mind map of exceptional experiences: NDE's and OBE's

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  • Created by: alice
  • Created on: 16-12-12 22:06
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    • Near-Death Experiences (NDEs)
      • Naturally-Occurring NDEs
        • Ring (1980) ---Interviewed 100 people who had experienced an NDE. Found 60% of survivors reported a sense of peace, 33% reported OBEs and 25% entered a tunnel
        • Nelson et al. (2006) ---Studied 55 people who had experienced NDEs and 55 controls. Found that the NDE group was more likely to experience 'REM intrusions'
          • A REM intrusion occurs when the brain is awake but flips into a REM state resulting in a mixed state that could disrupt the integration of sensory information
      • Artificially Induced NDEs
        • Jansen (1995) ---found that ketamine can produce classic symptoms of an NDE
        • Jansen (2009) ---Showed that hypoxia (lack of oxygen) creates a flood of the neurotransmitter glutamate which causes neuronal death. Therefore the brain creates a protective blockade, which is also triggered by ketamine
      • Physiological Explanations
        • One suggestion is that the endorphins released at the time of stress and pain can lead to feelings of euphoria and detachment (Carr, 1982)
        • Nelson's research led him to suggest that NDE's are due to REM intrusions. The REM intrusions are triggered by hypoxia which shuts down parts of the brain but activates the brain stem which is associated with REM sleep
        • Jansen proposes that hypoxia, which is associated with fainting and cardiac arest triggers the brain blockade normally activated by a flood of glutamate -supporting the 'glutamate hypothesis'
      • Near-death experiences (NDEs) mainly occur when a person has been close to death or been pronounced dead but recovered. -now recognised that NDEs also occure after fainting and stressful or threatening situations.
        • Experiences range from one of serenity or extreme fear
      • Fox (2006) ---estimates that as many as 20% of heart-attack survivors report having had an NDE
        • Rates may be significantly higher in children (Atwater, 2007) -However children's reports could be less reliable
      • Psychological Explanations
        • One view is that NDEs are solely mental, spiritual experiences - leaning towards the paranormal view that NDEs are evidence of an afterlife
        • Van Lommet et al. (2001) ---Followed 344 cardiac survivors over 3 years. Found that those who had experienced an NDE subsequently regarded it as a life changing, spiritual experiences. -Those who didn't have an NDE continued to fear death
      • Cultural Differences
        • Reports of OBEs and NDEs date back to antiquity, including being part of mythical accounts e.g. Orpheus descent into the underworld
        • Augustine (2008) ---Presented a comprehensive review of NDEs in different cultures. Found NDEs experienced in India involved encounters with Hindu figures; a notable lack of experiences with lights appearing in Japan (a phenomena commonly reported in Western NDEs
          • Common features that crossed cultures were: feeling at peace, going through a tunnel and meeting the barrier between life and death
      • NDEs are not experience by all near-death patients, meaning htere has to be a psychological component
    • Out-of-Body Experiences (OBEs)
      • Out-of-body experience (OBE) refers to the sensation of being awake and seeing your own body from a location outside and seeing your own body from a location outside your physical body
        • About 15-20% of people have experienced an OBE (Blackmore, 1982)
      • Naturally-Occurring OBEs
        • Green (1968) ---Studied 400 personal accounts of OBEs through media appeals
          • She developed a classification system for different kinds of OBE: 20% experienced another body ('parasomatic'), in other accounts there was no sense of another body ('asomatic')
          • 25% of the cases were associated with some kind of psychological stress. 12 % occurred in sleep
      • Artificially Induced OBEs
        • Alvardo (1982) ---Reviewed a range of lab studies where OBEs were induced by various means, e.g. relaxation, hypnosis,audio-visual stimulation. Ppts were then asked to identify objects that were out of sight of their physical body
          • In one experiment a 'Miss Z' was able to read out a randomly selected 5-digit number placed in another room (Tart, 1968)
          • Alvardo considered the evidence was weak, although there were some striking results
      • Paranormal Explanations
        • Suggest that something beyond out understanding is happening
        • Alvardo's review didn't find evidence that the parasomatic body had physically moved out of the physical body. -the striking results can be explained in terms of methodology e.g. subject may have had the opportunity to see the target prior to the test
      • Physiological Studies of OBEs
        • Blanke et al (2002) ---Induced OBE accidentally by electrically stimulating the temporal parietal junction (TPJ) in a women who suffered from epilepsy in that region
        • Blanke et al. (2005) ---Studied neurologically normal subjects. Stimulation of the TPJ resulted in OBEs. -Stimulation in other areas didn't
      • Psychological Explanations
        • Ehrssen (2007) ---Demonstrated that an OBE can be created by scrambling a persons visual and touch senses
          • Done by placing a pair of video displays in front of the ppts eyes which display a live film recorded by 2 cameras 2 meters behind them. Experimenter then places a rod on the ppts chest and another rod where the illusionary body would be located
            • Ppts reported feeling that they were sitting behind their physical body and looking at it from that location
            • When the illusionary body was threatened ppts displayed a physiological fear response (perspiration on there skin)
        • Blanke et al ---showed that activation of the TPJ resulted in OBEs. Research has shown that this area of the brain is implicated in an individuals sense of their body in space (Persinger, 2001)
        • Blackmore (1982) ---suggests that normally we view the world as if we were behind our eyes. In situations where sensory input breaks down, the brain attempts to reconstruct the visual field using memory and imagination


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