If you’ve ever tried out a virtual reality headset, you will understand the disarming sensation of pulling the headset from your eyes once it’s game over.
It’s incredibly easy to trick your mind into feeling sensations like fear, panic or even total calm.
Convinced that there’s a way to “hack” our brains, scientists are now working on techniques that, similarly to virtual reality, can coax the brain into changing its perception of what’s real.
These methods can help us regulate sleep patterns, calm us down and help us focus, they claim.
A group of scientists in London are putting volunteers into a dream state – even though they are awake.
Carl Smith, director of the Learning Technology Research Centre (LTRC) at Ravensbourne in London told IFLScience that they have been successful in the process, called “context engineering”.
This includes a variety of methods including performing exercises to train your brain into focusing on senses we typically ignore.
This could be concentrating on your peripheral vision, to gain a sense of calm.
Athletes are using the technique ahead of a race to focus their mind.
Another hack is a method called binaural beats, where a tone of a particular frequency is played into one ear and a different tone of another frequency is played into the other.
The brain tries to regulate the sound and creates a third tone that balances the two by creating an equal frequency.
Focusing on this third tone, a method called 2delta entrainment”, allows people to drop into a dream state – without going to sleep.
Smith said: “When people want to go into a dream state they can do a 15-minute delta entrainment so their brain actually goes into the delta state, a sleep state, even though they’re not sleeping – and that’s just through listening to binaural sounds.”
It’s part of a larger branch of science called biohacking, which has gained notoriety among amateur scientists.
DIY hackers have taken methods from experts in white coats and a subculture of people tinkering with their bodies in their bedrooms is emerging – sometimes with disastrous consequences.
In one extreme case, a group of Californian “scientists” said they had given a colleague night vision after injecting his eyeball with a chemical found in deep-sea jellyfish.
There is a growing community of transhumanists who believe implanting things in their body will “upgrade” humanity and that we will eventually merge with machines.
The concept of singularity, where humans evolve to merge with machines, is a concept that’s been brought up by Tesla billionaire Elon Musk and discussed by Brit boff Stephen Hawking.
Culled from The Sun UK