Signs of Consciousness in Dying Brains

Neuroscientists have recorded intense bursts of neural activity, lasting about 30 seconds, in rats after experimentally stopping their hearts. The researchers claim that the after-death brain activity is associated with a heightened conscious experience and may be a neural correlate of near-death experiences—a suite of euphoric, hyper-real experiences reported by nearly 20 percent of cardiac arrest victims. The findings were published Monday (August 12) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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