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    Thread: University of Bern finds that dreamers take 50% longer to complete their tasks compared to waking

    1. #1
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      University of Bern finds that dreamers take 50% longer to complete their tasks compared to waking

      In a recent experiment from the University of Bern in Switzerland, a team of scientists invited skilled lucid dreamers to sleep in a specially equipped sleep lab. The purpose of the study was to find out how time passes while we sleep, so the dreamers were asked to perform various kinds of tasks in their dreams.

      Once they had gained lucidity, they had to walk 10 paces, count to 30 or perform an elaborate gymnastics routine, for instance. To time the duration of their actions, the scientists used a peculiar aspect of the dreaming mind: although the body is paralyzed, eye movements tend to be translated to the body. In this way, the subjects could signal the start and end of the actions by rolling their eyes left and right a couple of times. Along the way, Erlacher measured their brain activity and muscle movements, to be sure they weren't just pretending to be asleep.

      As he expected, the dreamers sometimes took up to 50% longer to complete the routines than you would in real life, suggesting that they were somehow playing out their tasks in slow motion, even though they didn't realize it at the time. “They reported that it felt exactly the same as in wakefulness,” says Erlacher.

      Lucid Dreaming Solves Mystery Of Whether Our Brains Go Into Slow Motion When We Sleep

      BBC - Future - Do dreams occur in slow motion?
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      Ha!
      The very opposite of this supposed time-dilation a la Inception is the reality then?
      Wow - very interesting! Nice detail about the inability to self-tickle by DC-proxy in the BBC article...

      Thanks for posting!
      I hope it creates some discussion.

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      Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison just found the neurological difference between fantasy and reality - information flows through our brains in opposite directions when we’re imagining something compared to really doing it: Imagination, reality flow in opposite directions in the brain -- ScienceDaily.

      During imagination, the researchers found an increase in the flow of information from the parietal lobe of the brain to the occipital lobe -- from a higher-order region that combines inputs from several of the senses out to a lower-order region.
      In contrast, visual information taken in by the eyes tends to flow from the occipital lobe -- which makes up much of the brain's visual cortex -- "up" to the parietal lobe.

      That might explain why it takes longer to complete tasks while dreaming!
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      Interesting research! From personal experience of getting a lot done in a few mins of dreaming, I expected to see the opposite of what they found in the study.

      Your proposed explanation makes some sense though. Also, I am wondering if particular tasks may be more time consuming to perform in dreams than others. Perhaps counting takes longer as our higher cognitive functions are less active during sleep?

      Edit: Hmm. Very intriguing indeed. I think this is the original study.

      http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journ...013.01013/full

      They give a number of examples for task completion. It seems logical that the dreamers were actually taking a little time (a second or two) to recall to do the tasks and also not to forget to begin to start with eye movements before or after the tasks. This may have added a few extra seconds for time completion. I could relate this to not having instant access to all of brain's facilities, like for instance prospective memory. As we know, it can be really difficult at times to recall what task you wanted to do, even if lucid.
      Last edited by NyxCC; 11-27-2014 at 02:51 AM. Reason: Added study details
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