But recently, a group of neurologists from the University of British Columbia (Canada) came to the conclusion that dying people do not lose their hearing not only until their last breath, but also for some time after death.
The researchers turned to patients of St. John’s Hospice, recognized as terminally ill, but still in their right mind, with a request to participate in the experiments.
The essence of the experiments was that when the process of dying began, a cap with electrodes was put on the head of the subject. At the same time, completely healthy people who made up the control group also participated in the study.
Both of them were given simple melodies to listen to, changing their tone. At the same time, with the help of electrodes, the reaction of the brain to listening to the compositions was monitored.
Hospice patients were put on music twice – when they fell into an unconscious state, and after death was recorded – that is, after cardiac arrest. And – here is the strangeness – in the control group, and in those who were unconscious, and in those who had just died, the brain in response to the “music” gave out almost the same data. The activity curves almost coincided.
Experts believe that a person hears sounds while the brain gives at least some signs of life (this also happens within a few seconds or minutes after death).
It is possible that the dying also understands what the people around them are saying. There are cases when survivors of clinical death then accurately conveyed the meaning of the conversations that were conducted by those around them – for example, their relatives or representatives of the medical staff. And some described in detail the actions of these people.
One of the authors of the study, Elizabeth Bludon of the Department of Psychology, argues that it makes sense for family and friends to stay with the dying until the very end. You can say goodbye to them and everything that you think is necessary, since the likelihood that they really hear you and understand everything that you want to say to them is quite high.
In the next series of experiments, Canadian neuroscientists intend to test whether dying people have the ability to feel touch. There is reason to believe that before death, even when unconscious or in a coma, people feel touched – say, feel that they are being held by the hand.
It is not a fact that in this way you will be able to return a person from the other world, as some hope, but you will certainly make his transition beyond the life line more comfortable.