A tech startup is building a headband that it claims can induce stabilized lucid dreams in its wearer, allowing them to take control of their own dreamscapes. Prophetic described how his device, called “Halo,” works in a publish in X Is January. 25.
The headband will use an artificial intelligence (AI) platform called “Morpheus-1” to induce lucid dreams when placed on someone’s head, company representatives said.
Prophetic wants to give users the ability to explore their sense of consciousness and will follow this announcement with multiple studies focused on lucid dreaming. However, one expert told LiveScience that, with Morpheus-1, it’s not clear they achieved this goal.
Lucid dream It is a type of dream state in which the person is aware that they are dreaming and can at least partially control its direction. It has previously been used by writers and artists as creative inspiration or to treat recurring nightmares. Although lucid dreaming is a trainable skill and has been studied for years, we still don’t fully understand its causes or purpose.
Prophetic scientists, however, have said they have identified that the defining characteristic of the lucid dream state is increased activity in the frontal regions of the brain during sleep. These regions tend to be less active during other sleep states.
Several studies have attempted to forge similar links, including one published in December 2018 in the journal Nature and another published in May 2019 in the magazine Neuroscience and Biobehavior Reviews.
Morpheus-1 will use “transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation,” a non-invasive way to modulate brain activity using high-frequency sound waves beyond the normal human hearing range.
The headband monitors the user’s EEG activity and then uses the Morpheus-1 generative AI platform, which will be trained using a large data set of EEG scans from people who had lucid dreams.
By learning what the characteristic EEG signature of lucid dreams looks like, the device can stimulate key regions of the brain to recreate that pattern, thus inducing lucid dreams, the Prophetic representative said. But one expert told LiveScience that it’s difficult to say whether Morpheus-1 can achieve what company representatives claim it can.
“The study they have on their technology roadmap demonstrates different activation patterns in the prefrontal cortex associated with lucid dreaming and they are trying to modulate those circuits.” Guy Leschziner, professor of neurology and sleep medicine at Guy’s Hospital and author of “The Secret World of Sleep” (Simon & Schuster, 2020), told LiveScience. “Many times, we don’t fully understand what we’re doing when using deep brain stimulation or transcranial stimulation, and sometimes the effects of these technological interventions don’t necessarily do what we think they’re doing.”
However, any device capable of modifying brain waves would normally be subject to significant ethical oversight. There has also been little research on the long-term effects of regular lucid dreaminglet alone the impacts of regularly inducing the sleep state through brain modulation.
“What they have published suggests that dreams can be modulated by this, but the research I have seen suggests that they need to do more detailed evaluations and systematically demonstrate the effectiveness of this device on a larger scale,” Leschziner said.