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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Want to control your dreams? Here's how you can

Want to control your dreams? Here's how you canNew research at the University of Adelaide has found that a specific combination of techniques will increase people's chances of having lucid dreams, in which the dreamer is aware they're dreaming while it's still happening and can control the experience.

Although many techniques exist for inducing lucid dreams, previous studies have reported low success rates, preventing researchers from being able to study the potential benefits and applications of lucid dreaming.

Dr Denholm Aspy's research in the University of Adelaide’s School of Psychology is aimed at addressing this problem and developing more effective lucid dream induction techniques.

The results from his studies, now published in the journal Dreaming, have confirmed that people can increase their chances of having a lucid dream.

The study involved three groups of participants, and investigated the effectiveness of three different lucid dream induction techniques:

1. reality testing – which involves checking your environment several times a day to see whether or not you’re dreaming.

2. wake back to bed – waking up after five hours, staying awake for a short period, then going back to sleep in order to enter a REM sleep period, in which dreams are more likely to occur.

3. MILD (mnemonic induction of lucid dreams) – which involves waking up after five hours of sleep and then developing the intention to remember that you are dreaming before returning to sleep, by repeating the phrase: "The next time I'm dreaming, I will remember that I'm dreaming." You also imagine yourself in a lucid dream.

Among the group of 47 people who combined all three techniques, participants achieved a 17% success rate in having lucid dreams over the period of just one week – significantly higher compared to a baseline week where they didn’t practise any techniques. Among those who were able to go to sleep within the first five minutes of completing the MILD technique, the success rate of lucid dreaming was much higher, at almost 46% of attempts.

"The MILD technique works on what we call 'prospective memory' – that is, your ability to remember to do things in the future. By repeating a phrase that you will remember you’re dreaming, it forms an intention in your mind that you will, in fact, remember that you are dreaming, leading to a lucid dream," says Dr Aspy, Visiting Research Fellow in the University's School of Psychology.

"Importantly, those who reported success using the MILD technique were significantly less sleep deprived the next day, indicating that lucid dreaming did not have any negative effect on sleep quality," he says.

"These results take us one step closer to developing highly effective lucid dream induction techniques that will allow us to study the many potential benefits of lucid dreaming, such as treatment for nightmares and improvement of physical skills and abilities through rehearsal in the lucid dream environment," Dr Aspy says.

Dr Aspy is continuing his research into lucid dreams in an attempt to further increase the effectiveness of the technique. He's conducting a new study, which is open to any English-speaking people aged 18 and over anywhere in the world. For more information and to take part in the study, visit: www.luciddreamingaustralia.com [Full Story]

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Uni of Adelaide 'signs' with Port Adelaide Community

The University of Adelaide today signed a three-year agreement with Port Adelaide Football Club's community organisation, Power Community Limited, to support Aboriginal youth education. [Full Story]

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Cosmic collision gives birth to new astronomy field

Scientists collaborating around the world, including at the University of Adelaide, have for the first time ever observed a cosmic event by both gravitational waves (or ripples in space and time) and, the more conventional, light. [Full Story]

Friday, 13 October 2017

Pacific Island Leader launches Centre for Applied Conservation Science

Former President of the Republic of Kiribati and Conservation International (CI) Distinguished Fellow Anote Tong will officially launch the Centre for Applied Conservation Science at the University of Adelaide today. [Full Story]

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Targeted nutrition centre leads in $8M health funding win

A new $2.5 million national Centre of Research Excellence will be established to improve nutrition and health outcomes for mothers and their children, as part of an injection of $8.3 million in new federal health research funding into the University of Adelaide.

Fifteen new grants have been announced for the University's researchers by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

With her $2.5 million in funding, Professor Maria Makrides will lead a team to establish the Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Targeted Nutrition to Improve Maternal and Child Health Outcomes.

"Nutrition is vitally important to support the rapid growth and development occurring from conception to a child’s second birthday – the first 1000 days. Failure to meet nutritional needs during this critical period can have profound consequences for lifelong health," says Professor Makrides, who is University of Adelaide Professor of Human Nutrition and the Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children Theme Leader at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

"Through our CRE in Targeted Nutrition to Improve Maternal and Child Health Outcomes, we will provide nutritional interventions which optimise a mother’s health outcomes and ensure her children achieve their full potential," she says.

Other funding awarded to the University of Adelaide will lead to new discoveries and outcomes in fields such as: stillbirth, cardiology, prostate cancer, leukaemia, stroke rehabilitation, brain injury, type 1 diabetes, responses to chemotherapy, transplantation, bacterial infections, Indigenous health, and diet, lifestyle and behaviour.

The funding includes:

$955,585 to Professor James Paton (Director, Research Centre for Infectious Diseases, School of Biological Sciences) for A serotype-independent, broad spectrum pneumococcal vaccine.

$577,188 to Professor Prash Sanders (Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders, Adelaide Medical School) for New approaches to the management of atrial fibrillation.

$431,000 to Dr Caroline Miller (School of Public Health; Director, Population Health Research Group, SAHMRI) for Reducing over consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in Australia.

and 11 Early Career Fellowships.

Professor Tim Hughes, SAHMRI’s Cancer Theme Leader and Cancer Council SA’s Beat Cancer Project Research Chair at the University of Adelaide, was also awarded $849,540 for Improving leukaemia outcomes. This funding is administered through SAHMRI.

The University's Interim Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mike Brooks, says: "Innovation in health and medical research is not only critical to the future of our community but is also a shining light of the state. With this latest funding announcement, the University of Adelaide continues to lead the way on health and medical research, working in close partnership with our clinical and research collaborators, including those in the new Adelaide BioMed City precinct." [Full Story]

Upcoming Events

Public Lecture Series: Foundational Fictions in South Australian History

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Ligertwood Building, Lecture Theatre 333 and Napier Building, Lecture Theatre 102

Word, Image, Song: Celebrating 500 years of Luther's Reformation

Monday, 16 October 2017 - Thursday, 30 November 2017
Barr Smith Library, Rare Books & Special Collections, Level 1

Evening Concert Series - Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra With Jazz Ensemble

Saturday, 21 October 2017, 6:30 pm
Elder Hall

Cultural Conversation - The Roseworthy Campus: history and future

Wednesday, 25 October 2017, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Roseworthy College Hall, Roseworthy campus

An Afternoon Concert at Urrbrae House

Sunday, 29 October 2017, 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Urrbrae House, Waite Campus

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