Neuroscientists Engineer Mental Body Swap

Several religions have suggested that the human soul can flow seamlessly into new vessels of entrapment during various stages of life. Now Swedish neuroscientists have attained some kind of spiritual plane by simulating the phenomenon in the laboratory.

One experiment involves making partcipants believe that they have swapped bodies with a mannequin. Participants faced screens displaying the output of cameras attached to a mannequins’ eyes. Participants thus shared the vantage point of a mannequin. Glancing downwards, they would see not their stomach but that of their plastic counterpart. Scientists then pressed on the stomach of the participants and mannequins at the same time. Their study of the brain waves of experiment participants suggests that the participants really sensed they were in the bodies of the mannequins.

Through a similar experiment, scientists also established that they could make a person believe he had been transferred into the body of another living being. The experiment did not seem to work in attempting to transfer people into inanimate objects suggesting that there is something about being human or at least human-like in the case of the mannequins.

News items do not make clear how scientists established that the person under scrutiny really perceived himself to be in the position of another. Is it really as simple as measuring electrical voltages across the expanse of our scalps? Surely there is more to human perception than that.

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