Out-of-body experiences following the development of a posterior cingulate lesion

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A somewhat muddled and confusing case report about a 46-year-old female, who underwent brain surgery. She previously reported that she had experienced OBEs several times a month before surgery. Her OBEs occurred indoors, for instance, she experienced OBEs when she was cooking in the kitchen. She had never experienced OBEs before, and they disappeared after surgery.


Quote: 1. She viewed her body from above and 1–1.5 m behind the physical body (the parasomatic body is shown on the left of Figure 2a).
2. Other than below the feet, she could view all parts of her physical body from behind.
3. She felt that the parasomatic body was larger than the physical body.
4. The parasomatic body could not move.
5. Although she recognized her own body from behind, as revealed by the statement: ‘I can see myself moving’ in Figure 2b, she also recognized the parasomatic body as herself (as depicted by the oblique line with the descriptors ‘real form’, ‘myself’ and ‘myself who is thinking’) (Figure 2b).


The patient experienced a parasomatic body that was elevated above the ‘real’ body; this is both a common and a characteristic feature of OBEs (Blanke et al., 2004; Bos et al., 2016). The elevated location reflects vestibular dysfunction caused by brain damage (Lopez & Elzière, 2018). The distance from the physical to the parasomatic body (1–1.5 m) implies that the OBE lay within the peripersonal space (di Pellegrino & Làdavas, 2015); this reflects the plasticity of the bodily boundary (Noel, Pfeiffer, Blanke, & Serino, 2015). Description (2) suggests the ambiguity of the visual appearance of the physical body, especially below her feet, as depicted in Figure 2a. This implies the possibility that the seen body could be a visual hallucination. Generally, others’ feet cannot be seen from above and behind; she reported the invisibility of her physical body during the OBE similarly. Indeed, a previous case report revealed the presence of autoscopic hallucinations together with visual agnosia (Zamboni, Budriesi, Nichelli, Budriese, & Nichelli, 2005), suggesting that anomalous visual processing is involved in this phenomenon.

https://doi.org/10.1111/jnp.12199
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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  • Typoz, Brian
(2023-03-12, 07:42 PM)Max_B Wrote: A somewhat muddled and confusing case report about a 46-year-old female, who underwent brain surgery. She previously reported that she had experienced OBEs several times a month before surgery. Her OBEs occurred indoors, for instance, she experienced OBEs when she was cooking in the kitchen. She had never experienced OBEs before, and they disappeared after surgery.

As usual, there is very little context provided about her typical OBE, where she see's herself from behind (and above), as the authors don't consider such information would be relevant. The images she drew are also confusing, and the authors do not succeed in removing the confusion.

[Image: obe_drawings_2.jpg]

Quote:2. Other than below the feet, she could view all parts of her physical body from behind... [ ] ...Generally, others’ feet cannot be seen from above and behind;

This quote is interesting. The authors suggest that the correct imagery - of not being able to see someones feet from a behind and above perspective - means this is likely a 'hallucination'.... although, it could also be something else.

This last quote is confusing, which body are they talking about...? It appears nowhere else in the paper, and is hard to reconcile with what we have already been told...

Quote:...she reported the invisibility of her physical body during the OBE similarly.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
[-] The following 3 users Like Max_B's post:
  • Brian, tim, Ninshub
This only seems interesting to me if you believe that all OBEs are of equal relevance. In this case to me it very much seems like this woman was suffering from hallucinations, in the forms of OBEs, being caused by something interacting with her brain. Which is all the same to us, since we've known you can induce OBEs via brain stimulation for ages that aren't accurate in their information.

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