Thursday, April 19, 2012

Psychologist Develops New Smartphone App to Control Your Dreams

Psychologist Develops New Smartphone App to Control Your Dreams

Source: Sky News

A psychologist has created an iPhone application to help people manipulate their dreams by playing pleasant 'soundscapes' during slumber.

Professor Richard Wiseman, who claims to be the most followed psychologist on Twitter, hopes to sweeten people's dreams using their smartphones.

The self-described "psychologist, author and magician" hopes to attract thousands of people to take part in the dream manipulation experiment.

Participants will download a specially designed app that turns their Apple device into a 'dream factory'.

After placing the phone on the bed it can detect when a sleeper is not moving - signifying the onset of dreaming.

The device then plays a customised 'soundscape' designed to evoke pleasant scenes such as walking in woods, lying on a beach or being in a peaceful garden.

The University of Hertfordshire's professor hopes the sound will influence dreaming, causing dreamers to conjure up situations and experiences inspired by what they are hearing.

A member of the inner Magic Circle, Prof Wiseman said: "Getting a good night's sleep and having pleasant dreams boosts people's productivity, and is essential for their psychological and physical well being.

"Despite this, we know very little about how to influence dreams. This experiment aims to change that," Prof Wiseman said.

Dream App Experiment Launched

Launched at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, it is hoped as many as 10,000 people will take part in the mass-participation study.

Prof Wiseman teamed up with app developers Yuza, which created the Dream:ON software, and participants will be encouraged to share their dreams via Facebook and Twitter.

The programme can be downloaded for free from iTunes or via the Dream:ON app project site.

A national survey conducted for the experiment found that 21% of respondents had trouble sleeping and 15% suffered from unpleasant dreams.

There is, however, a downside to participation in the experiment - the app will not give participants a full night's sleep.

The study requires the app to wake up the sleeper post-dream, who then must submit a brief description of it to a 'dream diary' database.

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