Six Studies of Out-of-Body Experiences

Abstract

Because of confusion between science and scientism, many people react negatively to the idea of scientific investigation of near-death experiences (NDEs), but genuine science can contribute a great deal to understanding NDEs and helping experiencers integrate their experiences with everyday life. After noting how scientific investigation of certain parapsychological phenomena has established a wider world view that must take NDEs seriously, I review six studies of a basic component of the NDE, the out-of-body experience (OBE). Three of these studies found distinctive physiological correlates of OBEs in the two talented persons investigated, and one found strong evidence for veridical, paranormal perception of the OBE location. The studies using hypnosis to try to produce OBEs demonstrated the complexity of a simple model that a person's mind is actually at an out-of-body location versus merely hallucinating being out, and require us to look at how even our perception of being in our bodies is actually a complex simulation, a biopsychological virtual reality.

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Tart, C.T. Six Studies of Out-of-Body Experiences. Journal of Near-Death Studies 17, 73–99 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022932505993

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Keywords

  • Simple Model
  • Strong Evidence
  • Everyday Life
  • Virtual Reality
  • Wide World