Wilde, David: Do out-of-body experients have better visual imagery skills than non-experients?
Report of completed research funded by the Parapsychological Association Research Endowment in 2005.
on Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Do Out-of-body Experients Have Better Visual Imagery Skills Than Non-Experients?
In Blackmore’s cognitive-perceptual theory at least two things are needed for an OBE to occur: the failure of the somatosensory input-controlled model, and the substitution of an imagery-based one built-up from memory. The theory suggests that OBErs have better visual imagery skills than non-OBErs. However, the research on this issue provides a mixed picture. The design of the present study compared the performance of OBErs against non-OBErs on a computer-administered visual imagery task, and examined the relationship between self-reports of imaginal visual imagery and performance on a computer-administered visual imagery task. Thirty-three people took part in the study (10 OBErs, 23 non-OBErs, with a mean age of 25.1, SD = 10.1). OBErs scored significantly lower than non-OBErs on Part A of the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (indicative of better self-reported visual imagery with the eyes open) and higher on the Belief in the Paranormal Scale. Significant correlations were found between Part 2 of Blackmore’s Imagination Task and Part B (eyes closed) of the Vividness of Visual Imagery Scale, and between the number of correct responses made on the Space Relations Test and the OBE set of the Computer Task. Implications for the findings are discussed.
Wilde, D., Murray, C. D. & Fox, J. (2006). Do Out-of-body Experients Have Better Visual Imagery Skills Than Non-Experients? Proceedings of the 49th Parapsychological Association Annual Convention. pp. 349-354.