In the last moments of life, the brains of dying patients experience a burst of activity in “hot spots”, indicating that the dying are experiencing near-death experiences, which are often reported by survivors of a heart attack.
The discovery was made by researchers at the University of Michigan Medical University who monitored the brain activity of four patients who died in the neuro-intensive care unit.
Although all four patients were comatose and unresponsive to heart attacks, after the oxygen supply was cut off, the researchers found a spike in gamma wave activity and an increase in heart rate in two of them.
Activity was found in the part of the brain where the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes converge – the so-called “hot zone” that is closely associated with conscious activity.
This burst of brain activity in the last minutes of life can be explained by near-death experiences, which are often reported by near-death survivors.
NDEs have been described by 10-20 percent of cardiac arrest survivors and have been characterized as conscious and “more real than real”.
However, according to the authors of the study, “Near-death experiences represent a biological paradox that challenges our fundamental understanding of the dying brain, which scientists believe does not function in such conditions.”
Although the researchers cannot say with certainty whether any of the patients saw white light or any other phenomena of consciousness, since none of them survived to report their experiences, but this discovery opens up new avenues for research into what happens to the brain in the last moments of life.
Near-death experiences are complex and multifaceted phenomena, and they need to be studied further in order to better understand our brain and consciousness. We hope that new research will help shed light on this topic and expand our knowledge about the nature of human life.
That is why further research on this topic is extremely important and can shed light on hitherto unknown mechanisms of the human brain in a state close to death.
The study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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