Author Topic: Practicing a motor task in a lucid dream enhances subsequent performance (2010)  (Read 8889 times)

Offline melanie_schaedlich

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In one thread http://mortalmist.com/forum/index.php?topic=5617.new;topicseen#new I promised to post this study. But since it was not published in a free journal like the others, I can only provide the absract here. If you are interested in the whole article, I can send it to you for private use, but not for publication in forums etc.:

Erlacher, D. & Schredl, M. (2010): Practicing a motor task in a lucid dream enhances subsequent performance: A pilot study. Sport Psychologist, 24(2), 157-167.

Nocturnal dreams can be considered as a kind of simulation of the real world on a higher cognitive level. Within lucid dreams, the dreamer is able to control the ongoing dream content and is free to do what he or she wants. In this pilot study, the possibility of practicing a simple motor task in a lucid dream was studied. Forty participants were assigned to a lucid dream practice group, a physical practice group and a control group. The motor task was to toss 10-cent coins into a cup and hit as many as possible out of 20 tosses. Waking performance was measured in the evening and on the next morning by the participants at home. The 20 volunteers in the lucid dream practice group attempted to carry out the motor task in a lucid dream on a single night. Seven participants succeeded in having a lucid dream and practiced the experimental task. This group of seven showed a significant improvement in performance (from 3.7 to 5.3); the other 13 subjects showed no improvement (from 3.4 to 2.9). Comparing all four groups, the physical practice group demonstrated the highest enhancement in performance followed by the successful lucid dream practice group. Both groups had statistically significant higher improvements in contrast to the nondreaming group and the control group. Even though the experimental design is not able to explain if specific effects (motor learning) or unspecific effects (motivation) caused the improvement, the results of this study showed that rehearsing in a lucid dream enhances subsequent performance in wakefulness. To clarify the factors which increased performance after lucid dream practice and to control for confounding factors, it is suggested that sleep laboratory studies should be conducted in the future. The possibilities of lucid dream practice for professional sports will be discussed.
Dr. Melanie Schaedlich
- former lucid dream researcher -

Offline yuften

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This is very interesting and thank you for posting this study. I can relate to this, in fact, most of the time (I cannot say all because I do not remember) I have practised something physical in a dream, say thai boxing for example, I would see that it would consequently positively affect my practice of it in "real" life (for the lack of a better term). I was actually thinking about this phenomena today and here I come across this study, how convenient !

Makes me think of something I read not so long ago "every time you wish something, the universe conspires to make it happen."
Thanks again.
Be still and know that ye are thy God.

Offline Shellidfl

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This is very interesting and thank you for posting this study. I can relate to this, in fact, most of the time (I cannot say all because I do not remember) I have practised something physical in a dream, say thai boxing for example, I would see that it would consequently positively affect my practice of it in "real" life (for the lack of a better term). I was actually thinking about this phenomena today and here I come across this study, how convenient !

Makes me think of something I read not so long ago "every time you wish something, the universe conspires to make it happen."
Thanks again.

That's how I felt when I "found" this forum!

Offline Sunshine

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« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 07:04:01 PM by pj »

Offline iadr

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Interesting.  I wouldn't have thought motor skills would be something you could improve in dreams.  It seems counter-intuitive.
Motor skills can absolutely be improved by rehearsing things while in a lucid state, just as visualizing things while not dreaming can improve ones performance. The advantage of rehearsing things while in a lucid state would be that a person would be deeper and more in tune with their subconscious mind during this state, and could actually be rehearsing the things using their dream body instead of just going through the things in their imagination as they would while not dreaming.

Beg and Bas: HA GG TR LM CL SO LC RS FL LW TD
Int: EF BI JR DC WH CT CW IA WA TA WT JT RA WW WF RA MF WF BO TK
Advanced: TT AN OB CS BH ST
Sea:
All tasks completed. Going through a second time.

Offline Sunshine

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« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 07:04:01 PM by pj »

Offline melanie_schaedlich

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Dr. Melanie Schaedlich
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Offline melanie_schaedlich

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It just seems like things wouldn't fly right, so to speak.  If you toss coins at a cup, you could TK them in there, for example, or they could just float away.  To do that IRL, it seems like just practice against physics.  But physics in dreams isn't always the same.

That's why I thought that.

That's true, Moonbeam and, of course this is one of the big problems with lucid dream practice. But it is just the same as with all other things or tasks you attempt to test in a lucid dream: It depends very much on your motivation, expectations, doubts, focus and patience. it's somthing one could work on.

I have already interviewed some people for my study and some of them have had amazing experiences with practicing motor skills while lucid! Sometimes problems arise, but that does not mean that you can not deal with them or maybe it just works better in the following LD...

Also, you are right: physics in dreams are not always the same as in waking life, but what is more important is that when you perform a certain movement in you dream, the "programme" for that movement is actually carried out in the way as if you were moving in waking life! At least this is what we can assume from dream research and even more, from research on mental simulation, so far. So brain-wise you DO carry out the movement, but your brain stems acutally stops you from acting out the movement physically - a function which is not working for people with REM disorder (they actually DO act out there dreams :( ) This is why you *could* improve...you rehearse motor programmes. Of course, a criticial factor to discuss here is the missing feedback from both the(physical) body and the environment. It can be assumed that the brain manages to simulate this feedback to a certain extent - in that case it would be helpful to have at least some experience with the movement in waking life already - the simulation of the feedback might be more real then.

Regarding the example of coin throwing: I think it does not really matter if the cup in the dream is positioned in the exact same way as in wakefulness. I tihnk it is more important to practice that specific eye-hand coordination while dreaming and thereby improving that neuronal programme.

I think there is plenty still to be shown by research - especially using imaging techniques which are constantly improved so that now participants can actually sleep in the newest fMRI scanners, because they are not as loud as they used to be.
Dr. Melanie Schaedlich
- former lucid dream researcher -

Offline melanie_schaedlich

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Interesting.  I wouldn't have thought motor skills would be something you could improve in dreams.  It seems counter-intuitive.
Motor skills can absolutely be improved by rehearsing things while in a lucid state, just as visualizing things while not dreaming can improve ones performance. The advantage of rehearsing things while in a lucid state would be that a person would be deeper and more in tune with their subconscious mind during this state, and could actually be rehearsing the things using their dream body instead of just going through the things in their imagination as they would while not dreaming.

Exactly! Some may call it "subconscious", others might say that you are not as rationally thinking about each step of your performance - it is possible that lucid dreams help you, because you move rather intuitively.

Of course, ever one is different and the (whether subjectively felt or objectively measured) success of lucid dream practice  probably depends on many things like level of expertise, familiarity with the movement, degree of lucidity, degree of focus, expectations (or being open to things), experience with lucid dream practice itself...

One improtant application of lucid dream practice - next to complementing your waking practice - could be to practice when you are not able to practice physically, because you are injured or it's not the right season (winter sports) etc...
Dr. Melanie Schaedlich
- former lucid dream researcher -

Offline Sunshine

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Offline iadr

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One improtant application of lucid dream practice - next to complementing your waking practice - could be to practice when you are not able to practice physically, because you are injured or it's not the right season (winter sports) etc...
Good example melanie. Iadr remembers when Priest Holmes who used to play as a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs was injured, and could not practice during the week, so just practiced mentally during the week, and then played in the games. And although he practiced mentally, he was not as good as he would have been if he had been able to go through the practices physically, because his body was not as strong. So it does help if a person can do both.

There have also been cases of defensive football players, who always seem to be in the right place to make a couple of interceptions every game, as the ball seems to just be drawn to them. One such player when asked about this, mentioned how he always visualizes himself making interceptions during the week before the games. Iadr would guess that his visualizations cause his subconscious to help him just be in the right place during the games to make those interceptions.

If these kinds of results can be obtained just through visualization, it just makes sense that practicing them during lucid dreams would be even more powerful...and fun.
Beg and Bas: HA GG TR LM CL SO LC RS FL LW TD
Int: EF BI JR DC WH CT CW IA WA TA WT JT RA WW WF RA MF WF BO TK
Advanced: TT AN OB CS BH ST
Sea:
All tasks completed. Going through a second time.

Offline Shellidfl

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Also, figure skaters will go through their programs in their minds, "feeling" their bodies going through the movements/jumps/spins, almost right up to competition time - many can and have been quite successful with visualization!

Offline Sunshine

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Offline Jomid59

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I wish you all the best with your research and look forward to the conclusions drawn.

I am curious as to how the data can be objectively validated. How does one isolate and measure the lucid dream component of a waking state improvement in performance.

Do we know how many of the world's top sports competitors have LD as part of their training regime.

Does self-belief improve performance.
Can LD engender greater self-belief.

As an archer and lucid dreamer I would not use LD as an aid to my waking performance, probably the opposite in fact. Almost all of my waking time would be dedicated to the task of mastering archery leaving my LD time as an amusement break.  :)
"Stranger in a strange Land"

Offline Shellidfl

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Do we know how many of the world's top sports competitors have LD as part of their training regime.

Does self-belief improve performance.
Can LD engender greater self-belief.

As an archer and lucid dreamer I would not use LD as an aid to my waking performance, probably the opposite in fact. Almost all of my waking time would be dedicated to the task of mastering archery leaving my LD time as an amusement break.  :)

I would hazard a guess that there may be some top competitors actually do LD, but at the present time, would not openly admit to it, which is a shame, as we would all agree.
And I would agree with you, Jomid59, that I would not want to "waste" my LDs on mastering some physical feats - I mostly like to "play" :content: