There is a new group of technologies emerging which can change how we sleep, how we dream, and how we think when we wake up. This course will introduce you to the nascent field of Engineering Sleep and Dreams, primarily from the vantage point of the Brain Sciences and Human-Computer-Interaction. How can sounds, smells, and other sensory stimulation given to sleepers change what information processing is happening in our minds overnight and consequently impact daytime behavior? How can we use these interventions to improve sleep, change nightmares, alter memories, and how can we ethically build and apply them? Our aim is to make you a proficient reader and designer of technologies which interface across levels of consciousness. 

We will learn about lucid dreaming, targeted memory reactivation in sleep, dream incubation, improving time to fall asleep and sleep quality, sleep disparities across the socioeconomic spectrum, varied religious dreaming practices, clinical nightmare therapies and more. Students will be asked to read and comment on 1-2 papers every week, participate in class discussions, and design and implement an original project (in a small group). This project will be supported by access to Sleep Science Lab office hours (led by Dr. Michelle Carr) and Engineering Lab office hours (led by Abhinandan Jain, Eyal Perry). Projects ranging from science experiments to art experiences or novel device designs are welcome. Technological platforms from the Fluid Interfaces research group will be available for experiencing and use in class projects, including some sleep tracking and stimulation devices. The class will be limited to 12 highly motivated, qualified students.


To email the instructors:

To email all the students (Listeners + Credit):

To email only the students taking the course for Credit:




Pattie Maes, Professor of Media, Arts and Sciences <>

Adam Haar, PhD Student, Fluid Interfaces <>

Robert Stickgold, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School <>


Lab Instructors


Dr. Michelle Carr, Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Sleep and Neurophysiology Research Laboratory <>

Abhinandan Jain, PhD Student, Fluid Interfaces, MIT Media Lab <>

Eyal Perry, PhD Student, Molecular Machines, MIT Media Lab <>


Applying: Students will be notified by Wednesday February 2nd. Priority will be given to people taking the class for credit.


Time: Tuesday 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Units: 2 – 0 – 10

Location: E15 – 341

Grading: 50% projects, 30% weekly assignments, 20% class participation.