Edison, Tesla, Poe and Dalí each accessed this state by napping with a steel ball in hand to capture creative ideas generated in hypnagogic micro dreams when it dropped to the floor below
Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology have designed and developed a device which allows a person to access the state between wakefulness and sleeping.
The semi-conscious state is known as hypnagogia. Hypnagogia is characterised by phenomenological unpredictability, distorted perception of space and time and spontaneous, fluid idea association.
The device, named Dormio which is in shape of a glove allows humans to have a little control over their own consciousness. As the device is put on by a person, he or she needs to make a fist. As the person moves towards the state of sleep, the grip of the fist starts to loosen naturally. As soon as the device detects this, it plays a pre-recorded reminder interrupting the sleep.
The researchers write, “Edison, Tesla, Poe and Dalí each accessed this state by napping with a steel ball in hand to capture creative ideas generated in hypnagogic micro dreams when it dropped to the floor below.”
“In this project we modernise this technique, using an interactive social robot accompanied by an EEG system, muscular sleep stage tracking system, and auditory biofeedback. We are able to influence, extract information from, and extend hypnagogic micro dreams for the first time.
“We found that active use of hypnagogia with the system can augment human creativity. This system enables future research into sleep, an underutilized and understudied state of mind vital for memory, learning and creativity.”The device is developed by Ishaan Grover, Pedro Reynolds-Cuellar, Oscar Rosello, Tomás Vega, Aby Jain.