Induced OBE’s cause memory impairment when recalling experience

induced_OBE_photoEhrsson’s team have published an interesting new paper in which they claim that a subjects experiences whilst in an induced OBE state, can later be shown as impaired, when the subject is asked to recall the experience in a normal (none OBE) state.They also show some differences in hippocampal activity between the later recall of ‘in-body’, compared to ‘out-of-body’ experiences using fMRI.

PDF of paper here:
Out-of-body–induced hippocampal amnesia

Ed Yong has an easy to read article on this paper:

In my opinion, this impairment effect seems more to do with an abnormal conflict been sensory states at the time the memory was created, and which when rectified, then leads to problems with recall.

Or more formally, it suggests that relocation of ‘self’ using only a dislocated visual input, which is also in real-time conflict with positional data received from the subjects other fully functional sensory inputs (hearing etc.), causes a problem with later episodic recall when ‘self’ is back in it’s normal unified sensory state.

Anyway its an interesting paper. I often find many people – erroneously IMO – use Ehrsson’s research to claim the NDE OBE is just an ‘…illusion…’, but Ehrsson’s team can only induce these experiences by using real alternative dislocated sensory input. So I’ve always felt that Ehrsson’s research is actually quite supportive of the veridical claims made by some NDE OBE’rs.

At the very least, this new research, indicating later impairment of episodic recall from induced out-of-body experiences, must make some people pause for thought. As these induced results seem somewhat different from the clarity and detail recalled by some NDE OBE’rs?


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