Synchronized virtual reality heartbeat triggers out-of-body experiences
2013 08 26
By Lakshmi Sandhana | GizMag
New research demonstrates that triggering an out-of-body experience (OBE) could be as simple as getting a person to watch a video of themselves with their heartbeat projected onto it.
According to the study, it’s easy to trick the mind into thinking it belongs to an external body and manipulate a person’s self-consciousness by externalizing the body’s internal rhythms. The findings could lead to new treatments for people with perceptual disorders such as anorexia and could also help dieters too.
In a typical out-of-body experience a person either experiences a feeling of floating outside of their body or of viewing it from outside of themselves. Most of us don’t experience OBE’s because our brains are constantly filtering information from all our senses to help us identify what we are and what we aren’t.
For instance we know that our reflection isn’t actually part of us. However the processes that give us the feeling of being in our bodies can be disrupted either naturally (seizures) or artificially (feeding the brain conflicting sensory inputs). For example, in the well known "rubber hand" illusion, a person begins to identify more with a rubber hand when someone strokes it in front of them, while stroking their real hand out of sight.
It’s possible to expand this feeling to include the whole body as demonstrated in experiments that get a person to identify more with a virtual double than their own body by using virtual reality goggles. However, all of these experiments rely on manipulating external senses such as vision and touch.
Not much is known about how information from our internal organs contributes to bodily self-consciousness and whether they can be manipulated to induce an OBE. That’s the question Dr Jane Aspell, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, UK and Lukas Heydrich, Phd Student, Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, set out to answer.
"If you think about your body, you have several sources of information about it: you can see your hands and legs, you can feel the seat you’re sitting on via vision, you know you are standing upright thanks to your sense of balance etc," Aspell tells Gizmag. "There is also a vast number of signals being sent to your brain from inside of your body every second that you are alive: about your heartbeat, your blood pressure, how full your stomach is, what electrolytes are in your blood, how fast you are breathing.
"There is a huge amount of diverse information being sent to your brain about your body and yet what you perceive is not these medley of signals but just you – a single body, a single self. These pieces of information about the external and internal states of your body must be integrated or merged to generate this unity. This is what we are now beginning to study for the first time."
Aspell and Heydrich decided to find out whether a person’s bodily self-consciousness could be influenced by visually representing one of its vital inner rhythms – the pulsing heartbeat. They attached 17 participants to electrocardiogram sensors and had them view videos of their bodies through virtual reality goggles so that their body appeared to be two meters (6.5 ft) in front of them.
Participants saw their own heartbeats visually imposed on their virtual doubles in the form of a flashing outline around the body that pulsed in sync. After a couple of minutes, many of the participants reported sensations of being in an entirely different part of the room rather than their physical body and feeling that their "selves" were closer to their virtual doubles.
Read the full article at: gizmag.com
Footage from the experiment:
Tune into Red Ice Radio:
Carol de la Herran - Hour 1 - Robert Monroe & Altered States of Consciousness
Scott Onstott - Hour 1 - Explorations in Number, Architecture & Consciousness
Penney Peirce - Hour 1 - Leap of Perception
Gary Schwartz - Communication With the Deceased & Life After Death
Bob Frissell - Hour 1 - Transitioning Into The 4th Dimension
Nassim Haramein - The Schwarzschild Proton
Peter Russell - The Primacy of Consciousness
Anthony Peake - Hour 1 - The Nature of Reality & Twilight Zones of Consciousness
Anthony Peake & Tom Campbell - Consciousness Creates Reality
Jim Elvidge - Are we Living in a Simulation, a Programmed Reality?
Penney Peirce - Frequency, Intuition, Time & Dreams
Anthony Peake - Mystery of the Brain, Precognition, Time Dilation & Déjà vu
TED: Non-locality of consciousness is forbidden territory?
The Primacy of Consciousness - Peter Russell
New tool peeks into brain to measure consciousness
Tom Campbell: Consciousness Is The Computer, Reality Is Information
Leading OBE researcher: Is inducing Out-of-Body Experiences for Real?
Do Religion and Culture Affect a Near Death Experience?
The Famous ’Tennis Shoe’ Near Death Experience
Meditation Allows Brain To Control Body Temperature, Say Scientists
Latest News from our Front Page
Fukushima radiation killing children, government hiding the truth
2014 04 22
Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba, a town near the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant, is warning his country that radiation contamination is affecting Japan’s greatest treasure - its children.
Asked about government plans to relocate the people of Fatuba to the city of Iwaki, inside the Fukushima prefecture, Idogawa criticized the move as a "violation of human rights."
Compared with Chernobyl, radiation ...
Why your fingerprints may not be unique
2014 04 22
Assumption that everyone has a unique fingerprint from which they can be identified through a computer database is flawed, says Home Office expert Mike Silverman
Fingerprint evidence linking criminals to crime scenes has played a fundamental role in convictions in Britain since the first forensic laboratory was set up in Scotland Yard in 1901.
But the basic assumption that everyone has a ...
Asteroids cause dozens of nuclear-scale blasts in Earth’s atmosphere
2014 04 22
Asteroids caused 26 nuclear-scale explosions in the Earth’s atmosphere between 2000 and 2013, a new report reveals.
Some were more powerful – in one case, dozens of times stronger – than the atom bomb blast that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 with an energy yield equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT.
Most occurred too high in the atmosphere to cause any serious damage ...
‘Editing DNA’ to eliminate genetic conditions now a reality
2014 04 22
Scientists have employed a revolutionary genome-editing computer technique that accurately identifies one faulty genetic “letter” among billions and effortlessly repairs a genetic condition in animals, paving way for human trials.
The success, by MIT in Boston, is the latest achievement in the field of genome editing that has been catapulted into the spotlight through a technology that can pinpoint genetic faults ...
EU should ’undermine national homogeneity’ says UN migration chief
2014 04 22
The EU should "do its best to undermine" the "homogeneity" of its member states, the UN’s special representative for migration has said.
Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural.
He also suggested the UK government’s immigration policy had no basis in international law.
He was being quizzed by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee ...
|More News » |