Researchers Manipulate Rats’ Dreams
Good grief, what next? Researchers claim they have been able to change the dreams of rats. From the Daily Mail story:
Using correlative analysis, they confirmed the rats were dreaming about the previous day's exploits in the enclosure but when researchers played the audio cues from the experiment, they found the rats' dreams would change. They were now dreaming about the section of the maze associated with that signal.
This proved that the contents of their dreams could be modified by an outside party re-activating certain memories while they were asleep. Wilson told the website that this 'dream engineering' opens the door to more invasive control of memory processing during sleep. He said it even opened up the possibility of certain memories being enhanced, changed or even blocked from our minds.
Once could see a therapeutic benefit for those suffering from intractable nightmares. One could even see such manipulations sold as a form of recreational experience.
But like much of modern biotechnology, it also opens some very worrisome cans of worms. Does this mean we will have to have laws protecting the freedom to dream without outside interference?