Light at the end of the tunnel for scientists studying near-death experiences

Stories of out of body experiences and seeing lights at the end of a tunnel have been told by people brought back from the brink since the days of Plato.

Now, for the first time, scientists say they have observed brain activity in dying rats that may shed light on the mystery of human near death experiences.

Researchers at the University of Michigan analysed the electrical signals in the brains of nine anesthetized rats undergoing an induced cardiac arrest and saw activity patterns they said were associated with "a hyper-alerted state" shortly after clinical death.

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