Scientists have deliberately fooled people into feeling they are watching themselves from outside their own bodies, using virtual-reality technology. The achievement reveals how the brain can be confused as it struggles to integrate confusing information from the different senses.
People who claim to have had out-of-body experiences (OBEs) — most famously patients on the operating table or those who have narrowly avoided death — describe a sensation of having floated out of themselves, for example towards the ceiling of an operating theatre. From there they watch their body and activities surrounding it.
Such experiences have been claimed by spiritualists to represent evidence of a soul. But the new research shows that it is possible to create a similar sensation simply by tricking the mind.
Picture: This viewer may begin to think that he is where the camera is… watching himself from there.