“It also seems to suggest that our recall of dreams is based on short-term memory, because dream decoding was most accurate in the tens of seconds before waking,” he adds.
Kamitani and his colleagues are now trying to collect the same kind of data from the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, which is also associated with dreaming. “This is more challenging because we have to wait at least one hour before sleeping subjects reach that stage,” Kamitani says.
But the extra effort will be worth it, he says. “Knowing more about the content of dreams and how it relates to brain activity may help us to understand the function of dreaming.”