Unlocking The Mystery Of “I”: Stanford Medicine Researchers Uncovered The Interesting Role of A Tiny Brain Structure In Forming Our Physical Sense of Self

Afterward, Parvizi detailed, “All of them reported something weird happening to their sense of physical self. In fact, three of them reported a clear sense of depersonalization, similar to taking psychedelics.”

However, this feeling of being detached wasn’t like an out-of-body experience.

“In an out-of-body experience, you see yourself from the top. Our subjects did not report that at all. They still felt like they were inside their bodies. But they typically reported a change in their sense of their location and orientation,” Parvizi explained.

“If the right side of the brain was stimulated, they felt as though they were floating; if the left side was stimulated, they felt as if they were falling. As they looked around, it didn’t make sense,” he continued.

“They shouldn’t be floating or sinking, but it felt like they were. The world around them seemed unreal.”

Interestingly, reports of floating or flying versus falling were linked with relatively positive or negative emotions based on whether the right or left aPCu was stimulated. The aPCu is found in both halves of the brain.

“Why that happens, I have no clue,” Parvizi admitted.

“I am absolutely puzzled why stimulating the left versus the right side elicits opposite effects, but we’re going to figure that out.”

To read the study’s complete findings, which have since been published in Neuron, visit the link here.

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