near death experience brain activityA new scientific explanation for the phenomenon of near-death experiences, reported by many patients who “returned” from life from almost death, was given by a new U.S. scientific research which was first to systematically examine the neurophysiological state of the brain straight away after cardiac arrest. During the study, based on laboratory animals, a sharp upsurge of electrical activity in the brain after stopping the heart was found.

This intense electrical activity is estimated to “create” the perception of the near-death experience, something that other scientists are reluctant to accept.

The research team, led by professor of physiology and neurology Jimo Borjigin of the School of Medicine, University of Michigan, who published their study in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS), studied rats that died after artificial heart attack.

The scientists found that the dying brain experiences a sharp activation of electrical brain waves, which, in the case of humans, could explain the emergence of visions like a tunnel with light at the end, feeling of great peace, meeting dead relatives and friends, sense of flying over one’s own body, etc.

As said Jimo Borjigin, it is wrong to believe that the brain is idle or underutilized after clinical death. In fact, he said, “in the stage of death, it is more active than when one is alive.”

During 30 seconds after the hearts of laboratory animals stopped and their brains were not being provided with blood anymore, a sudden spurt of highly synchronized high-frequency gamma waves in the brain, which are directly connected with the consciousness, was recorded with the help of electroencephalogram.



Researchers believe that at death’s door, this is what exactly happens to people, causing, as if in a dream, near-death experiences that feel “more real than reality.” But in order to confirm this hypothesis, a similar study should be done on people who experienced clinical death and ultimately survived, something that certainly is not easy to achieve.

It is estimated that 10% to 20% of people who survived clinical death due to cardiac arrest (for example, during a surgery), claim to have lived a series of near-death experiences. Of course, the new experiment cannot tell us for sure if the rats also have near-death experiences and of what kind.



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Anna LeMind

Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website Learning-mind.com. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.