Out-of-body Experiences May Be Caused By Arousal System Disturbances In Brain

Science Daily Having an out-of-body experience may seem far-fetched to some, but for those with arousal system disturbances in their brains, it may not be a far off idea that they could sense they were really outside their own body watching themselves. In previous studies of more than 13,000 Europeans, almost 6 percent said they have had such an out-of-body experience.

Dr. Kevin Nelson and a research team at the University of Kentucky have studied the link between out-of-body experiences, the sleep-wake transition and near death experiences, and published their findings today in the March 6 issue of the journal Neurology in their case report, “Out-of-body experience and arousal.”

The results are intriguing, and show that some people’s brains already may be predisposed to these sorts of experiences. They found that an out-of-body experience is statistically as likely to occur during a near death experience as it is to occur during the transition between wakefulness and sleep. Nelson suggests that phenomena in the brain’s arousal system, which regulates different states of consciousness including REM sleep and wakefulness, may be the cause for these types of out-of-body displays.

“We found it surprising that out-of-body experience with sleep transition seemed very much like out-of-body experience during near death,” Nelson said.

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