UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed the Dream Brain System, an immersive Virtual Reality platform that collects dream data for therapeutic, scientific and experimental use. By capturing relevant dream data through multimodal signals recollected by the user, the Dream Brain System greatly advances conventional dream reporting techniques by providing effective dream recollection and interpretation.
Dreams are often seen as the most relevant unguarded windows to human brains. If interpreted properly, dreams can be diagnostically valuable, especially when the interpretation is integrated with a thorough knowledge of the waking situation of the dreamer and a systematic knowledge of psychology and collective cultural constructs. To understand the complex nature of dreams, a series of dreams needs to be examined in the context of waking life, with analysis tools from data science, computational statistics, neurocognitive science and new media studies.
Up until now dreams have been examined as subjectively written reports, which has restricted dream analysis tools to be based only on the methods of content analysis of texts. However, dream is a multi-sensory immersive experience that cannot be expressed only through written language. Thus, with the aim of analyzing dream reports and detecting meaningful correlations in them, a large data collection should be thoroughly examined in an environment that would enable optimal conditions for subject’s dream recall. In that sense, dreams can be analyzed on a firm scientific foundation where hypotheses can be guided by data and empirically verified to the extent possible.
Researchers at UCLA have developed the Dream Brain System, an immersive Virtual Reality (VR) platform that collects dream data and is also able to test or validate various theories about dreaming. The Dream Brain System is a set of scientific methods and tools, conceptualized in the form of a multisensory platform that captures relevant dream data through multimodal signals recollected by the user.
The Dream Brain System improves on conventional dream reporting techniques that are primarily unimodal and textual, limiting both dream recollection and effective dream interpretation. The System provides a methodology for implementing the multisensory platform of immersive VR, as well as data analysis method to interpret patterns that occur in dreams and/or dream series in order to retrieve more accurate data, and to gain better understanding of dream content and dream process.
In addition, an 8-signal model of emotional layers has been developed to help researchers visualize emotional aspects of dream data and to illustrate subject’s prevailing state of mind during dream experience. The Dream Brain System is equipped with advanced methods and tools enabling a fundamentally new and more integrated approach to dream data collection and consciousness studies.
Currently at implementation-ready stage
Dream science, dream data analysis, dream recollection, immersive environment, virtual reality, consciousness studies, cognition, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, dream simulation, Multisensory platform, multilevel dream data processing, quantification of dreams, dream pattern recognition