Brain Scans Used To Replicate Jung’s Word Association Test

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A central tenet of CG Jung’s analytical psychology is that the unconscious has drives strong enough to override conscious will. Hence, he stressed ‘listening’ to dreams and fantasies that arise from unconscious stirrings through active imagination and other forms of creative expression. Jung believed listening to the unconscious could increase psychological integration and reduces internal conflict — if not decrease the likelihood of behaving in ways we later regret.

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Dream Machine: New Brain Imaging Technology that Knows What You’re Dreaming About



This summer, a lab in Kyoto, Japan, was the first to successfully use a computer program to “read” the images that subjects saw in their dreams. Although the program predicted images with only 60% accuracy, this is greatly above chance, given that over 20 object categories were possible.

Scientists first had to “teach” the computer program what patterns of brain activation were associated with a certain dream image. To accomplish this, subjects dozed inside an fMRI* scanner wearing an EEG device. EEG (electroencephalogram) data is a measure of electrical activity in the brain, more commonly known as brain waves. When subjects fell into a light sleep (Stage 1 sleep), EEG data would alert researchers to the presence of a dream-like state in the subject. Technically, this state does not involve true dreams, which occur in REM sleep. Instead, visual experiences in Stage 1 sleep are called hypnagogic hallucinations, which are…

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