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Out-of-body experience recreated [BBC News]

  1. Aug 23, 2007 #1

    hypnagogue

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6960612.stm

    Very interesting. Though at least one puzzle remains in explaining naturally occurring OBEs, which is to explain why people spontaneously experience shifts in visual perspective. In this experiment they create the perspective shift using cameras and goggles, but how does it work when it happens naturally?
     
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  3. Aug 23, 2007 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    Coming soon to Radio Shack...
     
  4. Aug 23, 2007 #3
    What is reported here isn't exactly an OBE but should more specifically be termed autoscopy. This often happens during OBE's but an OBE involves a floating sensation, and can include the illusion of floating off to distant locations where the "self" is no longer visible from the outside.

    My take on your question is that the "floating" sensation of an OBE is what triggers the autoscopic hallucination. When a person's proprioception cuts out they experience a sensory deprivation that the mind then tries to rationalize. No longer able to sense the position of their limbs or body they explain this by deciding they must be floating. At the same time things like sense of touch are not affected: they can still feel the touch of the bedding against their skin. The mind has, therefore, to create an explanation that includes both floating and being in bed at the same time.
     
  5. Aug 28, 2007 #4

    ZapperZ

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  6. Aug 28, 2007 #5

    berkeman

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    At least for me, the OBE floating-around-the-room sensation comes when I'm at the intermediate stage between awake and asleep, able to think a little bit still, and my body is starting to enter the paralysis stage. At that point, if I try to move or tense the muscles in my legs and abs, that gives me the very strong sensation of lifting up off the bed and starting to float around. It's a pretty fun sensation, especially as you try to figure out which muscles to tense to go in different directions or turn around.

    The first couple times this happened to me many years ago, I had to set up an experiment by putting a newspaper on top of a high dresser, to see if I could read it when I was floating around. No luck -- so I knew it was just a (very cool) physical sensation, and not a true OBE.
     
  7. Aug 28, 2007 #6
    It happens to me also when i am going to sleep, i am in bed and at random i start to feel like if my body starts to rotate and elevate from my bed. It last no more than 5 to 10 secconds.
     
  8. Aug 29, 2007 #7
    And it says,

    Zz, you should know that posting a link to a site with rampant speculation is not allowed under the PF guidelines! :)
     
  9. Aug 29, 2007 #8

    ZapperZ

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    If one can get away with such "speculation" and get published in Nature, it certainly falls under our accepted Guidelines. I would consider the Taleyarkhan's bubble fusion "discovery" as "speculative", but it is still acceptable here since Science decided to publish it, regardless of my opinion of it.

    Zz.
     
  10. Aug 29, 2007 #9

    berkeman

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    :rofl: Thanks for the laugh to start my morning off! :rofl:
     
  11. Aug 29, 2007 #10
    Sorry Zz, I still don't buy it. My understanding is that the actual peer-reviewed paper was published in Science, not Nature. And as far as I know, the content posted in "Nature's daily update" does not go through the peer-review process. So when you linked to the Nature daily update article, you linked to a NON peer-reviewed third-party page containing rampant speculation. In case I'm still not explaining myself properly, let me put it this way. In your example, the fact that Taleyarkhan published his work in Science makes it acceptable to discuss his work. HOWEVER, linking to a third party website (let's say my imaginary geocities page on the subject -- it's not peer-reviewed) that discusses his work and makes speculations would not be acceptable. That is my understanding of it after reading the guideline. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  12. Aug 29, 2007 #11

    ZapperZ

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    First of all, yes, the original papers were published in Science, not Nature.

    Secondly, linking reputable websites that report such a thing is a valid exercise. We link to many such sites, such as Hyperphysics, PhysicsWorld, Physics News Update, etc.. and in fact, in forums such as BTSM and high energy, we even allow, albeit with careful moderating, ArXiv preprints. So discussion about already-published work is definitely within the boundaries of what we would consider as acceptable. And that news item IS a discussion.

    You are welcome to report it (and others that I've posted, especially in the Recent Noteworthy Papers in the General Physics forum) if you think it doesn't conform to our Guidelines.

    Zz.
     
  13. Aug 29, 2007 #12

    Q_Goest

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  14. Aug 29, 2007 #13
    Good... consider yourself reported for citing "Interplay of electron-lattice interactions and superconductivity ..." I mean, what were they thinking with using two of their sources? (Just kidding ;)

    I was being a little tongue-in-cheek when I brought up the notion that you of all people were violating the no-speculative-link-allowed rule. Anyway, thanks for clearing that up for me.
     
  15. Aug 29, 2007 #14
    This kind of experience has also been recreated "in the lab" so to speak:

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=00079AC8-53A5-1E40-89E0809EC588EEDF

    So, tentatively, the posterior superior parietal lobe and the right angular gyrus of the temporal lobe are heavily implicated as the places that govern this hallucination probably something like this: when the posterior superior parietal lobe stops creating our sense of body position ("...brain scans show strikingly low activity in the posterior superior parietal lobe..." ) then the right angular gyrus of the temporal lobe tries to explain this sensory deprivation by generating the hallucination of seeing oneself and the room from a position of floating.
     
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