Brain-based biases leading to out-of-body experiences to be published in top international neuroscience journal

Posted on Tuesday 20th March 2012

Recent research from the School of Psychology revealing underlying biases in brain function and how these relate to anomalous bodily experiences is to be published soon in the top international neuroscience journal ‘Cortex’.

Dr Jason Braithwaite devised a visual-based computer task that can induce the perception of illusions, distortions and phantom visual effects which themselves reflect subtle biases in brain processing. Dr Braithwaite’s research showed, for the first time, that the presence of these distortions is greatly increased in those who report hallucinatory visual out-of-body experiences (OBEs) even for healthy non-clinical populations. These findings are important as they suggest a neuronal vulnerability in brain processing leading to increases in predisposition to visual hallucinations even in the absence of a known psychopathology. These findings extend typical questionnaire methods and provide a more objective assessment of biases in the brain which can also be employed for clinical and psychotic samples with wide reaching implications for mental health and well-being. 

Read the abstract to find out more.