Fascinating OBE case study on a Psychology student

Published on 5 December 2019 at 18:00

OBE study on a Psychology Student

In 2014, researchers from the University of Ottawa studied brain activity. A 24-year-old Canadian woman who was also a student of psychology claimed that she could leave her body whenever she wanted. She could evoke an out of body experience and had control over when she wanted to leave her body. She taught herself this when she was bored with sleep time at preschool.


The woman was surprised to hear that not everyone could do this. She claimed that she usually has an out of body experience just before bedtime and that the experience helps her to get to sleep. During the experience she feels herself hovering over her physical body: "I feel myself moving, or, more accurately, can make myself feel as if I am moving. I know perfectly well that I am not actually moving. There is no duality of body and mind when this happens, not really. In fact, I am hyper-sensitive to my body at that point, because I am, concentrating so hard on the sensation of moving.''


The researchers interviewed the woman about this unusual statement and wanted to do more research on it. A brain scan was made of the woman's brain while she had a self-induced OBE.


The researchers discovered that during the OBE certain brain parts were active or inactive, whereas normally this is active the other way around during a state of awareness or sleep. For example, she discovered that brain activity is limited only in the left part of the brain. This is very unusual because if people imagine something like certain scenarios, both hemispheres of the brain should be active. Also, the visual cortex of the woman was not active. This is also strange because the woman, as she describes it herself, is actually strongly imagining things while inducing an OBE. The visual cortex should therefore be active.


The research led to the conclusion that OBE's are very interesting and it is worth exploring it more closely in order to get more information about this experience and to look at what and why people have these experiences. I think it is a fascinating subject because so many people, including myself, have experienced this, what about you? Let me know in the comments.


Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash


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