Study objectives: To investigate the neural correlates of lucid dreaming.
Design: Parallel EEG/fMRI recordings of night sleep.
Setting: Sleep laboratory and fMRI facilities.
Participants: Four experienced lucid dreamers.
Measurements and results: Out of 4 participants, one subject had 2 episodes of verified lucid REM sleep of sufficient length to be analyzed by fMRI. During lucid dreaming the bilateral precuneus, cuneus, parietal lobules, and prefrontal and occipito-temporal cortices activated strongly as compared with non-lucid REM sleep.
Conclusions: In line with recent EEG data, lucid dreaming was associated with a reactivation of areas which are normally deactivated during REM sleep. This pattern of activity can explain the recovery of reflective cognitive capabilities that are the hallmark of lucid dreaming.
Keywords: REM; fMRI; lucid dreaming.