Hyperactive Brain May Create "Near Death" Visions

Can a new study lay the basis for the scientific understanding of mystical-sounding near-death recollections, filled with vivid light and vibrant meetings with deceased loved ones?

When researchers recorded and analyzed electroencephalograms (EEGs) of the brain activity of rats during cardiac arrest, they discovered that in the seconds after the heart stopped beating, there was a final burst of brain activity characteristic of conscious perception.

The finding indicates that the source of the electrical activity in the immediate aftermath of clinical death was the brain itself, not an outside or supernatural source.

National Geographic spoke with lead study author Jimo Borjigin, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

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