Friday, April 8, 2011

"Out of Body Experience" Etymology

According to Wikipedia:
“An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE) is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one's body and, in some cases, perceiving one's physical body from a place outside one's body.”
The term “out of body experience” was coined in 1943 by G.N.M Tyrrell in his book Apparitions, and has since become a widely researched topic over the past six (ish) decades. However, the physiological and psychological underpinnings of the phenomenon continue to evade researchers, causing attempted scientific explanations to be speculative (at best) in nature. An OBE can be completely spontaneous, or it can be induced through a variety of physical and psychological pathways. For example, mass trauma, severe dehydration, and the use of psychedelic drugs have all been cited as causes of out of body experiences. Near-death experiences have also commonly produced the effect of feeling as if one was on the outside of one’s own body or looking down on it, almost from a spectator’s point of view. Scientists have attempted to reproduce these experiences through magnetic/electrical brain stimulation, sensory deprivation (or, conversely, sensory overload), meditative and sleep techniques, and also by using various types of  chemicals. While some studies have been able to replicate OBE’s, there is still no hardcore scientific proof that they actually occur, or what exactly causes the sensation of them.   

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