During out-of-body experience (OBE) visual perspective and bodily awareness are altered. The phenomenon has been investigated in studies with brain-damaged patients, people exposed to gravitational overloads, as well as victims of traumatic events. Recently, virtual reality technology enabled evoking transient OBE in healthy people. Studies using full-body illusion (FBI) protocol point to incorrect visuo-vestibular integration as a potential mechanism evoking OBE. This conclusion is strengthened by neuroimaging and lesion studies suggesting important role of temporo-pariental junction (TPJ; multisensory associative cortical area damaged in patients suffering from OBE) for proper visuo-vestibular integration. Finally, potential mechanisms of individual differences in susceptibility to OBE ranging from simple perceptual to higher cognitive processes are discussed.
out-of-body experience, individual differences, bodily awareness, virtual reality, visuo-vestibular integration