Saturday, August 25, 2007

Scientists Induce Out-of-Body Sensation

Excerpted from New York Times.
When people gaze at an illusory image of themselves through the goggles and are prodded in just the right way with the stick, they feel as if they have left their bodies.

The research reveals that “the sense of having a body, of being in a bodily self,” is actually constructed from multiple sensory streams, said Matthew Botvinick, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Princeton University, an expert on body and mind who was not involved in the experiments.

Usually these sensory streams, which include vision, touch, balance and the sense of where one’s body is positioned in space, work together seamlessly, Prof. Botvinick said. But when the information coming from the sensory sources does not match up, when they are thrown out of synchrony, the sense of being embodied as a whole comes apart.
Read rest of article...

This is fantastic because it explains the physiological reason people believe they are having out of body experiences and hammers one more nail in the coffin of superstition & mysticism...

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