Out-of-body experiences: what is this disease and why the problem in the ears

Out-of-body experiences known to science for quite a long time in the literature wrote about them already in the late 19th century. For example, in 1905 the French AutoLog Pierre Bonnier (Pierre Bonnier) described a case of a patient who felt split into two people, one of whom couldn’t move and the other if watching from the sidelines. Previously, doctors tended to categorize such an experience as psychotic, according to med.vesti.ru.

Otolaryngologist Maya Elsler from European hospital in Marseille and neuroscientist Christophe Lopez from the University of AIX-Marseille has put forward a different version. According to experts, out-of-body experiences can be associated with diseases of the inner ear that houses the vestibular apparatus.

In the study, the authors analyzed the condition of 210 patients who seek medical help for vestibular disorders. These patients complained of repeated instances of vertigo or ringing in the ears, some of them have had ear infections or other diseases. Among these patients, cases of out-of-body experiences were almost three times more likely (14%) than among healthy individuals, not suffering from vestibular disorders (5%).


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Scientists have suggested that due to problems with the vestibular apparatus of the brain can receive conflicting signals and, as a consequence, his own body and the surrounding reality is perceived with distortions.

In addition, most patients reported that before they like went out of his body, at least they once felt dizzy – thus, vestibular disorders was one of the factors that lead to strange sensations.