Out-of-body experiences in the context of hypnosis: Phenomenology, methodology, and neurophysiology.

Devin Terhune, Etzel Cardeña

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are characterized by disruptions between normally integrated subsystems that modulate the visuo-spatial representation of embodied consciousness. Similar disruptions in the coordination of cognitive processes, and corresponding alterations in cortical functional connectivity, have been observed in highly suggestible individuals following a hypnotic induction and after specific hypnotic suggestions. Such individuals more frequently report OBEs during their daily lives and spontaneously following a hypnotic induction than those who are low in suggestibility. They are also capable of experiencing OBEs following corresponding hypnotic suggestions. We present a review and theoretical integration of the phenomenology and neurophysiology of spontaneous and experimentally-induced OBEs during hypnosis and conclude by arguing for the utility of hypnosis as an instrumental method for the experimental induction and manipulation of these experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychological Scientific Perspectives On Out Of Body And Near Death Experiences
EditorsCraig Murray
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychology


  • hypnosis
  • out of body experiences
  • anomalous experiences
  • altered states of consciousness
  • consciousness


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