Scientist Says a Dream TiVo Is Possible

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Caltech researcher Moran Cerf says he "would like to read people's dreams." Well, wouldn't we all! Except that Dr. Cerf thinks it might be possible, based on his new research. Especially if your dream is about Bill and Hillary Clinton.

See, Dr. Cerf's study claims that certain brain neurons are associated with certain concepts, and "light up" when people think about those concepts. By showing volunteers pictures of "a wide range of objects and concepts," including, for some reason, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and recording which neurons "lit up," Cerf was able to read his subjects' minds, more or less. (Provided they were thinking of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, the Eiffel Tower, or Marilyn Monroe.)


That is pretty futuristic and cool, in that kind of way where you know the robots will seize this technology and use it to enslave us all! And think of the ramifications: Dr. Cerf thinks it'd be theoretically possible to "read" dreams. Read dreams!! Do you remember the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring summer blockbuster Inception? Well, it'd be just like that, except, uh, that movie was about people going inside dreams, not just "recording" them, or whatever. But still! You can read someone's dream and go, "You just got...Incepted."

So how soon will we get our dream reading, uh, laser gun, or whatever? The BBC writes that "Professor Colin Blakemore, a neuroscientist at Oxford University, believes that it is quite a jump from the limited results obtained in the study to talking about recording dreams." So... like ten years, or so?