Scientists recreate Out-of-Body Experience

The BBC Article:

It sounds like quite a complicated VR setup to replicate what otherwise occurs au naturel, but the upshot is that the OBE’s sensation of being disconnected from the physical body can be reproduced.

Now, I’ve always thought OBEs were a brain glitch, so no surprises here to me. But does this in any way act as support for an argument against supernatural OBEs? I think so (since, if there’s a neurological explanation, a supenatural one becomes superfluous), but I’m sure some disagree. Thought?

I don’t see how technology that can duplicate (or sort of duplicate) a (super)natural event has any bearing on if that event can happen (super)naturally.

For instance, perhaps people claim they can talk to each other over great distances, the invention of the telephone does not negate that claim.

Heard this on the radio this morning and immediately thought of lekatt. I was a little disappointed with the purported “proof” offered.

And it wouldn’t, of course, constitute proof of anything at all to a woo-woo. But then what would?

It doesn’t “prove” anything to me either, though I’m a skeptic. However, that it’s a widely reported “spiritual” phenomenon that can now be artificially induced indicates to me more strongly the conclusion I already suspected…

OTOH, doing it that way is better than the other way.

“Now, Mr zone, we are going to temporarilly kill you. Observe everything very carefully because when we bring you back to life we’ll have lots of questions.”

Yep, playing with a Nintendo Virtual Boy has that beat all hollow.

I don’t see how it’s an OBE, more like it’s just auto-suggestion and fancy camera work.

True, but the point is that the OBEs experienced “naturally” come from the same internal state.

And while this doesn’t prove that OBEs happen this way, it removes the necessity of a supernatural explanation. One more gap gone, in a sense.

Well I am unimpressed by being able to convince someone to identify with a virtual body. I do that every day when I play video games without fancy equipment. I don’t like getting shot when I play Quake. I dunno, I just don’t see anything ground breaking in this study. We used to hypnotize each other when we were kids and then induce imaginative full-immersion role-play states where we’d lead each other through scenarios. This is no different from doing that within a digital video medium. It’s not the same thing as an Out of Body Experience which is precisely characterized by its spontaneous alternate perspective on the individual. What makes an OBE interesting is how the person perceives themselves from within their mind without the aid of an external visual apparatus.

I have been seeing a lot of ‘well duh’ science recently, where I see some study that is working to prove something that doesn’t seem all that impressive to me. Certainly I am glad that science is proving some common sense ideas, it will really make internet arguments easier when we can point to evidence for common sense, but it just doesn’t impress me much.

That is why this sort of thing is done by scientists, to fool people into believing misinformation. Now there will be millions of people out there that actually believe science can trigger out of body experiences. Just like there are many who really believe science can duplicate near death experiences with drugs, and other means. They will believe because they have faith in science and will never read enough about out of body or near death experiences to judge for themselves.

All the while there are thousands of experiencers who know this sort of thing is a lie. But have been disenfranchised by unscrupulous individuals calling themselves scientists.

No one has ever produced a near death experience or an out of body experience by the use of chemicals, or other means unless, of course, the dose was large enough to produce death. It is death, or the expectation of death that causes near death experiences. We now have evidence in the form of research that shows consciousness will live after the death of the body. This is what every experiencer knows and reports. I have been there, there is no doubt in my mind that I will live after the death of my body.

I am sorry to see “science” go down this dead end road, when it could be helping people in a different way so much more than now. I do not call this real science, not anything like the science I grew up to respect.

Except they just did, lekatt.

You’d be on safer ground there by saying that “real” OBE’s are a different phenomenon altogether from those induced by drugs or VR tricks, and that they bear only superficially similarities.

Also, don’t accuse scientists of being liars or unscrupulous without hard proof. They have their data to show. Their experiments can be replicated. They have the proof of their honesty. What proof do you have that VR hasn’t or can’t produce an OBE (or an OBE like state)?

lekatt, you have just demonstrated why your opinion on this topic is worthless.

You have no idea what the intent of the researchers may have been, yet you are ignorantly accusing them of evil intentions despite that lack of knowledge.

You also appear to be confusing the examination into OBEs with your favorite little cause regarding NDEs, even though there is no evidence that the researcher(s) made any connection with the two phenomena. (While some OBEs are associated with some NDEs, there is no necessary association and OBEs occur in other situations, as well.)

You are so dead set on condeming your imaginary version of science that you will heap scorn on people without even bothering to find out what they actually did or said–just as you constantly whine against people whom you do not believe have sufficiently studied your NDEs. You might want to consider whether you are not being just a bit hypocritical.

I heard it on the radio this morning and immediately thought of Connie Willis.

Hmm, I think I’ve done an experiment similar to this a few times in my life - I’ve had dreams. In these dreams I visualized myself in places I’m fairly sure I actually wasn’t (in some cases due to the improbability thereof) and reacted to to the perceived location as if I was actually there.

On the other hand, I can’t dream on cue (or, with a nod to another thread, prove I’ve even done it), so this is better in that regard.
This is not to imply that a dream could possibly be a phenomena based entirely in the mind, though.

Of course, that only refers to the scientists whose research you disagree with. Those scientists whose research re-enforces your own preconceptions are, of course, paragons of truthfulness and the righteous quest for knowledge. Funny how neatly it breaks down like that, isn’t it?

As I posted in this thread

quote They are not, as Lekatt claimes, experiments trying to debunk out of body experiences, although Dr. Henrik Ehrsson, the neuroscientist that headed the experiments, stated that the results were “adding weight to the notion that errors in the brain’s processing of sensory information causes out-of-body experiences”. “Adding weight” is not "proving’. Journalists are, of course, each selling the story in their own way.

The scientists are interested in how a sense of where we are is generated by the brain. Usually, this gives us a sense that we are in our bodies. . . . unquote

How are brains work is a fascinating thing. Increasing the knowledge of how it works is a good thing. This research was not intended to debunk anything, although it may be used by others in an attempt to do so.

I’d still like to see an actual scientific report rather than pop articles written to gather sales.

They should try this experiment on some subjects who claim to have had an OBE in the past, and see how it compares with that experience by their report.

Your response was as expected, only your key word now is whine. Didn’t you wonder why these doctors would want to set up a virtual reality camera and mirrors study of out of body experiences, what would be their motive. But the main thing is that real out of body experiences happen when the subject is unconscious or clinically dead. How can you not see the flim-flam in saying “Experts have found a way to trigger an out-of-body experience in volunteers.” It’s not snake-oil, it’s not snake-oil, it’s not snake oil. There I say it for you. Now who is hypocritical. I am through, with your post knowing it is useless.

And who can blame them? I’m talking to people from all around the world on an Internet message board connected to my PC built with transistors and making use of a wireless connection, while watching satellite TV in the background, as dozens of planes fly in the airspace above my head. Maybe later I’ll listen to some CDs or maybe my MP3 collection, all powered by the electricity produced in a power station miles away but somehow still managing to make it into my very own living room.

Having faith in science should be automatic for any individual with a brain more advanced than an amoeba.

Did someone say science is not a religion?

I hope they did, because the position that science is a religion is about as sensible as the position that a telephone is a shoebox. Sure, it’s true, as long as you completely remove all the relevent meaning from the word ‘religion’ (or ‘shoebox’, as the case may be).

Everyone except you. Of course, we tend to use dictionaries to define words.