Near Death Experiences Explained by New Study?

Near Death Experiences Explained by New Study?

Reports of near-death experiences are in no short supply. Thousands of people have told similar tales after they’ve been at death’s door. The stories seem to be very similar: A tunnel appears, and then a bright light. Sometimes, the person’s loved ones line the tunnel, welcoming them to the afterlife. The light is often described as peaceful, all-encompassing, and “more real than real.” Some people claim that the light is God, others say it’s pure love. These experiences have been the subject of multitudes of books, television shows and movies. Now, a new study just released and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science may have explained this phenomenon.

The study was performed at John Hopkins and is entitled Surge of neurophysiological coherence and connectivity in the dying brain. While the study was conducted on rats, researchers feel that the results explain the brain processes that occur in human beings at the time of death.

Lead researchers Jimo Borjigin and Michael Wang say their research suggests that the dying brain produces a burst of heightened consciousness that can be observed by several measurements, including “gamma frequency, “feedback connectivity,” and “cross frequency coupling.” Borjigin explained:

…what is really interesting is that the coherence [in the dying rats] is more than two-fold higher than in their waking state. This suggests that after cardiac arrest, there is a kind of hyper-consciousness in the brain, with all of the neurons acting together in far more coherence than normal.

This upswing in neuron firing could account for the vivid and “hyper real” encounters experienced by those who report near death experiences. The abstract of the study states:

…We identified a transient surge of synchronous gamma oscillations that occurred within the first 30 s after cardiac arrest…. Gamma oscillations during cardiac arrest were global and highly coherent; …High-frequency neurophysiological activity in the near-death state exceeded levels found during the conscious waking state. These data demonstrate that the mammalian brain can, albeit paradoxically, generate neural correlates of heightened conscious processing at near-death.

The study shows that even after blood has stopped flowing and the heart has ceased beating, the brain remains active, and this could account for its ability to envision the tunnel, the light, loved ones and God. Not only does the brain remain active, say researchers, but it enters into a state of extremely heightened awareness. This expanded awareness may explain the sense survivors have that their experiences were “even more real than reality.”

Researchers say the study is the first of its kind and will provide a strong foundation for the ongoing research into what happens to the brain after the heart has ceased to beat. Have near death experiences been explained by this new study? Some comments under numerous articles show that the public seems to be highly doubtful. A few people have expressed the belief that this scientific experiment was done just for the purpose of disproving people’s experiences. One commenter said:

..sounds like you are going out of your way to attempt to disprove people’s experiences…..why are you doing this ? is it your own lack of any faith, that you have to make sure everyone else disbelieves too ??????

As with any study, getting the public on board with the results often takes time and years of additional studies and meta analyses before the outcome is widely accepted.

By: Rebecca Savastio

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9 Responses to "Near Death Experiences Explained by New Study?"

  1. The Spiderant   April 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

    OK. So I’m streaming a YouTube video on my iPhone. Some engineers, who’ve never heard of YouTube come along, study the phone, and determine that there is heightened electrical activity occurring in certain parts of the phone’s processor. They then suggest that the circuitry in the phone is the source of the video.

    Reply
  2. John Graden   September 27, 2013 at 7:16 am

    There are 10 great Near Death Experience Stories in Near Death Experiences-Doctors and Scientists Go On The Record About God, Heaven, and the Afterlife
    http://tinyurl.com/k4y2hxc

    Reply
  3. eliotzz   August 19, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Complete Crap. Materialist Scientists prove Rats brains accelerate at the end of life and thats supposed to disprove millions of people having the same or extremely similar visions of dead relatives, feelings of complete peace of unconditional love and being told they have to return to their body’s, many of whom did not know they were dying and the majority of which had no religious beliefs. Seriously? And how do they all have the same visions again? And what about OBE’s that confirm much of what they experience? They keep trying with these ridiculous studies to disprove God and the afterlife while there are 14 or 15 other means of decent evidence for an afterlife and more and more people every day experience those, explaining why the number of people who believe has increased some 20% over the past 3 years. Just try simple meditation. It won’t take long before you start experiencing and decide against materialism.

    Reply
  4. Thee Ox   August 14, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Total Crap.

    Reply
  5. Jimmy   August 14, 2013 at 4:19 am

    This study disproves nothing, if anything it raises more questions. It’s worth noting that the researchers reportedly said that at near death, the brain enters into a state of “extremely heightened awareness.” It is therefore worth considering the possibility that this awareness is of something that actually exists, in some as yet unexplainable way.

    Reply
  6. Pharaoh   August 14, 2013 at 4:04 am

    Or is it the commentators wavering faith in God why they are afraid of what this experiment and line of exploration may prove or disprove.

    Reply
  7. jane   August 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I am not sure why anyone thinks that this experiment disproves God. An extremely heightened awareness might make it more possible to experience that which is numenous. Gee, do you think that experimentation might yield a way to make this hsppen without a near death experience? That would be totally cool.

    Reply
  8. bodicca   August 13, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    We would all like to think that something awaits us after death, and that we don’t simply vanish, never to be heard from or seen again. It is comforting to many people to imagine that their near-death experiences portend something wonderful. Scientific research and reality interfere with their belief system, so they will continue with their fantasies, so matter how much proof is presented (whether they comprehend it or not). Blind faith defines itself.

    Reply
    • eliotzz   August 19, 2013 at 4:21 am

      Its actually the other way around. Science has become the belief system that has created the fantasies of materialism. Study evidence for life after death, without the religion, and see what you find. There is plenty of evidence and no materialist evidence against it. Try it. All researched, written by accredited reputable researchers. Zero religion, zero belief system.. Try it without your own materialist dogma and see what you learn.

      Reply

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