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Paranormal experiences could all be in the mind

10 July, 2000

Ghostly sightings and out of body experiences are all in the mind, according to Swiss Neuroscientist Peter Brugger of University Hospital, Zurich. The neuroscientist says that phantom doubles (doppelgangers), have a similar origin to the 'phantom limb' phenomenon.

Visions and ‘doubles’ may result from damage to visual areas of the brain within the parietal lobes, that affect the way people sense themselves and space around them.

The classic out of body experiences, or the sense of flying over your own body, may be caused by overactivity within the temporal lobes. These lobes are connected to the parietal areas.

Brugger believes the brain could be responsible for other ‘experiences’ of the paranormal.