Ground Report | New Delhi: What happens in our Brain when we Die; Many people who have been about to die to say that they saw how the memories of their entire lives flashed before their eyes as if it were a movie. Others say they saw a narrowing tunnel and a light at the end. These are the two most reported near-death experiences. For many, they are the result of something supernatural. However, they are still the result of a heart and a brain that can’t take it anymore.
What happens in our Brain when we Die
Many scientists have explained the light at the end of the tunnel. However, the topic of memories is not as well described in the scientific literature. Or at least it wasn’t, because recently a team of Estonian doctors accidentally recorded the brain activity of a man in his last seconds of life. And, with it, he was able to give an explanation to this phenomenon.
After the discovery, these scientists joined other researchers from hospitals and universities in the United States and Canada and published a study that has recently been published in Frontiers of Neuroscience.
In it they describe how they managed to make this time recording. And how, with it, they can explain one of the most mysterious near-death experiences.
A casual recording of memories
This finding took place in a hospital in Estonia. There, Dr Raúl Vicente and his team were treating an 87-year-old man with serious epileptic seizures. As is quite common in this type of patient, they subjected him to constant monitoring of his brain activity. Thus, they could quickly detect seizures and act accordingly.
But the man’s health was already very bad, so it got worse and he died suddenly of a heart attack. No one had foreseen something like this. But, without looking for it, they had recorded the brain activity of an individual both before and after his heart stopped.
The man’s brain activity was being recorded to monitor his epileptic seizures, but he suffered a heart attack in the meantime
For the study, they did not take all the recordings. They focused only on 900 seconds around the moment of death. Especially in the 30 seconds before the last beat. Thus, they saw that waves very similar to those that are launched when we are dreaming were activated. But also when we are remembering.
This could be translated into a recollection of the individual’s life . Just what is described among near-death experiences. This was explained by the study’s lead author, Ajmal Zemmar, in a statement: “Through the generation of oscillations involved in memory retrieval, the brain may be playing a last memory of important life events just before die, similar to what has been reported in near-death experiences.
Other near-death experiences
You can’t talk about near-death experiences without mentioning the light at the end of the tunnel. For those who believe in the supernatural, it could be the result of the soul separating from the body and heading towards a new, brighter place.
However, science also has answers for this. In fact, in 2011 two scientists from British research centres published a study in which they analyzed some of these near-death experiences.
Regarding the light at the end of the tunnel, it is mentioned that it is the result of retinal ischemia. This phenomenon occurs when the eye begins to see its supply of blood and oxygen diminished.
Logically, it can happen with a heart that is about to stop. But also in other circumstances. For example, it can happen to pilots of fighter planes or aerobatics, in which sudden changes in gravity are experienced, which can affect blood pressure. The result is this light at the end of the tunnel, which luckily only lasts a few seconds, but affects your eyesight and can make manoeuvring difficult.
The light at the end of the tunnel may be due to a phenomenon that some airline pilots also experience.
On the other hand, the authors of this study considered that other near-death experiences could be the result of the trauma that has brought them to the brink of the end of their life. It is increasingly studied that traumatic experiences can cause hallucinations. And those hallucinations could provoke that sensation of the soul escaping from the body, to return to it again, in case death does not finally occur.
Ultimately, it seems that all near-death experiences have an explanation. Now we know a little more about the memories that pass over the eyes of who is leaving as if it were a movie. It’s creepy, but it also shows how fascinating the human brain is.
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