, additional element. Lucid dreams are infrequent&mdashless than 1 percent of dreams in most studies&mdashbut they certainly do crop up in any large collection of lots of people's dreams.

How can you up your chances of having a lucid dream?
By reminding yourself you want to just as you're falling asleep, either as a verbal statement or idea: "Tonight when I dream, I want to realize I'm dreaming." That's the single most important thing, other than simply getting enough sleep. For any sort of dream recall or influencing of dreams, or for lucidity, simply getting enough sleep is one of the most boring pieces of advice, but one of the most important. When you deprive yourself of sleep, you are getting a lower proportion of REM. We go into REM every 90 minutes through the night, but each REM period gets much longer and occupies a larger chunk of that 90-minute cycle each time. So if you're only sleeping the first part of a normal eight hours of sleep, you're getting very little of the REM sleep you could.

Beyond that, if you check on whether you're actually awake in a systematic way during the day, you'll eventually find yourself doing this in a dream, and that can make it likelier that you will have lucid dreams.

You can do this by identifying something that is consistently or usually different from your sleeping and waking experience. Lots of people find they can't read text in a dream, that if they see text it's almost always garbled or hieroglyphics or doesn't make sense or it's fuzzy. People who can read in a dream will still report that the text is not stable if they look away and then back, it says something different or there's no longer any writing there. So trying to read something in a dream is a good test for lots of people. Others find that things like light switches and other knobs that are supposed to turn things on and off work normally in their real world and don't do what they expect them to in a dream.

If you work out one specific check and then ask yourself, does everything look logical, you'll find yourself doing that in a dream. Some of these techniques are successful in as many as 10 percent of people in the course of a week for a few studies.

What are less effective ways of controlling a dream?
People who decide that they want to alter their nightmares or solve a problem through lucid dreaming have carved out an infinitely more difficult path&mdashnot that it's impossible but there's a lot more hard work and a lot less chance of success that way.

When lucidity was getting press in the 1970s, people were thinking it's a great way to end nightmares and have problem-solving dreams. But it turns out that lucidity takes a lot more effort and happens more unreliably than other forms of dream control. The study where I had students select real-life problems within their ability to solve&mdashwith strong motivation, in one week half dreamed about the problem and one fourth dreamed an answer to their problem, and that's much higher than you'd get for lucidity techniques. In transforming-nightmare studies, that rate is higher and happens quicker than it does for lucidity. So approaching these goals by almost demanding that the dream do what really you can do much better awake is not the smartest approach.

What about controlling someone else's dream&mdashis this possible?

Occasionally there are some ways that one might influence someone else's dream content ahead of time via waking suggestions or during sleep via sensory stimuli that are impinging on the dreams.

The auditory seem to things work best, such as water or a voice saying something. Very strong stimuli wake us up. You want it to get in some narrow threshold where it gets detected by the brain and processed but it doesn't wake you up, and then there's a shot at it getting incorporated into the dream.

In his research on lucid dreams, psychophysiologist Steve LaBerge tested a dream light that sleep subjects wore on their faces that detected REM and flashed a low-level, red light during that phase. He found that it often got incorporated into people's dreams&mdashthey saw a pulsing red glow. If you combine that with the suggestion that when you see the flashing red light you know you're dreaming, you can promote lucidity.

Magnetic input is being done in the waking state to improve depression and to halt psychomotor seizures. If you can influence mood awake, it would seem you could influence the mood of a dream. We will get more precise about what we know about different brain areas and targeting magnetic signals toward them.

Lastly, we can image the brain well enough awake or asleep to know things like: there's an unusual amount of motor activity or this person is probably doing mathematical calculations right now or this person is processing incoming language or speaking or writing or is very likely sad or very likely happy. And we will probably get better at that. We can already do more things with animals: If you've trained rats in a maze, during REM sleep they look like they're dreaming the maze&mdashthey show the same pattern of firing left-right turns. That's done by sinking needle electrodes into their brains, which we obviously don't do to humans. But we may get good enough at imaging nonintrusively from the outside to see a lot more about the content. That's not directly controlling a dream, but it's one of the things that you might want to know if you were trying to control dream content.


10 Things Your Dreams Can Tell You About Yourself

Everybody dreams, but how many take advantage of the wisdom dreams provide? As a student and teacher of the School of Metaphysics, I record and analyze my dreams daily. Through years of analysis, we&rsquove discovered that every dream is about the dreamer, each part of the dream is part of the dreamer, and every dream reveals the person&rsquos state of mind 24-48 hours before the dream.

What does that mean? All dreamers have the ability to better understand themselves and their lives through their own dreams. It takes practice and a desire to learn! Here are 10 useful dream insights to start you on the path to personal discovery and the interpretation of your own dreams!


Battery Life

Microsoft claims that the Surface Laptop 4 gets up to 19 hours of battery life, which would be huge if it actually did. Unfortunately, we found that the number was closer to 11-13 hours. That's still nothing to shake a stick at.

In the PCMark 10 Home Office battery test, which simulates a variety of workloads from video chatting to word processing, the Surface Laptop 4 lasts 13 hours and 20 minutes. Sure, that's not quite the 19 hours that Microsoft promises, but it's still more than enough to get you through all but the longest international flights.

The Surface Laptop 4 struggles a bit more in our video playback test, where it lasts 11 hours and 2 minutes. That's still not bad, though, and means that the Surface Laptop 4 should see you through a pretty long Netflix binge.

When you consider that the Surface Laptop 3 only lasted 6 hours and 28 minutes in the PCMark 8 battery test, the Surface Laptop 4 marks a huge generational improvement. Hell, the Surface Laptop 4 even outlasts the Dell XPS 13 by two whole hours.


What Does White Light During Meditation Mean?

This white light varies from one individual to another. One mediator might see small sparkles that look like comet flashes while another might experience huge glowing balls unlike anything they’ve seen before. Your meditation experiences could be responsible for this white light. Some meditators are normally so startled by their meditation white light experience that they’re prompted to open their eyes fearing that something’s not right. However, experts agree that experiencing a flash of white light while meditating is completely natural. It just means that your mind and soul are completely rooted inside your body.

The Science Behind It

You’ve probably heard about the Third Eye. It’s one of seven chakras that exist within your body. After months (or years) of consistent meditation, your Third Eye gets activated. You start noticing flickers of white light during meditation. You might even see colors and shapes. There’s a variety of things you’ll start noticing once your Third Eye gets activated. Rather than focusing all your attention on the flash of white light while meditating, it’s advisable to concentrate on your meditation experiences just as you did when you started out.

To fully comprehend what happens during a meditation white light experience, you must first understand how various forms and scenes are created in your mind’s sight center. Normally, past experiences and impressions are stored in your memory. Whenever you recall a past experience or event, the mental impressions are reproduced and projected onto your mental screen. You’re therefore able to remember people, places or objects that you interacted with in the past. The memory centers within your brain are also responsible for visions and imaginations.

Our Incredible Brains

There are essentially two types of minds accepted by modern psychologists: the subconscious and conscious mind. These two are very different. The subconscious mind normally stores all your life experiences, your memories and beliefs. Your conscious mind, on the other hand, helps to create visions or scenes when you’re in a wakeful state. So the more you concentrate, the more you’re likely to see a white light during meditation. This meditation white light experience might be frightening at first, but you’ll get used to it after a while.

Some Buddhist meditation techniques require you to visualize a holy light. However, this is a totally different kettle of fish – it’s different from viewing an actual flash of white light while meditating. As Tokpa Korlo explains in his Mind Talk, the purpose of mindfulness meditation is to develop love and compassion for others. Being rooted in the present moment helps an individual to appreciate the beauty of now. As a result, he/she develops an overwhelming peace of mind and cultivates lovingkindness. So you don’t need to see a beautiful white light during meditation. The seemingly mild mental, physical and psychological developments that result from your daily meditation practice is really all that matters.

Next time a white light shows up in your meditation experiences, don’t be afraid. Just embrace it as a natural part of your practice. Also remember that nothing is exempted from change – it’s one of the key features of Buddhist meditation. Just as anything else, the white light that shows up while meditating is also subject to impermanence. It may show up during certain times and then disappear during others. The white light spectrum is usually regarded as the purest form of light. So when you view it, you might be experiencing a new, powerful energy that could allow you to connect better to your inner self.

If you yearn to meditate daily, get the Headspace Meditation App. It contains a variety of daily meditations that will guide and motivate you in your practice. It also has interesting Talks from numerous experts that will leave you inspired and engaged.

Recent Articles About Mind & Body

Meditation is not just a one-time thing, your mind is like a muscle. It means, you have to train it in order to balance it. We have selected the most serious and popular meditation apps for your smartphone.

Why are we meditating and what can you achieve by meditation and awareness? There is a very important reason why 18 million people in the United States alone meditate regularly.

What triggers these Autonomous Sensory Meridian Responses or Tingles? Have you ever experienced a tingling sensation after someone whispered into your ear or gently massaged your scalp?

A spiritual-oriented type of meditation has cropped up and led some people to try out some form of higher self meditation called “channeling meditation”.


Why you dream about dead people

There are a number of reasons as to why you see dead people in your dreams. These reasons are as follows

Guilt

You are having dreams about a dead person or people because you feel guilty. Guilt is brought about by a variety of reasons.

You maybe never took your time to know the person well, you never told them how much you love them and you simply did not care about them.

It also could be that perhaps when they were sick, you never paid a visit or never showed concern at all. Things happened so fast and the person passed away.

Learn to value others before it is too late. Guilt is a too much emotion to handle. Do the little things you got to do while you still have the opportunity.

A sign of new beginnings

Dreaming about dead people can as well as be a sign of you having new beginnings. When someone dies, it marks the beginning of a new life away from this life.

A new life meaning, one could either have eternal life or forever perish and that depends on what you believe in. You could dream about a dead person around the time of your wedding or any other life changing event.

A Wedding is a new beginning in that one moves away from his or her parents’ house and starts living with the spouse.

A warning of trouble

Your dream about dead people is giving you a warning about trouble that is coming. You could have let yourself fall into this trouble by the things you do. Everyone experiences trouble at one point in life. Sometimes, you cause yourself to fall into trouble.

Examine your life well and if you happen to realize the kind of trouble you are getting yourself into, make a turn around and flee away from it.

You have been thinking a lot about death

It is normal to think about your own death because you know you will die. These thoughts about death may be brought about by different events or circumstances.

You may be visited a graveyard, your relative died or you could have watched movies that contain death as the main theme. This makes you start thinking a lot about how you will die.

It is known that we shall all die but for a happy life, do not spend too much of your time thinking about it. Instead, live life to the fullest despite the fact that death is for everybody.


What makes a healthy habit?

You may be surprised to learn that more than 40 percent of the actions you perform every day aren&rsquot actually decided by you. They&rsquore actually habits. Habits dictate how we live, how we perform, and the results we achieve in life. This is why it is so important to have strong, positive habits.

In case you&rsquore wondering what habits consist of, think of them this way: something that you regularly do without having to consciously think about.

According to Medical Dictionary, a healthy habit is

&ldquoa behavior that is beneficial to one&rsquos physical or mental health, often linked to a high level of discipline and self-control.&rdquo

Positive habits are the basis of your success, while healthy habits improve your overall well-being and make you feel good. Good habits include things like regular exercise, a balanced diet, punctuality, keeping promises, etc. [1]

Positive habits make it possible for us to do things without spending exorbitant mental effort. For instance, instead of thinking how to walk down the stairs in a morning, this is taken care of by your subconscious mind which has learned the habit of walking safely down stairs. You don&rsquot need to think about moving your legs, and controlling your balance, etc.