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commented on Dec. 5, 2014
"'The key finding is that you can, surprisingly, by scalp stimulation, influence the brain. And you can influence the brain in such a way that a sleeper, a dreamer, becomes aware that he is dreaming,' said Professor J Allan Hobson, from Harvard Medical School, who co-authored the paper published in Nature Neuroscience.
"Previous research, led by Dr Ursula Voss of Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Germany, suggests lucid dreaming is a unique state that displays aspects of both REM-sleep – the stage of sleep in which most of our dreams occur – and waking. By examining the sleepers' brainwaves over a range of frequencies, scientists have found that lucid dreamers demonstrate a shift towards a more "awake-like" state in the frontal and temporal parts of the brain, with the peak in increased activity occurring around 40Hz.
"'Lucid dreaming is a very good tool to observe what happens in the brain and what is causally necessary for secondary consciousness,'" Voss said.
''Hobson said the study could have implications in psychiatric research. 'As a model for mental illness, understanding lucid dreaming is absolutely crucial. I would be cautious about interpreting the results as of direct relevance to the treatment of medical illnesses, but [it's] certainly a step in the direction of understanding how the brain manages to hallucinate and be deluded.'"
"The authors suggest triggering lucid dreaming in sleepers might enable them to control nightmares, for example in those suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder."