Your Lying Eyes

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23 August 2007

Researchers Induce Out of Body Experience

Cool article in the Times describing how out-of-body sensations can be induced in healthy test subjects using virtual-reality goggles. It seems that by altering one's perceptions dramatically from what the body is actually experiencing, a feeling of disembodied then ensues. This likely explains these sensations that people report in near-death circumstances.

The article also described another phenomenon called the "rubber hand illusion."
In that illusion, people hide one hand in their lap and look at a rubber hand set on a table in front of them. As a researcher strokes the real hand and the rubber hand simultaneously with a stick, people have the vivid sense that the rubber hand is their own. When the rubber hand is whacked with a hammer, they wince and sometimes cry out.
What I want to know is if we tried this on suspected terrorists, would the Times cry about it?


Blogger Rick Darby said...

Interesting article, but hardly evidential about the nature of out-of-the-body experiences.

Claiming that virtual-reality goggles can cause an OOBE that is equivalent to those occurring naturally is like saying that wearing a sleep mask is the same as being blind.

People in OOBEs have seen objects that they could not possibly have seen from where their bodies were located and have traveled long distances to view friends and relatives, who later confirmed what the experiencers saw at the time of their "visit."

Reductionist science won't give up trying to turn every phenomenon of consciousness into a physiological process.

August 27, 2007 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


After the Greek forrest fires, does my "terrorist start setting forrest fires indiscrimanately" idea look so inneffective now?

I turn out to be right much more oft-than not, it just takes time.

August 31, 2007 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word is forest. I only mention it, because you seem to set such store on being right.

September 03, 2007 4:45 PM  

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