Category: Research



Over the past few years, we’ve seen [Michael]’s adventures in electronics and lucid dreaming. With commercial EEG hardware, [Michael] is able to communicate from inside his dreams with Morse code and record his rhythmic blinking for data analysis when he wakes up. His project is called Lucid Scribe, and now it’s open to just about everyone – including brain experimenters with OpenEEG hardware.

OpenEEG is a project that aims to reduce the cost of EEG hardware by providing the hardware, electrodes, software, and documentation to build your own EEG headset. It’s a great tool in the field of biofeedback, but [Michael] is going one step further; he’s busy writing an algorithm that will detect REM sleep and play an audio track while he’s in a dream state to trigger a lucid dream.

[Michael] points out that anyone with OpenEEG hardware including the DIY Olmex board can contribute to his…

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[Michael], [Tom], and a few other people on the Lucid Scribe Database project have been using off-the-shelf EEG equipment to invoke lucid dreaming. Yes, that’s where you take control of your dreams and become a god. This requires wearing an EEG setup while you sleep, and these products aren’t very comfortable sleeping wear. [Tom] decided to take apart a NeuroSky MindWave and turn it into something comfortable to wear all night.

The folks at the Lucid Scribe Database log their dreams with consumer-level EEG equipment, usually something made by NeuroSky. The NeuroSky MindWave is the smallest and cheapest EEG headset available, but it’s still a hard plastic device not conducive to sleeping.

[Tom] removed all the guts and electronic goodies out of his MindWave and attached them to an elastic headband. The MindWave has two sensors – a forehead and ear lobe sensor. For the forehead sensor, [Tom] simply soldered…

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Dream Research Contest

I was lucky enough to win a dream research contest! The challenge was to look at the word usage frequencies of six sets of dreams (available here) and make the following three predictions for each set:
a) Is the dreamer a male or female?
b) Is the dreamer younger or older than 18?
c) Is this a set of most recent dreams (MRDs) or highly memorable dreams (MemDs)?

I simply plugged the values from the baseline hypotheses into column B and the values from the sets into column C, then applied the following formulae:

=IF(C2>B2, "Female", "Male")
=IF(C19>B19, "Older", "Younger")
=IF(C25>B25, "MemD", "MRD")

And I added a test for cognition and perception, based on the findings in part 3 of “Creating a Baseline for Studying Patterns in Dream Content”.

It was a great learning experience for me and got the gears turning for some new features for Lightened Dream…

After a few nights of recording brainwaves from the MindWave and some advice from a cognitive scientist, I updated the plugin to also monitor the raw EEG data. I disabled the alpha, beta, delta, gamma and theta graphs by default, but they can be enabled from the plugin menu. I also added a first draft of the REM-detection algorithm – the audio track should now play after six blinks. And I renamed the plugin to ThinkGear EEG, as this covers both the MindSet, MindWave and ThinkGear compatible devices.
NeuroSky was kind enough to send me a MindWave EEG headset. And they are making Lucid Scribe available from their store! So I was finally able to test the plugin and added a screen to select the correct COM port and smoothed out the alpha, beta, delta and gamma brainwaves. And I renamed the plugin to MindWave.


Over the last few years, [Michael] has been working on the Lucid Scribe project, an online sleep research database to document lucid dreams. This project uses a combination of hardware and software to record rapid eye movements while sleeping. Not only is [Michael] able to get his computer to play music when he starts dreaming (thus allowing him to recognize he’s in a dream), he can also communicate from within a dream by blinking his eyes in Morse code.

According to the Lucid Scribe blog, [Michael] and other researchers in the Lucid Scribe project have developed motion-sensing hardware capable of detecting heartbeats. This equipment is also sensitive enough to detect the Rapid Eye Movements associated with dreaming. This hardware feeds data into the Lucid Scribe app and detects when [Michael] is dreaming. Apparently, [Michael] has been practicing his lucid dreaming; he’s actually been able to move his eyes while dreaming to blink our…

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