If consciousness is hidden in your brain, you would expect that consciousness is less functioning as the brain is damaged. However, research shows that awareness in extreme conditions, for example, on the edge of life and death, function good or even better than under normal conditions.
This suggests that the mind functions independently of the brain. Alexander Batthyany professor at the University of Vienna has studied thousands of near-death experiences. The heavier the injury, the better people were able to observe, according to the professor.
In 2007, a study showed that more than half of the people who had experienced a near-death experience, could see sharper. Another study showed that 74 percent of those people were more aware and alert.
“I felt acutely aware, totally present, sharp and focused,” said one of them. “It was like I was half asleep when I was alive and fully awake after I was declared dead.”
“I felt free and was glad I was out of my body,” said another. “I felt connected to everything around me. I can not describe how that is. It was as if I could think faster or that the time went slow.”
Batthyany also investigated terminal clarity in Alzheimer patients. Some severely demented people just before their death are still completely clear and recognize loved ones again.
In addition, many blind people said they could see during their near-death experiences. This is partly studied by Kenneth Ring of the University of Connecticut.
Some scientists believe that hallucinations are produced during near-death experiences caused by physical processes. However, research by dr. Batthyany suggests that the complex experiences is much more involved.
He concluded that consciousness can sometimes remain active at times when there is no electrical activity in the brain. His study is published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies.