Brain Tapped for Out-of-Body Experience
GENEVA ~ Two Swiss scientists said on Wednesday they had been able to identify a part of the brain that may be responsible for the “out-of-body” experiences of patients who came close to death.
Neurologists Olaf Blanke and Margitta Seeck said in a joint statement they had been able to make the observation during exploratory experiments for treatment of severe forms of epilepsy.
Electrical stimulation of a key area of the brain near the temple upset the mind’s perception of the body, according to the team from the University of Geneva’s medical school and the Neuroscience institute at the Swiss federal technical college in Lausanne.
The brain generates an image of the body in the mind. But this is an external image as if the body were projected under, facing or behind the person, they said.
“In the first two instances, the patients still recognize their own image; in the latter, however, they sense another, somber and menacing, presence,” the scientists explained.Filed under: Arts & Entertainment