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Humans normally experience the conscious self as localized within their bodily borders. This spatial unity may break down in certain neurological conditions such as out-of-body experiences, leading to a striking disturbance of bodily self-consciousness. On the basis of these clinical data, we designed an experiment that uses conflicting visual-somatosensory(More)
'Out-of-body' experiences (OBEs) are curious, usually brief sensations in which a person's consciousness seems to become detached from the body and take up a remote viewing position. Here we describe the repeated induction of this experience by focal electrical stimulation of the brain's right angular gyrus in a patient who was undergoing evaluation for(More)
Self-consciousness has mostly been approached by philosophical enquiry and not by empirical neuroscientific study, leading to an overabundance of diverging theories and an absence of data-driven theories. Using robotic technology, we achieved specific bodily conflicts and induced predictable changes in a fundamental aspect of self-consciousness by altering(More)
Folk psychology postulates a spatial unity of self and body, a "real me" that resides in one's body and is the subject of experience. The spatial unity of self and body has been challenged by various philosophical considerations but also by several phenomena, perhaps most notoriously the "out-of-body experience" (OBE) during which one's visuo-spatial(More)
BACKGROUND The spatial unity between self and body can be disrupted by employing conflicting visual-somatosensory bodily input, thereby bringing neurological observations on bodily self-consciousness under scientific scrutiny. Here we designed a novel paradigm linking the study of bodily self-consciousness to the spatial representation of visuo-tactile(More)
During an out-of-body experience (OBE), the experient seems to be awake and to see his body and the world from a location outside the physical body. A closely related experience is autoscopy (AS), which is characterized by the experience of seeing one's body in extrapersonal space. Yet, despite great public interest and many case studies, systematic(More)
We highlight the latest research on body perception and self-consciousness, but argue that despite these achievements, central aspects have remained unexplored, namely, global aspects of bodily self-consciousness. Researchers investigated central representations of body parts and actions involving these, but neglected the global and unitary character of(More)
The spatial unity of self and body is challenged by various philosophical considerations and several phenomena, perhaps most notoriously the "out-of-body experience" (OBE) during which one's visual perspective and one's self are experienced to have departed from their habitual position within one's body. Although researchers started examining isolated(More)
The vestibular system analyses angular and linear accelerations of the head that are important information for perceiving the location of one's own body in space. Vestibular stimulation and in particular galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) that allow a systematic modification of vestibular signals has so far mainly been used to investigate vestibular(More)