Those findings showed the same brain regions are activated when people are awake as when they are actually having the associated dream.
"We were amazed," Tamaki said.
Even though the team just tried to read dream imagery from one person's waking brain activity, they found some common patterns for broad classes of imagery, such as scenery versus people, Tamaki told LiveScience.
"There is a similarity amongst the subjects, so from that result, we could pick up some basic dream content and then we can build a model from those base contents, and they may apply to other people," Tamaki said.
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Top 10 Spooky Sleep Disorders Spooky! The 10 Most Puzzling Unexplained Phenomena Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind This article originally appeared on LiveScience. Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.