Scientists reduce fear of death by using virtual reality to induce an out-of-body experience https://t.co/ReJWIUNNFc
— PsyPost.org (@PsyPost) May 7, 2017
“Here we wanted to see what the effects were of establishing a strong feeling of ownership over a virtual body, and then moving people out of it, so simulating an out-of-body experience. According to the literature, out-of-body experiences are typically associated with changes of attitudes about death, so we wanted to see if this would happen with a virtual out-of-body experience.”
The study, published in the journal PLOS One, used an Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted-display to induce out-of-body experiences in 16 women.
The researchers used a virtual reality simulation to induce what is known as the “full body ownership illusion.” They created the illusion that a virtual human body in the simulation was the participant’s own. After this illusion took hold, the participant’s perspective was then shifted from first-person to third-person, making it seem as if their visual perception had been lifted out of their body.