Telepathy in dreamstate and OBEs

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

The Out-Of-Body experience has been demonstrated to be a neurological phenomenon, a temporary failure, or blocking of, the sense of proprioception coupled with a release hallucination. It's been known for decades that it commonly happens to some people diagnosed with seizures, and also to some people who suffer from Migraines, and it was specifically located to an area on the temporo-parietal junction a couple years ago when it was induced in a woman with epilepsy who was about to undergo epilepsy surgery.
The articficially induced one:
http://archives.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/09/19/coolsc.outofbody/
Linking the OBE to the temporoparietal junction:
http://nro.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/11/1/16
General linking of OBE with autoscopy to seizures:
http://archneur.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/46/10/1080
Sensations of "floating, levitating, falling, sinking" reported as Migraine Aura:
http://www.migraine-aura.org/content/e27891/e27265/e26585/e43013/e46075/index_en.html [Broken]
Another class of people who seem to report frequent OBE's is heavy pot smokers, I recently found out.
Miscellaneous reports by pot smokers on different forums:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=marijuana+out+of+body+experience&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=
Some sort of paper assembled from questionaires filled out by pot smokers (scroll down to "paranormal experiences"):
http://www.druglibrary.org/special/tart/tart31.htm
Believers in the authenticity of the OBE are generally upset to find out there's any sort of coherent neurological explanation for it, it seems, and rush to form a sort of "callous" of rationalizations around this information, to prevent disillusionment I suppose, the main one offered being that these pathological and induced OBE's don't necessarily rule out the possibility of 'authentic' OBE's.
On this site a "believer" builds an argument to try and salvage the OBE from being a "mere" neurological phenomenon. In the end he thanks science for having found a way to make this spiritual experience available to all:
http://www.shaktitechnology.com/obe.htm
 
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fuzzyfelt

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

Those are interesting links, thanks, and a big task, sorry. (Also, sorry that these posts are tangential to the OP, and should be in another thread.) I’d been wondering why someone with ulterior motives to perpetuate a belief in spiritual involvement in OBEs would especially wish to question TPJ disturbance in all OBEs, when I couldn’t see that such claims would necessarily impede such beliefs, and imagined further scientific investigations, regardless of beliefs, would consider the veracity of different aspects of that claim. As an example, possibly the relevance of the claim to studies, in healthy people, that suggests body-ownership sense results from interactions of multisensory regularities with influences of a cognitive model of the body.
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0708/07082305
 
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The ability to induce an OBE is not a proper argument to support the position that an OBE is not actually "out there". An approach that better addresses this is to induce the experience and determine its correspondence to the surroundings.
 
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Those are interesting links, thanks, and a big task, sorry. (Also, sorry that these posts are tangential to the OP, and should be in another thread.)
No problem on the links. I am happy to give them when asked, but otherwise try to avoid that chore.

None of this is really tangential. Dissuading people from automatic 'paranormal' interpretations of things that aren't at all necessarily paranormal is comparable to dissuading people from the ideas of perpetual motion and free energy: you have to back track and fill them in on a rather large amount of basic physics and ways of reasoning they never have been exposed to. To the extent Telepathy in Dreamstate is believed by anyone to be an epiphenomenon of the OBE then detailed discussion of the scientific understanding of body position and its distortions is warranted, just as a detailed discussion of conservation of energy would be warranted in the matter of Perpetual Motion.

I’d been wondering why someone with ulterior motives to perpetuate a belief in spiritual involvement in OBEs would especially wish to question TPJ disturbance in all OBEs, when I couldn’t see that such claims would necessarily impede such beliefs, and imagined further scientific investigations, regardless of beliefs, would consider the veracity of different aspects of that claim. As an example, possibly the relevance of the claim to studies, in healthy people, that suggests body-ownership sense results from interactions of multisensory regularities with influences of a cognitive model of the body.
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0708/07082305
To be honest, I am not sure what you just said: your writing is a bit too densely compacted, perhaps. I have the feeling you might be suggesting that body sense requires multisensory imput, but I'm not sure that is what you meant. The question that arose in my mind from reading your last sentence was: "Does 'results from' imply "'requires'"? In my mind there is always a sense proper, and the separate issue of its being supported or contradicted by other senses. Here's a thing I posted in Medical Sciences a couple weeks back which addresses the issue of the role of "multisensory regularities":
Adopting A Rubber Hand

This indicates that sense of body position is arrived at by input from sight, touch, and proprioception, and that, when the stimuli are inconsistent, sight and touch are "believed" by the brain over proprioception:

In the study, each volunteer hid their right hand beneath a table while a rubber hand was placed in front of them at an angle suggesting the fake hand was part of their body. Both the rubber hand and hidden hand were simultaneously stroked with a paintbrush while the volunteer's brain was scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

On average, it took volunteers 11 seconds to start experiencing that the rubber hand was their own. The stronger this feeling, the greater the activity recorded in the premotor cortex.

After the experiment, volunteers were asked to point towards their right hand. Most reached in the wrong direction, pointing towards the rubber hand instead of the real hidden one, providing further evidence of the brain's re-adjustment.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040702093052.htm
The essential sense of proprioception is a dedicated one (in the sense any sense can be called "dedicated" before you start parsing it) processed in specific brain locations, but that information is always heavily "supported" by corroborative evidence, so to speak, from any other sense that is active at the time. The corroborative evidence is nearly always consistent, so we come to automatically expect it to relate to the dedicated sense under consideration according to specific dynamics, but it (corroborative evidence) is actually not necessary for the sense in question to be operational in the first place. It's a matter of learned association, like a bell ringing when dinner is served. I don't believe Helen Keller, both deaf and blind, demonstrated any proprioceptive problems, and blind people obviously don't. I can close my eyes and still know what position my body is in.

Trouble arises when the "corroborative evidence" starts conflicting with the essential sense, or, better put, whenever information from different senses conflicts with expectation, or learned patterns of how they normally relate to each other. Here, we find, the brain starts making choices about what to believe and seems to take its best shot at constructing something coherent, however unusual.

Your link, and the rubber hand experiment, are demonstrations of this. My point is that, while body ownership sense may result "from interactions of multisensory regularities," it shouldn't be construed as requiring multi-modes. It happens to have them, and so utilizes them, and, importantly when it comes to the matter of illusions, gets used to them "supporting" each other in specific ways, an expectation that can be foiled with an elaborate lab set up, or a neurological event in one of many different critical areas, depending. Any sense can develop by itself, and be quite useful, in the absence of corroborating senses.

On the same topic, have a look at my post #132 in the concurrent "Ghost" thread here:

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=307647&page=9

That story from Sacks might lead to the statement (paraphrasing you): "As an example, possibly the relevance of the claim to studies, in healthy people, that suggests hearing results from interactions of multisensory regularities with influences of a cognitive model of sound."
It's true that we are all probably always supporting what we hear other people saying by unconsciously lip reading, but it is not necessary for hearing that we lip read, or that we have a visual correspondence to sound: we can hear in the dark.

What is exceptionally interesting is that, under the right circumstances, the usual visual accompaniment to sound can trigger the hallucination of sound, in the absence of the ability to hear sound.
 

Chronos

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

No paranormal claims have been affirmed by science - when real scientists have spared the time to put them to real tests. Call me unconvinced.
 

fuzzyfelt

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

So it was still densely compacted even after I broke the one sentence up into three different sentences? :) Again, the further discussion is interesting, thanks. I tried to make some points- one which pftest expressed better-
The ability to induce an OBE is not a proper argument to support the position that an OBE is not actually "out there".
Another point was that I imagined there were reasonable grounds for questioning disturbances of TPJ, and felt the link might support this. Firstly because TPJ disturbance may not be involved in every case (again, I think your explanation of how this was done without seeming to involve TPJ disturbance, and using the glove example, was better than mine). And secondly because it noted that healthy people were tested in this instance , rather than the pathological cases of previous tests.

And to answer your question, no, when I said ‘results from’ I didn’t mean ‘requires’, and I think it was this sort of confusion that I had hoped to clarify - hope I’ve expressed this better now.
 
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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

I tried to make some points- one which pftest expressed better-
The ability to induce an OBE is not a proper argument to support the position that an OBE is not actually "out there".
Any demonstration of a purely neurological cause for the experience is obviously a proper argument to support the position that there is no "out there" OBE. Any demonstration of the spherical nature of the earth is a proper argument to support the position the earth is not flat.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

Any demonstration of a purely neurological cause for the experience is obviously a proper argument to support the position that there is no "out there" OBE. Any demonstration of the spherical nature of the earth is a proper argument to support the position the earth is not flat.
One cannot prove that there are no genuine OBEs. We can show evidence that OBEs can induced and explained using conventional science. We can also cite the lack of evidence to support other explanations for OBEs.

A more appropriate analogy might be that proof the earth is round is not proof that there are no flat planets. Likewise, the ability to induce sensations artificially is not evidence that those sensations don't occur otherwise due to real, tactile experiences.
 
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Likewise, the ability to induce sensations artificially is not evidence that those sensations don't occur otherwise due to real, tactile experiences.
The "sensation" here is lack of sensation: the person's sense of proprioception is shut off or somehow disconnected from consciousness.

I am sure you've heard of the phantom limb phenomenon in amputees. They feel the limb is still there because their internal model of the limb is still there, and the neurons where that model is located are being stimulated by nearby neurons in the absence of authentic stimuli from the outside.

Strangely, the opposite can happen: the internal model can be damaged such that a person can not sense a limb they still have as part of their body. The real limb becomes strange and grotesque to them. They "disown" it, and can't account for it.

Best reference for that is The Man Who Fell Out of Bed, chapter 4 of The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat in which Sacks tells the story of a stroke patient who woke with no proprioception in one leg. Unable to feel any ownership of the limb, he regarded it as a strange, foreign, horrible object, and threw it out of his bed. But, of course, he went with it.

Sacks, himself, years later had the same experience of his own leg after he damaged it badly and was recuperating in a hospital. (He tells the whole story in A Leg To Stand On)It is, apparently, not uncommon for people's internal model, their proprioception, of damaged limbs to fade away. Sacks says it's not that you feel the limb is missing, rather it's as if you never had a limb there and can't account for the strange, unearthly thing you find attached to you. He describes all this in rich detail in the book: a kind of purgatory of 12 days before the sensation started to come back bit by bit, during which had a major identity crisis based on his now distorted body image.

The "real, tactile" experience here is your internal sense of touch. It's not being "stimulated" to reall a memory here, it's being shut off or otherwise disconnected or made quiescent.
 

fuzzyfelt

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

The "sensation" here is lack of sensation: the person's sense of proprioception is shut off or somehow disconnected from consciousness.
I'm lost here, with this and discussions of phantom limbs etc., are you still discussing TPJ disturbance?
 
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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

One cannot prove that there are no genuine OBEs. We can show evidence that OBEs can induced and explained using conventional science. We can also cite the lack of evidence to support other explanations for OBEs.
And then we simply apply Occam's Razor to shave away the "other explanations" for OBE's, and conclude that there are no "genuine" OBE's. Once cannot prove that there are no genuine OBE's in the same sense that one cannot prove that there is no sasquatch, yeti, loch ness monster, aliens visiting earth, secret "new world order", fairies, dragons, dodo birds alive today, leprechauns, and/or mermaids.

We have a perfectly reasonable explanation, based on well established scientific principles, which reasonably explains all the claims of OBE's. Without any further evidence (which you admitted we don't have in posts #4, #16, and #17), there is no reason to consider any "other explanations".

Why has this thread lasted this long? This thread should have been locked after the first post or at least after Zz's response.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

And then we simply apply Occam's Razor to shave away the "other explanations" for OBE's, and conclude that there are no "genuine" OBE's.
Occams razor is a rule of thumb, not a scientific principle that can be used to draw conclusions.
 
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Occams razor is a rule of thumb, not a scientific principle that can be used to draw conclusions.
Well in that case you can't disprove that it is actually invisible faeries holding us down and keeping the planets in orbit.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

Well in that case you can't disprove that it is actually invisible faeries holding us down and keeping the planets in orbit.
Correct. We can only cite evidence to the contrary, and the lack of evidence to support the assertion.

Long ago it was believed that the angels pushed the planets along on their celestial spheres. Then Newton came along and rotated the positions of the angels by ninety degrees.
 
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Correct. We can only cite evidence to the contrary, and the lack of evidence to support the assertion.
So you would contend that genuine OBE's are as worthy of consideration as invisible faeries holding things down? I can live with that.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

So you would contend that genuine OBE's are as worthy of consideration as invisible faeries holding things down? I can live with that.
We have anecdotal evidence for OBE's, but as far as I know, we don't even have anecdotal evidence for fairies. So, no, they are not the same. The question in my mind is whether we have compelling anecdotal evidence for any claims of OBEs.

This almost seems like a religion to you [and many others here]. Why? Why are you determined to have a definite opinion?
 
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Ivan Seeking

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The assertion of invisible fairies was designed to not be falsifiable. If a person really believes that they experience genuine OBEs, then they could be tested and the claim confirmed [evidence presented to support the claim] or falsified [the person is not able to provide information about a remote location as claimed]. But, like fairies, we could never prove that there are no genuine OBEs even if no one claimed to experience them. We can reduce - generalize - the claim to one that can't be falsified.
 
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I'm lost here, with this and discussions of phantom limbs etc., are you still discussing TPJ disturbance?
Ivan is comparing the OBE to other sorts of hallucinations, the hallucination of a sound, for example, or the hallucination of something in the visual field, saying that the ability to induce such an hallucination does not disprove real sounds or real visual experiences. His train of reasoning is: just because there can be a false OBE doesn't mean there are no real experiences of this sensation. I am pointing out the flaw in that train of reasoning, which is that the proprioceptive failure that is required for an OBE is not a stimulation of a sensation, it is the failure of a sensation: the failure of proprioception to give you internal information about your body. When you have no feel for where your limbs are in relation to each other, no feel for your body position as a whole, it is a situation of sensory deprivation. And it is from sensory deprivation that hallucinations easily arise. Failure of proprioception is not the hallucination of something that isn't there, it's the inability to sense something that is there. It is analogous to blindness or deafness.

Phantoms limbs and their opposite (the inability to sense the position of a limb which is still there) are further examples of the importance of proprioception, and the sensory and cognitive confusions that result when it is disturbed. The inability to feel the position of a limb results in a massive crisis of self-image, and emotional and cognitive disownership of the limb. By extension, during the OBE where complete sense of body ownership is lost, you often have people hallucinating the sight of themselves from outside.
 
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Occams razor is a rule of thumb, not a scientific principle that can be used to draw conclusions.
In Principia Mathematica Newton laid out some "Rules of Reasoning" which are essentially a restatement of Occam's Razor:

RULE 1

We are to admit no more causes of natural things, than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

RULE II

Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes.

RULE III

The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intension nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

RULE IV

In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions collected by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.


http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/newton-princ.html
 

DaveC426913

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

The thing about OBEs is that
1] we do have anecdotal evidence AND
2] there is some case for repeatability, reproducibility and falsifiability.

So it falls within the realm of scientific study.
 
Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

What Ivan Seeking says makes a lot of sense to me. It seems the only sensible approach. We can't hold a definite opinion on the basis of heresay evidence, we would have to verify it empirically. This means running an experiment and obtaining statistically significant and reproducible results.

Unfortunately in physics no such experiment is possible. In consciousness studies we can't even prove that people have in-body experiences. Elesewhere there is even a popular view by which bodies are illusory and OBE's the only kind of experience we can have.

Presumably Christians and those with similar beliefs have no choice but to believe in OBE's, (or is it because they do not believe in them that our bodies must come back to life at the Resurection?), but I'm quite sure that there's no way to demonstrate that they're possible or impossible. It seems to be just the 'other minds' problem in another guise.

I recently read Carlos Castenada's Tales of Power and would highly recommend to anyone looking into these things. His Don Juan, (who can shape-shift, teleport and other cool stuff as some Zen adepts are said to be able to do), gives the sorcerers explanation for our ability to act at times as if we are in Neo's Matrix. It would be because we are.

I think this would be the implication of OBE's, if such things are possible, but I can't see how their possiblity could ever be proved except by having one.
 
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Zooby, thanks for the reference.

Dave, then where are the studies?
 
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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

Zooby, thanks for the reference.
You're welcome.

Dave, then where are the studies?
I just finished a book by V.S. Ramachandran, A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness in which he mentions that the drug Ketamine can produce OBE's. I googled "ketamine out of body experience" and got a few interesting links on the first page which you can do yourself if you're interested. This would be a relatively reliable way to produce the experience at will, however it doesn't seem to be a "clean" OBE: the person feels drugged and high, and it is mixed up in many cases with the travel through a tunnel experience of the "Near Death" experience. Ketamine was developed in the early 1960's and was used as a field anesthetic in Viet Nam for a while, but it was discontinued specifically because of this "OBE" side effect.
-------------------------------------------------------
In the same book Ramachandran mentions the following odd case that has an obvious bearing here:

"Shai Azoulai and I recently saw a patient with a right parieto-occipital tumor who constantly experienced a visual hallucination of a twin or doppelganger always about a foot to his left and front. The twin mimed his movements in perfect synchrony. When I irrigated his left ear canal with cold water (stimulating the vestibular system) the twin was seen to 'jump around' and 'shrink in size' to a midget. Here is yet another reminder of how tenuous our sense of being anchored to our body really is, even though we usually take it to be one of the axioms of our existence."

p.150

This irrigating the ear with cold water is a technique used in rural India to diagnose seizures since it will trigger a seizure in some epileptics. This is probably where Ramachandran picked it up. He mentions having tried it on a stroke patient who was paralyzed one one side but seemed unaware of that; to be hallucinating that the paralyzed side was working perfectly well. (This happens in some cases, this woman wasn't unique.) Irrigating the contralateral ear brought her to awareness of the paralysis, snapped her out of the hallucination for a time, but she later reverted. Perhaps he tried it here hoping it would make the man's doppelganger completely disappear, but he changed it to a midget instead.
 

fuzzyfelt

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Re: Telepathy in dreamstate

The Out-Of-Body experience has been demonstrated to be a neurological phenomenon, a temporary failure, or blocking of, the sense of proprioception coupled with a release hallucination. It's been known for decades that it commonly happens to some people diagnosed with seizures, and also to some people who suffer from Migraines, and it was specifically located to an area on the temporo-parietal junction a couple years ago when it was induced in a woman with epilepsy who was about to undergo epilepsy surgery. Another class of people who seem to report frequent OBE's is heavy pot smokers, I recently found out.
The "sensation" here is lack of sensation: the person's sense of proprioception is shut off or somehow disconnected from consciousness.
is comparing the OBE to other sorts of hallucinations, the hallucination of a sound, for example, or the hallucination of something in the visual field, saying that the ability to induce such an hallucination does not disprove real sounds or real visual experiences...

Phantoms limbs and their opposite (the inability to sense the position of a limb which is still there) are further examples of the importance of proprioception, and the sensory and cognitive confusions that result when it is disturbed.
The TPJ was mentioned as the specific location of proprioception, yet in the information you linked to about limbs (Ehrsson's virtual hand experiment) brain activity was mentioned as occuring in the premotor cortex.

As well, the results of further studies of TPJ disturbance could not distinguish between an arrest and extra noise in the TPJ-

'We can postulate at least two mechanisms for
the interfering effect of TMS, either of which could explain our
results. First, TMS could have added extra noise to the neural
signals that provide input to a body/non-body discrimination pro-
cess. Additional input noise would impair discrimination. Second,
TMS could have transiently arrested the test-for-fit process itself,
reducing the difference between body and non-body processing.
Our results cannot distinguish between these two mechanisms of
action'

http://www.manostsakiris.googlepages.com/TsakirisNeuropsychologia.pdf

Also, Ehrsson's repeatable experiment upon healthy people, which is anecdotally more like an anecdotally reported OBE (than the partial effects of Blanke's magnetic disturbance on an epileptic patient's TPJ) and which involves virtual sensations, seems more likely to involve more sensations than less.

Thus, I think the evidence of lack of sensation as sole cause is inconclusive or irrelevant.
(Wrote something like this yesterday, but have had computer problems.)
 
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