Are OBE's merely coma hallucinations?

#1
Reading several coma stories it seems that coma patients are able to pick up information from their environment. Often times they will hear conversations snippets, or see some visual details (such as the lights on the ceiling or people standing over them). They will then incorporate these details into vivid dreams. Some of these people even though they now recognize they were dreams still attest that they had trouble distinguishing them from reality.

For example while in a coma, a man has a vivid dream that he is in a large crib being taken care of by a beautiful nurse who was pregnant. In it he is having a diaper put on him.

In reality the man was wearing adult diapers, and obviously being tended to by nurses.

In another coma dream his friend comes to visit him. He leans over him and tells him "You'll get through this, and I hope you'll have peace" or something like that. Then he finds himself lying on the wooden floor of some beautiful chapel with stained glass feeling calm and serene.

In reality that friend did come and visit him, and said a prayer over him that was almost verbatim what his dream friend said.
 
#3
I don't understand why you ask if they are "coma hallucinations".
OBE's don't require coma to be experienced. In fact the vast majority of them, spontaneous or induced, are experienced by heathy people.

Maybe it's the other way around, some people in coma can have spontaneous OBEs.
 
C

chuck.drake

#4
Some of these people even though they now recognize they were dreams still attest that they had trouble distinguishing them from reality.
99% of all people who are dreaming can't distinguish dreaming from reality while dreaming. That is the very nature of dreaming.

How is what you posted related to the OBE?
 
#5
Reading several coma stories it seems that coma patients are able to pick up information from their environment. Often times they will hear conversations snippets, or see some visual details (such as the lights on the ceiling or people standing over them). They will then incorporate these details into vivid dreams. Some of these people even though they now recognize they were dreams still attest that they had trouble distinguishing them from reality.

For example while in a coma, a man has a vivid dream that he is in a large crib being taken care of by a beautiful nurse who was pregnant. In it he is having a diaper put on him.

In reality the man was wearing adult diapers, and obviously being tended to by nurses.

In another coma dream his friend comes to visit him. He leans over him and tells him "You'll get through this, and I hope you'll have peace" or something like that. Then he finds himself lying on the wooden floor of some beautiful chapel with stained glass feeling calm and serene.

In reality that friend did come and visit him, and said a prayer over him that was almost verbatim what his dream friend said.

The more you look into these things, the more you realise that we have a very poor understanding of how we form any experience (visual or otherwise), so labeling OBE's as hallucinations - if you wish - is fine in my book, just don't mislead yourself into believing that you've explained anything about these experiences by doing so.
 
#6
Anonymou5,

Can you provide references for your examples please?
It sounds like are you asking about OBEs in connection with NDE's, is that right? Because the term OBE is used differently by different people. Some people would call a dream about being out of the body an OBE. NDEs have their own characteristics.

NDEs have many anomalies that cannot be expalined:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/anomalous-characteristics-of-near-death.html
Enhanced consciousness such as realer-than-real detail, 360 degree vision, and colors not seen before.

Blind people see during NDEs. (Hogan)

Memories of NDEs are more detailed than normal memories.

Visions of deceased people, sometimes deceased people the experiencer had never met or seen pictures of. (Hogan)

A life review where the experiencer feels how he affected other people from their point of view.

Veridical (verifiable) perceptions where the experiencer perceived something when their brain was not functioning, and or perceived something that they could not have perceived with their normal senses even if they were conscious.

NDEs have been experienced by people not close to death.

"Lucid consciousness, well-structured thought processes, and clear reasoning" (Beauregard), calmness and tranquility (near-death.com), when their medical condition should cause confusion and amnesia, disorientation and fear.

Spiritual transformation.

NDEs involve a subjectively conscious experience while the experiencer is objectively unconscious. Hallucinations almost always occur when the subject is awake and conscious. (near-death.com)

NDEs occur more often during flat EEGs and not during abnormal EEGs. (Hogan)

"NDEs are remarkably consistent across virtually all experiencers regardless of age, nationality, religious background, and all other demographics", including atheists. (Hogan)

"Many parts of the brain must be coherent for lucid experiences to occur yet NDEs occur when there is no EEG activity." (Hogan)

NDErs experience "heightened awareness, attention, and memory at a time when consciousness and memory formation are not expected to be functioning" and "only confusional and paranoid thinking... should occur" (Hogan)

"In some cases, a third party has observed visionary figures seen by the experiencers" (Tymn)

Healthy people attending the dying sometimes share in the NDE. (Facco and Christian)

Because of the way the brain is wired, it cannot produce an NDE. (Alexander)

"The most important objection to the adequacy of all ... reductionistic hypotheses is that mental clarity, vivid sensory imagery, a clear memory of the experience, and a conviction that the experience seemed more real than ordinary consciousness are the norm for NDEs. They occur even in conditions of drastically altered cerebral physiology under which the production theory would deem consciousness impossible. (Greyson)
Materialist "explanations" fail to expllain NDEs. NDEs cannot be explained by a lack of oxygen, a dying brain, hallucinations, religious expectations, cultural expectations, hearing about medical procedures after the fact, hearing during resuscitation, brain dysfunction, retinal dysfunction causing an image of a tunnel, brain chemicals such as ketamine, endogenous opioids, neurotransmitter imbalances, or hallucinogens including DMT, REM intrusions, epilepsy or seizures, psychopathology, unique personality traits, residual brain activity during unconsciousness, the experience occurring before or after brain activity stopped, evolutionary adaptation, depersonalization, memory of birth, medication, defense against dying, or partial anesthesia.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html#hearing_during
Michael Sabom, MD, examined six cases on record that included visual descriptions and discovered that the reports included visual details the patients could not have observed in their unconscious state, and some details were of events that were outside of their visual fields, even in other rooms.221
...
 
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#7
How is what you posted related to the OBE?
Well what I'm curious about is that if during a near death episode the body enters some sort of comatose state. In it they are still taking in information, but processing it incorrectly.

For example Pim Van Lommel in his book "Conciousness Beyond Life" talks about a woman who was declared brain dead, being able to hear her doctor and husband discussing taking her off life support. Even though she was "brain dead" she was still processing information.


The more you look into these things, the more you realise that we have a very poor understanding of how we form any experience (visual or otherwise), so labeling OBE's as hallucinations - if you wish - is fine in my book, just don't mislead yourself into believing that you've explained anything about these experiences by doing so.
I'm not trying to explain these things, I'm just trying to honestly evaluate them. I'm trying to be skeptical of them not to dismiss them, but to see if the evidence really is as strong as we believe it is.
 
#8
Anonymous5,

Can you provide references for you examples please?
It sounds like are you asking about OBEs in connection with NDE's, is that right? Because the term OBE is used differently by different people. Some people would call a dream about being out of the body an OBE. NDEs have their own characteristics.

NDEs have many anomalies that cannot be expalined:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/anomalous-characteristics-of-near-death.html


Materialist "explanations" fail to expllain NDEs. NDEs cannot be explained by a lack of oxygen, a dying brain, hallucinations, religious expectations, cultural expectations, hearing about medical procedures after the fact, brain dysfunction, retinal dysfunction causing an image of a tunnel, brain chemicals such as ketamine, endogenous opioids, neurotransmitter imbalances, or hallucinogens including DMT, REM intrusions, epilepsy or seizures, psychopathology, unique personality traits, residual brain activity during unconsciousness, the experience occurring before or after brain activity stopped, evolutionary adaptation, depersonalization, memory of birth, medication, defense against dying, or partial anesthesia.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html#hearing_during
Here is where I got my examples, although I probably read several dozen before I posted.
http://jameslarkensmith.tumblr.com/coma

Can you provide sources for Michael Sabom's six cases?
 
#11
I'm not trying to explain these things, I'm just trying to honestly evaluate them. I'm trying to be skeptical of them not to dismiss them, but to see if the evidence really is as strong as we believe it is.
If you want to understand the evidence I suggest you look at the research by the medical doctors studying the phenomena.
These articles discuss the phenomena with references to research articles:
http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fnhum.2012.00209/full
http://journalofcosmology.com/Consciousness129.html
 
#12
That's why it's important to establish the data couldn't be gained via normal means.

IIRC there are some cases that rule out the sort of thing you mention.
¿How much cases of OBE can be regarded as fraud? I think it's a bit naive to think that every single person in the history of OBE research has been honest given human nature ( which, lets face it, it's that people tend to lie for all sort of reasons, and sometimes even without reasons! ), but then again, it's also naive to think every single person who have an OBE that can't be explained by normal means is a liar, so ¿where does the middle ground stands, in your opinion?
 
#13
¿How much cases of OBE can be regarded as fraud? I think it's a bit naive to think that every single person in the history of OBE research has been honest given human nature ( which, lets face it, it's that people tend to lie for all sort of reasons, and sometimes even without reasons! ), but then again, it's also naive to think every single person who have an OBE that can't be explained by normal means is a liar, so ¿where does the middle ground stands, in your opinion?
The veridical NDEs are unlikely to be lies. There are also NDEs in many different cultures yet they have similar anomalies. There are accounts of NDEs with those same anomalies from before the phenomenon was popularized in the mass media.
 
C

chuck.drake

#14
Well what I'm curious about is that if during a near death episode the body enters some sort of comatose state. In it they are still taking in information, but processing it incorrectly.

For example Pim Van Lommel in his book "Conciousness Beyond Life" talks about a woman who was declared brain dead, being able to hear her doctor and husband discussing taking her off life support. Even though she was "brain dead" she was still processing information.

I'm not trying to explain these things, I'm just trying to honestly evaluate them. I'm trying to be skeptical of them not to dismiss them, but to see if the evidence really is as strong as we believe it is.
I've never been convinced that the details reported following the NDE occurred during a time when the brain/body system was truly dead. But for me that is a moot point since there is so much other evidence that consciousness is able to operate non-locally. The compelling aspect of the NDE for me is the apparent continuity of certain aspects of the experience. Stuff like the life review, the white light of love, etc. Not everyone experiences the same thing every time, but enough people have had similar experiences without prior knowledge of the NDE to accept that patterns of experience exist. I don't have to attribute any meaning to those commonalities in order to appreciate them.

What we don't know is how many people may have nonsensical NDEs where they think they are vacuuming out a barn for instance, or riding on a magic cow to the moon. These instances may go unreported because of their similarity to common dreams, or for fear of ridicule.

We also don't know the true meaning or the actual mechanics behind the NDE. Everything published so far about the meaning or mechanics of the NDE appears to be utter speculation.
 
#15
The veridical NDEs are unlikely to be lies. There are also NDEs in many different cultures yet they have similar anomalies. There are accounts of NDEs with those same anomalies from before the phenomenon was popularized in the mass media.
So, ¿do you know a good link with a detailes case of a veridical NDE?
 
#16
I've never been convinced that the details reported following the NDE occurred during a time when the brain/body system was truly dead. But for me that is a moot point since there is so much other evidence that consciousness is able to operate non-locally. The compelling aspect of the NDE for me is the apparent continuity of certain aspects of the experience. Stuff like the life review, the white light of love, etc. Not everyone experiences the same thing every time, but enough people have had similar experiences without prior knowledge of the NDE to accept that patterns of experience exist. I don't have to attribute any meaning to those commonalities in order to appreciate them.
A friend once told me a guy named S. Thaler showed in the middle and start of the 90´ that many things of the NDE could be achieved through confabulation ( mixing memories ) in which the brain can't differenciate between death and silent neurons, in a complete "natural" way. I've never been able to find the paper for free, and for some reasons it apparently has gone without much replies or replications. Wikipedia mentions it briefly like this:

"Modeling of NDEs by S. L. Thaler in 1993 [104] using artificial neural networks has shown that many aspects of the core near-death experience can be achieved through simulated neuron death.[105][106][107][108] In the course of such simulations, the essential features of the NDE—life review, novel scenarios (i.e., heaven or hell), and OBE—are observed through the generation of confabulations or false memories, as discussed in Confabulation (neural networks). The key feature contributing to the generation of such confabulatory states are a neural network's inability to differentiate dead from silent neurons.[109] Memories, whether related to direct experience, or not, can be seeded upon arrays of such inactive brain cells."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-death_experience#Computational_psychology

¿What do you think?
 
C

chuck.drake

#17
A friend once told me a guy named S. Thaler showed in the middle and start of the 90´ that many things of the NDE could be achieved through confabulation ( mixing memories ) in which the brain can't differenciate between death and silent neurons, in a complete "natural" way. I've never been able to find the paper for free, and for some reasons it apparently has gone without much replies or replications. Wikipedia mentions it briefly like this:

"Modeling of NDEs by S. L. Thaler in 1993 [104] using artificial neural networks has shown that many aspects of the core near-death experience can be achieved through simulated neuron death.[105][106][107][108] In the course of such simulations, the essential features of the NDE—life review, novel scenarios (i.e., heaven or hell), and OBE—are observed through the generation of confabulations or false memories, as discussed in Confabulation (neural networks). The key feature contributing to the generation of such confabulatory states are a neural network's inability to differentiate dead from silent neurons.[109] Memories, whether related to direct experience, or not, can be seeded upon arrays of such inactive brain cells."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-death_experience#Computational_psychology

¿What do you think?
I think it is laughable.
 
#19
So, ¿do you know a good link with a detailes case of a veridical NDE?
Start here
http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/NDE_Archives/NDERF_NDEs.htm and scroll down to the bottom to the links to the archives.
Then click on a link to see the summaries of the NDE reports for the indicated date range. Search for "veridical" and then click on the link to read the full account. Start with 2002 and work forward, because the recent accounts have a different format and do not indicate if they are veridical or not.
 
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