Researchers have studied the brain processes involved in near death experiences.
Dr. Judith Katz and her team at the Hadassah University, Jerusalem released the study in late 2016. They refer to the near death phenomena as the “Life Review Experience” or LRE. Ultimately, it appears they have discovered scientific explanations for near-death experiences.
The near-death experience life review is a phenomenon known in every culture. It has been constantly mentioned through history. Having your “life flash before your eyes” is an experience shared by all. Now this research understands how it happens.
Katz and her team interviewed 7 people who had had a near-death experience. From the in-depth information they received, they formulated a questionnaire. 264 volunteers, who had not had a near death experience, completed the questionnaire. The Elsevier Journal “Consciousness and Cognition” published the results in their February edition.
The questionnaire revealed that people can experience an LRE during a distressing experience. An LRE isn’t necessarily limited to being near death. An LRE is more likely when the breath and arteries contain greater concentrations of carbon dioxide.
Near-death experience facts
Researchers observed that the parts of the brain where we store our memories shut down last. This includes the parietal, medial temporal and prefrontal cortex. During serious injuries and stress, these sections of the brain do not experience oxygen or blood loss.
An LRE isn’t always pleasant. Those who describe having one felt it to be a wild rollercoaster of intense emotions. Time ceases to exist.
What may be only moments in an emergency room may feel like millennia to the person having a LRE.
Despite popular belief, the flashbacks of a LRE are not chronological. Memories are vivid and random. Sometimes they occur simultaneously. The mind plays tricks with a memory’s point of view. People have described how the memory occurred from the point of view of the person they were with. If they had caused the person suffering, they felt the full extent of their suffering.
This brings to mind the Catholic views of purgatory, where a soul must pay for the crimes it committed. People who have had a LRE come back from it completely changed. Religious rituals during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur may be the ways the ancients tried to avoid the pain one experiences during an LRE.
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