Eerie Experiences of the Ear (Inner)
Have you ever had an “out-of-body” experience (OBE)? An OBE is considered a state where your center of awareness is located outside of your physical body, along with the sensation of seeing the environment from an elevated position. Current neuroscientific models of OBE suggest failure in integration of visual, somatosensory, and yes, vestibular input.
Recently, Lopez and Elziere (2018) completed a prospective study to describe the otoneurological, neuropsychological, and phenomenological correlates of OBE in a sample of 210 patients and matched controls. They reported a significantly higher prevalence of dizziness in persons with OBE. They suggest that a combination of perceptual incoherence evoked by vestibular dysfunction with psychological factors (depersonalization, depression) and neurological factors (migraine) underlie OBE.
Lopez and Elziere. (2018) Out-of-body experience in vestibular disorders-A prospective study of 210 patients with dizziness Cortex. 104:193–206.