Swiss neurologist Olaf Blanke says out-of-body experiences are caused when a part of the brain called the angular gyrus, which controls our perception of the body, misfires under stress, causing the sensation of floating outside the body. He discovered this while mapping the brain of an epileptic patient. However, Blanke admits, “We do not fully understand the neurological mechanism that causes OBEs.”

Jospeh B. Verrengia reports that Blanke implanted electrodes in the brain of a 43-year-old epileptic woman, including the angular gyrus area, which is associated with the perception of sound, touch, memory and speech. When electrical stimulation was applied, the patient reported seeing herself “lying in bed, from above, but I only see my legs and lower trunk.” She also described herself as “floating” near the ceiling.

However, this doesn’t explain evidence of OBE patients seeing objects from great heights that they couldn’t have been aware of while in their bodies. For instance, a nurse says one of her patients, after a near-death experience, reported seeing a red shoe on the roof of the hospital during, which a janitor later found. A social worker found an object on an outside window ledge that another patient saw during an NDE. These are only two of many similar reports.

Another explanation could be that OBEs are part of the death process in humans. That they also happen during epileptic seizures may be because epileptic electrical activity mimics the electrical activity in the dying brain.

Dr. Michael Persinger has developed a helmet called the Shakti LITE, which costs between $100 and $200 and can stimulate OBEs. It produces a weak rotating magnetic field over the temporal lobes of the brain, where the angular gyrus is located.

Some seekers have learned to use sound to create a special state of awareness.

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