((ProfPsy}} Stephen LaBerge is a psychophysiologist and a leader in the scientific study of lucid dreaming. He began to research lucid dreaming while working on his Ph.D at Stanford University. He developed techniques (REM cues) to enable himself and other researchers to enter a lucid dream state at will, most notably the MILD technique (mnemonic induction of lucid dreams), which was necessary for many forms of dream experimentation. In 1987, he founded The Lucidity Institute, an organisation that promotes research into lucid dreaming, as well as running courses for the general public on how to achieve lucid dreaming. His technique of signalling to a collaborator monitoring his EEG with agreed-upon eye movements during REM became the first published, scientifically-verified signal from a dreamer's mind to the outside world (the actual first confirmed signal coming from Alan Worsley under study in England - his group however witheld their results, awaiting more solid evidence and repeated successes, presumably from an understandable fear of ridicule from peers in the field of sleep and dream research, and hence LaBerge's Ph.D thesis results were published first).
Though the technique is simple, it opened up broad new avenues of dream research that are still only beginning to be explored, and pushed the field of dream research, or oneirology, beyond its protoscientific and largely discredited psychoanalytic roots, establishing it as a fruitful and respectable discipline. Other significant contributors to the scientific study of dreaming include J. Allan Hobson, Patricia Garfield, Tore A. Nielsen, Mark Solms, Francis Crick of Nobel prize fame for his co-discovery of the helical structure of DNA, and innumerable others.
- Main article: Lucid dreaming
Interesting results from LaBerge's lab and others, using eye-signalling include:
- comparison of subjective sense of time in dreams versus the waking state
- comparison of electrical activity in the brain when singing while awake, and while in a dream
- various studies comparing physiological sexual arousal and in-dream sex, and most interestingly, orgasm..
Books and lucid dreaming education and facilitationEdit
LaBerge has written a number of books on the subject of lucid dreaming, and developed a device that can help users achieve a lucid state while dreaming. The device, known as the DreamLight, consists of a mask worn over the eyes with LEDs positioned over the eyelids. The LEDs flash whenever the mask detects that the person had entered REM sleep. This stimulus was incorporated into dreams, which the dreamer then recognized as a cue to enter a state of lucidity. This device has since been discontinued as LaBerge's lab works on an improved version.
Stephen LaBerge currently lectures at Universities and other professional institutions, and hosts lucid dreaming sessions at various locations.
- Lucid Dreaming: The power of being aware and awake in your dreams (1985)
- Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming with Howard Rheingold
- Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life