The great debate over Inception is still raging but is anything from Inception actually possible? New Scientist has broken down the movie with no spoilers. It’s a fantastic read but here’s a quick overview in case you don’t have the time:
Is it possible to directly access someone’s dreaming mind?
A device does already exist that can effectively read someone’s mind. A functional MRI scanner takes snapshots of brain activity, and then the software recreates images of what the subject was looking at.
How can I control my dreams?
The easiest way to experience a lucid dream is to train yourself to ask, “Am I dreaming?” while you are asleep. Keen video gamers, probably because they focus on a single task for hours per day, are particularly good at lucid dreaming.
Do dreams have to obey the laws of physics?
However, the dreams follow some “real life” rules. As writer and producer Jeff Warren wrote about his own dream investigations:
Without sensory input, consciousness appears to behave in predictable ways. Informal laws can be deduced, for example, the “law of self-fulfilling expectations” (what you expect to happen will happen), the “law of narrative momentum” (linger too long in one place and the dream world begins to fray.
What is the function of dreams?
Freud thought that dreams expressed our repressed desires. And so they do, sometimes, but much modern research suggests that dreams help in information processing and memory storage.
How does subjective time pass in a dream?
In Inception, dream time runs much slower than real time, and there is a scaling effect, such that if you dream within a dream, time passes even more slowly.
Read the rest over at New Scientist.