Scientists On How The Brain Creates Out Of Body Experiences

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Out Of Body Experience

 

Scientists have presented their findings from research into how the human mind constructs the feeling of inhabiting a body.

The results were presented on November 10 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, and they highlight which parts of the brain are active during an out of body experience (OBE).

Studies show that the brain incorporates information from multiple senses along with the first person visual perspective to create a sense of ‘body ownership’. But how the brain perceives the body’s actual location in space is still a mystery.

In the study, participants lay in an MRI scanner wearing a head mounted display showing a first person view of another persons body lying in the room with their head either parallel to a wall or perpendicular to it. Researchers then touched each participant with an object while simultaneously touching the body shown in the camera view, creating the illusion that the body in the camera view actually belonged to them. To increase the perceived reality of the illusion, they also used a knife to threaten the body in the camera, and interestingly enough, the skin conductance (skin electricity – humans sweat increases when afraid) as they viewed the virtual body heightened.

Check out the interesting research here at LiveScience.