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Dream Hacking: Decisions, Addictions, and Sleep

Watch the first-ever video documenting this live two-way dream communication.

Publish Date: Topic: Body + BrainBody & BrainBrand: What the Physics?!What the Physics?!
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By Greg Kestin

Have you ever felt drawn toward choices without knowing why? Or, as seen in the movie “Inception,” have you ever felt like you’ve woken up with a decision that’s already been made for you?

Neuroscience is beginning to demystify such feelings. Our agency and decisions, it turns out, can be measurably influenced by events that evade the conscious part of our brains. We’ll see three groundbreaking experiments that illustrate that influences we are unaware of in our waking life, during dreamless sleep, or even in our dreams can impact our memory and behavior.

Published on February 18, 2021, in the journal Current Biology, an international team of scientists have found a bridge to the dream world by showing that it’s possible to have a direct dialogue with someone in their dream—and NOVA’s Greg Kestin (host of “What the Physics?!”) was given exclusive access.

The scientific context and potential effect of this team’s work are built up in the film through two related groundbreaking experiments. These experiments also show how scientists can influence your decisions, desires, and habits without you being aware.

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This project/research was supported by grant number FQXi-RFP-1822 from the Foundational Questions Institute and Fetzer Franklin Fund, a donor-advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.