The NDE OBE Research Project Suggests Near-Death Experiences are Part of an Adaptive Reaction to Physiological and/or Psychological Stimuli

Top Quote The NDE OBE Research Project releases results of phase 1 of their study. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) July 24, 2021 - The NDE OBE Research Project at, which began on April 13, 2020, is focused on identifying and defining different types of perceived out-of-body experiences (OBEs), and discovering the differences and commonalities among them, focusing on any possible catalysts, the event itself, and the process from beginning to end. Robert King, the Project Manager of this study, released a 59-page paper on July 16, 2021, reporting the findings from phase 1 of the project, which are based on 106 participants reporting 116 perceived OBEs. The report is available free to the public at

    This study identified various types and subtypes of perceived OBEs, basing the primary categorization first on intent as either not self-induced or deliberately self-induced. Not self-induced perceived OBEs were then further subcategorized based on the experientís condition or state, which included physiologically near-death perceived OBEs (NDOBEs), life-danger perceived OBEs (LDOBEs), life-danger-to-near-death perceived OBEs (LD-NDOBEs), and other spontaneous perceived OBEs (OSOBEs). While this study was not able to identify with certainty any specific catalysts for perceived OBEs, it resulted in King suggesting a hypothesis that the catalyst for perceived NDOBEs, perceived LDOBEs, and perceived LD-NDOBEs may be an unconscious, adaptive, reactionary process triggered by various psychological and/or physiological stimuli initiating a non-pathological dissociation or detachment. Furthermore, King also questioned any hypothesis asserting that just being in a physiological near-death situation is in itself a catalyst for a perceived OBE, instead raising the possibility that some of the variable psychological and/or physiological factors that often accompany such a condition may be contributory in those cases.

    Furthermore, this study found that there were both commonalities and differences among different types and subtypes of perceived OBEs as categorized in this study. One such finding was that most of the features reported in perceived OBEs that took place during real physiological conditions of near-death were also found in some perceived OBEs in which individuals were not actually near death, and even among those experiences in which the experients did not even believe they were dying. In particular, this included features such as perceptions of seeing oneís own physical body, experiencing a lack of pain, feeling a sense of peace, experiencing different perceptions of time, having a visual life review experience, seeing perceived OBE personages, observing a bright light, encountering tunnels, and experiencing a transcendental otherworldly type of environment.

    In addition, while most perceived OBEs take place while the physical body is in a prone position with muscular relaxation and cessation of movement during a state of somatic unconsciousness, sleep, or meditative repose, this is not always the case. The study reported over 18 cases of observed somatic continuance in which the physical body persists in what appears to be self-sustaining, autonomous or semi-autonomous behavior, such as sitting erect, standing, walking, running, or performing other actions while the consciousness of that physical body appears to be watching that body from a distant vantage point.

    About Robert King
    Robert King holds a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology. He is also an ordained minister with Calvary Chapel and a published author. King has been studying NDEs and OBEs for well over four decades.

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