Words that even a sleeping human brain understands and perceives

In the old Soviet film “Big Change” there is a moment when the hero of Evgeny Leonov listened and remembered information in a dream. The experiment was successful, but instead of a paragraph of history, he remembered a radio adventure story. In this comedy scene, as it turned out recently, there is some truth – in a dream we really continue to hear, and what we hear can affect the brain and the entire body. This conclusion was reached by the staff of the University of Liege. During their experiment, they gave sleeping people to listen to various phrases and tracked which ones and how the body reacted to them. As it turned out, the brain reacts only to individual words.

Words that even the sleeping human brain understands and perceives. The brain in a dream perceives some words and even reacts to them. Photo.

The brain in a dream perceives some words and even reacts to them

The brain understands words in a dream

In their study, the authors of the work gave sleeping people either neutral words or relaxing and soothing words to listen to. The brains of the volunteers perceived and responded only to soothing and relaxing words. As the authors of the work report, these words enhance slow-wave brain activity during the slow phase. At the same time, the phase itself became longer. As a result, people felt more sleepy.

Thus, calming words help the brain to rest. At the same time, neutral words did not affect the quality of sleep. The authors of the work report this in the Journal of Sleep Research. However, the result did not come as a surprise, since previous studies have already shown such an effect from relaxing words. But now scientists have decided to find out how words act not only on the brain, but also on the rest of the body.

The brain understands words in a dream. In a dream, the brain reacts to soothing words. Photo.

In a dream, the brain reacts to soothing words

Heard in a dream words affect the functioning of organs

During their experiment, scientists also recorded the cardiogram of sleeping people. As it turned out, the heart rate slows down when a person hears soothing words. It is important to emphasize that we are talking about words, and not any soothing sounds or music.

This means that the brain must not only hear the phrases, but also understand their meaning, take note and respond accordingly. The reaction, as mentioned above, was a deeper immersion in sleep and a slowdown in heart rate.

Is it possible to learn in a dream

Now let’s return to the hero of Evgeny Leonov, who tried to remember a chapter from textbook in a dream. If the human brain is truly capable of hearing and understanding words, the question arises, is it possible to remember new information in this way, as was shown in the film? To find out, another group of scientists conducted an experiment involving 20 adults.

Is it possible to learn in a dream. The human brain is really capable of remembering information in a dream. Photo.

The human brain is actually capable of remembering information during sleep

During sleep, volunteers were given white noise to listen to, but in between played certain sounds. Participants in the experiment had to recognize these sounds after waking up.

It turned out that people are really able to remember what they heard in a dream only when the information comes during the rapid phase of sleep, also known as REM sleep, when a person makes a lot of eye movements. As the study authors report in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, during the fast phase, certain waves occur in the brain that indicate learning. During other phases of sleep, no waves characteristic of learning occur.

However, it is not yet clear whether the brain remembers information specifically in a dream, or at this moment it partially awakens. It is already known that the human brain can sleep “in parts.” Therefore, it can be assumed that some part of the brain wakes up at this moment and remembers the sound information. But, in any case, the participants in the experiment themselves were asleep at the time the sounds were broadcast.

Is it possible to learn in a dream. The brain cannot connect information received in a dream with each other. Photo.

The brain cannot connect information received in a dream with each other

Of course, individual sounds — These are still not phrases or even words. But it is quite possible that the brain can remember more complex information. However, it is unlikely that you will be able to fully learn in your sleep, as in the movie “Big Break.” One study published in Scientific Reports showed that although the brain can remember information, it is not able to establish connections between the information received.

Learning requires not only hearing and remembering data, but also understanding how it are interconnected. However, during this study, people were given information to listen to during the slow phase of sleep, and not during fast sleep. Therefore, it is too early to draw final conclusions.

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Finally, let us remind you that the brain in a dream does not actually rest, but actively works, performing certain actions. As recently discovered, one of these actions is to recall information that was received during the day. However, this does not mean that a person should dream about repetitions of the experience.