Science has typically negated the psychic realm — and this includes the astral plane. In older times, anyone who’s had an OBE would typically fear it, deny it and pass it off as a dream, or think of his/herself as insane.
Today with the modern advance of science, it really brightens my day to know that people are starting to take OBEs seriously. Here’s what one of the scientists, Ehrsson said of “people who report having traveled beyond their physical selves and then return to tell the tale”:
“We don’t know if it’s the same mechanism involved, but I think we have to take them seriously.”
Read the news report I pulled from ABC news.
OBE In A Lab? European Scientists Claim To Have Induced It!
It’s an otherworldly experience usually reserved for those with paranormal abilities, substance abuse problems or returning roles on “Star Trek.” But now European scientists say they have induced out-of-body experiences (OBE) in healthy people in a laboratory setting.
In two separate studies published simultaneously in the American journal Science this week, neuroscientists working in London and Geneva report making volunteers feel like they have left their bodies using virtual reality goggles, cameras and a plastic rod.
“I wanted to understand how we recognize our own body and how we know where in space our body is located,” said Henrik Ehrsson, an assistant professor of neurology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and a researcher at University College London. Ehrsson designed one of the studies.
The central question Ehrsson wanted answered was: Why do we feel ourselves located inside the physical body?
An Illusion of Body
Participants in Ehrsson’s study wore goggles connected to two cameras mounted to a wall about 6½ feet behind their backs. With the cameras working like “a robot’s eyes,” Ehrsson said, researchers pointed a plastic stick to a point just below the cameras’ field of vision. At the same time, test subjects felt another rod touch their actual chests.
Together, these elements gave volunteers the illusion they had left their bodies and were watching themselves from behind.
“They started to giggle,” Ehrsson told ABC News of his volunteers’ reactions. “Like, ‘Wow, this is cool,’ or ‘Weird!’ It’s obvious they were experiencing something quite out of the ordinary.”
“They know it’s a visual trick,” Ehrsson said, “but they can’t think it away. It’s not like they’re imagining something. It’s a perceptual illusion.”
Ehrsson said a person’s eyes, muscles and skin all work together to create a sense of self in space. When the information coming in from those senses conflicts, the brain no longer knows where it is.
“My idea is that the brain combines all sensory information to make up a model of the world and your body in that world,” Ehrsson told ABC News. “If there’s a breakdown in that integration, you might experience that you are in the wrong place.”