In a study conducting brain scans of those undergoing astral projection, researchers found that:
- the brain functional changes associated with the reported extra-corporeal experience (ECE) were different than those observed in motor imagery.
- Activations were mainly left-sided and involved the left supplementary motor area and supramarginal and posterior superior temporal gyri, the last two overlapping with the temporal parietal junction that has been associated with out-of-body experiences.
- The cerebellum also showed activation that is consistent with the participant’s report of the impression of movement during ECE.
- There was also left middle and superior orbital frontal gyri activity, regions often associated with action monitoring.
- The results suggest that the ECE reported here represents an unusual type of kinesthetic imagery.