Army seeks to counteract PTSD nightmares with "real-life Inception"

Danger Room reports that an Army-backed R&D project called “Power Dreaming” at Naval Hospital Bremerton in Washington State promises to help troops battle their nightmares with digital "counter-dreams": virtual dream stimuli. The Army awarded about half a million dollars to a consulting company for help developing the experiment, which is scheduled to launch next year.


  1. I think that I may have just heard a bunch of sociopathic spooks and their ethically challenged pet shrinks wondering if there is any technical reason why the stimuli need counteract nightmares…

  2. Hopefully this technology never makes it out into the general publ… uh oh… does anyone else hear Edith Piaf?

  3. Soldiers need cognitive therapy and real help, not quackery based on “really cool CGI driven movie plots”.  

    Rather than spend money on what works, they want a cheap solution, some sort of “magic machine” that quickly fixes the horrible damage done to the minds of soldiers… by playing with a second life based “happy world”  WTF?

    great quote from the article “It won’t be easy. And there will be security hurdles, as well as technological ones, if dreams are downloaded from hospital computers onto soldiers’ laptops.”

    Yeah, the only reason TRON wasn’t real in the 1980s is because of “Technological Hurdles”.

    This is just a really expensive way of having the soldiers paint pretty pictures and stare at them with the hopes that staring at the pretty pictures will make them forget all the bad stuff they are having trouble letting go of.

    Maybe they should just give up now and start having everyone stare at goats.

  4. If Fringe has taught me anything it is that that large quantities of psychotropic drugs, an immersion tank, and varies pieces of electrical equipment typically don’t lead to the outcome you were expecting.

    1. I laughed at first, but that is actually a very interesting dilemma that would appear should this type of technology actually become possible.  You can have mental problems fixed, but the DollHouse effect means that your brain can then be tampered with.  Illegal or non-consensual practices are one thing, but what happens when to afford treatment, you have to be sponsored by a corporation?  

      On some level, it could be a genuinely perfect agreement; you get a fix, they get a lifelong customer.  If they are responsible for your continued health, they have an incentive not to screw up anything too badly or even keep you stable, happy and able to buy their product.

      More realistically though, the Apocalypse would probably ensue: what would happen when China got the technology?

        1. Is China more evil than the US?  That is entirely relative.  

          Already inclined towards heavy propaganda and indoctrination?  Most certainly.  China also puts much less value on personal freedom, and much more value on the stability of the country and culture as a whole.  I could see the US making a few Super-soldiers or whatnot, but the abuse is much more likely to come from the corporate world here. In China, almost everyone in any position of power works for the government.  And since China seems likely to become the dominant power in the world, (assuming it keeps its current track) they will be making the choices that we used to.

          Or I would imagine at least.  My qualifications for this involve re-watching Dollhouse a couple dozen times and tripping out, so take this all with a grain of salt.

          1. I agree.  Attacking China is not defending the US.  China, independent of any other nation or entity on earth, has a fairly poor human rights record.  Even if the US does too, even if I, saying this now, am actually HITLER, that doesn’t change what China does. 

  5. I have no direct thread related comment, but the “Inception” film reference reminded me that last week I had my first (so far as I know) dream within a dream experience.

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