Perchance to Dream about Tetris

  • Share This:

How well do you remember your dreams? Have you ever had a dream about something you were doing earlier in the day—especially if you were doing it when you nodded off? If you’re a sleep researcher, like Harvard psychiatrist Robert Stickgold, who wants to induce a specific dream in your patients, Tetris is apparently the way to go. He had subjects play the popular video game before going to sleep, and then had them record their dreams when they woke up. What was really interesting though, is what happened when he conducted the same experiment on amnesiacs.

More from this series: Mind after Midnight

Sign up for our free newsletter to see exclusive features and be the first to get news and updates on upcoming WSF programs.


Date: Friday June 3, 2011
Time: 08:00 PM-09:30 PM
Venue: NYU Kimmel Center, Eisner & Lubin Auditorium
Moderator: Carl Zimmer
Participants: Carlos H. Schenck, Matthew Wilson, Niels Rattenborg

We spend a third of our lives asleep. Every organism on Earth—from rats to dolphins to fruit flies to microorganisms—relies on sleep for its survival, yet science is still wrestling with a fundamental question: Why does sleep exist? During Shakespeare and Cervantes' time, sleep was likened to death, with body and mind falling into a deep stillness before resurrecting each new day. In reality, sleep is a flurry of action. Trillions of neurons light up. The endocrine system kicks into overdrive. The bloodstream is flooded with a...[Read more]