“Beginning” and clear dreamers

through the series Yesterday’s Fiction, Today’s ScienceAnd Veronique Thebergen It takes us back to the classics of science fiction by confronting them with the latest scientific and technological advances. How does cinema feed on science? And can reality (soon?) someday catch up with fiction?

“Dreams seem real to us as long as we are in them, it is only when we wake up that we notice that they have something strange.

Start It is a film written, directed and produced by Christopher Nolan 2010, which won 4 Oscars. In the near future, “common dreaming” has developed, an espionage technique that allows to influence the victim’s subconscious while she is dreaming. The miners are interfering with this dream they have formed and which they can control to steal sensitive information. An industrialist proposes to Dom Cobb, embodies him Leonardo DiCaprio, and his team do not perform an extraction process, but an insertion process: “beginning”.

The film explores different themes, but above all the themes of dream and reality, and above all the prevailing confusion between the two.On the one hand, the beginning talks to us about the means of controlling what happens during a dream, and interfering with what the dream does to reality. Abstract Laurent Verquel He is a neurologist at CHU Grenoble Alpes, and a researcher at the Institute of Neurosciences (Inserm). Cobb will insert an idea and modify the dreamer’s behavior with this start.

to make a movie, Nolan says he was inspired by lucid dream experiences during his teenage years: He was aware that he was dreaming. Since ancient Greece, lucid dreaming has appeared in many lyrical traditions. But this concept is not completely accepted by the scientific community.

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When we dream, we feel that we are an agent, being able to act according to our dream, interfering, responding or not responding, running away, etc. We express a certain will. However, one does not possess consciousness of consciousness. We do not have that second level of consciousness where we tell ourselves that what is happening to us is strange and that it could be something other than reality, explain Neurologist. During sleep, there are areas of the brain that are more or less asleep, including the medial prefrontal cortex which is responsible for our critical thinking, our doubts. It is a kind of reality filter, which detects what is normal and what is not. We can have weird thoughts during the day, but we know we make movies. When this network is asleep during a dream, we let go of our doubts and believe in what we see. But if he wakes up a little, We can realize in this moment that everything that happens to us is too strange to be real, and realize that we are dreaming. You become a lucid dreamer, a dreamer who knows he is dreaming.

Can we influence the dreams of others?

Over the past 20 years, many neurologists have been interested in the issue of lucid dreams, and have developed experimental protocols that make it possible to verify that a person is well aware that he is dreaming. It has been suggested that the study of lucid dreams could lead to new discoveries in the realm of consciousness. Because the question of how consciousness arises in the brain is one of the greatest mysteries of neuroscience…

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But can we imagine, as in the movie, one day being able to interact with other people’s dreams, or even being able to manipulate them? In 2020, scientists from With Introduce a dream guidance protocol through an app paired with a sleep tracking sensor. But we are still far from manipulating the subject, and from the dream within the dream, as we explained Laurent Vercuil: Very early in neuroscience, scientists attempted to make insertions. Either in the mountain of sleep, by exposing the subject to images and then asking him if he dreamed of it in a certain way. Either during sleep, by subjecting the dreamer to stimuli such as water jets to provoke a reaction in the dream. The subject is asleep, but is thus affected by his environment, in this case he is affected by others.

So you can influence someone else’s dreams, but in a very limited way.

Yesterday’s imagination, today’s science, Proposed series by Véronique Thyberghien and Cédric Vanstraelen. (9 episodes: Monday at 10.00, GMT directions firstJune 28 to August 23). Co-production of La Première and We tell stories.

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