Out-of-Body Experiences and The Ghost Behind You

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Do you ever get the feeling that someone is behind you and you turn around to see no one there? Scientists believe that they have found an area of the brain that is responsible for that creepy feeling. It is called the angular gyrus. When scientists administered shocks to this part of the brain some interesting results were discovered. When the left side of the angular gyrus was given a mild electrical shock the patient experienced a feeling of a shadow or ghostly figure behind them. When the right side was shocked the patient then had an out-of-body experience and described the feeling that she was floating on the ceiling looking at herself from above. Doctors believe this area of the brain is associated with sensory nerves responsible for detecting our positions in space as well as our detection of pressure, heat, and temperature. So next time you feel that ghost behind you know that its just your brain. Psych blog pic.PNG http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/03/health/psychology/03shad.html?pagewanted=all

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Very interesting post. Have they proven that the angular gyrus is the only part of the brain responsible for perceiving objects that are not actually there? Also, why does shocking that part of the brain produce a response? Does the shock act as a stimulus which activates that part of the brain?

As I read this post, I started to think about the times I get this "creepy" feeling. What factors do you think stimulate the Angular Gyrus in our every day lives outside of the three you listed (pressure, heat, and temperature)? I'd like to think that many of our senses and parts of our brain would contribute to triggering this. For example, a dark lit place would most likely start by vision in our occipital lobe. Or what about a creepy noise? I found this post very intriguing and as you can tell, it helped me to raise a lot of questions.

I thought this post was interesting. I did not know that there was a part of our brain that was part of the creepy feeling. From now on, I hope that every time I feel like someone is behind me it is just my angular gyrus and not a real person! This was a really cool post!

I know that whenever I feel like there is someone behind me or there is a "ghostly-figure", it is usually after I have watched a scary film, or it is very late at night (past 2am). I think it has something to do with the lack of sleep creating delusional thoughts in my head, and of course the scary movie contributes to my paranoia. I've never experienced a "shadowy" figure otherwise, outside of these settings, but know the cause of it is interesting. I'm wondering what sort of environmental or physical factors contribute to this sensation, other then just the source of it (which we now know)--is it environmental factors like I listed (lack of sleep, paranoia induced by scary films)?

I know that whenever I feel like there is someone behind me or there is a "ghostly-figure", it is usually after I have watched a scary film, or it is very late at night (past 2am). I think it has something to do with the lack of sleep creating delusional thoughts in my head, and of course the scary movie contributes to my paranoia. I've never experienced a "shadowy" figure otherwise, outside of these settings, but know the cause of it is interesting. I'm wondering what sort of environmental or physical factors contribute to this sensation, other then just the source of it (which we now know)--is it environmental factors like I listed (lack of sleep, paranoia induced by scary films)?

Your post was very interesting. I really enjoyed it, because I am sure everyone has the feeling of someone watching them, or someone right behind them. I like the out of body experience part though, because people who believe in a higher power think the out of body experience is a transition to heaven, which is quite interesting. I read a book called "Heaven is for real" and it described the out of body experience a little boy had while having surgery. It is cool though how our brain can do crazy stuff to fool us.

This blog post was very interesting as it made me think of the times I got a creepy feeling of someone being behind me or following me. I usually get these ideas when I have nothing to do and think random thoughts or right after I've watched a scary movie. It's reassuring to know that these thoughts sometimes are created by our mind and not actually real...

Wow, thats great to know because I hate that feeling of someone being behind me or following me. Its such an uneasy feeling and especially when Im alone it creeps me out. When it happens it always makes me think of all the scary movies ive watched and think that they may come to life. haha, kinda dorky but true. That research is great to know, its crazy how the brain can play so many tricks on us. I have to say that I have never had an out of body experience before though, that would be to unreal, i dont know if id like that. But as far as the creepy feeling ill keep that " in the back of my head" when i get that feeling, i just hope that if it were to really happen (someone following me) I dont ignore it and think its just my brain fooling me :)

Aha, finally I know the reason. I sometimes have the same experience that feel someone is behind me but see nothing following. All is because of angular gyrus, the part of my brain. It's great to know this. When I have that feeling again, I will probably think of your entry at that moment.^^

Wow that's really cool! It really makes you wonder if things like out of body experiences and weird feelings are supernatural or just psychological. Seems like the evidence points to science right now.

That's so weird. I would've never guessed that that feeling of someone watching you is caused by your brain. But I'm curious as to how it happens. In your examples, it's because that area of the brain is getting shocked. I'm sure though, whenever we have the feeling in real life, our brain isn't getting shocked, you know? And a lot of the times that we do have the feeling, like everyone has already stated, is after watching a scary movie late at night. What is it about scary movies that provokes that part of our brain to give us that sensation??

Hahah I can definitely say that I've had this feeling before, but never thought that it was attributed to a part of the brain. Things that I always thought to be paranormal or supernatural actually do have a biological explanation. It's strange though that there's a specific area of the brain responsible for this particular feeling.

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This page contains a single entry by hauxx019 published on February 22, 2012 10:40 AM.

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