The electrical activity’s surge in brain can be cause of vivid experiences that are described by the survivors of near-death incidents, scientists report.
One study on rats which were dying found the high brainwaves levels at point of animals’ demise.The researchers from US said in humans it can produce one heightened consciousness state.
Dr Jimo Borjigin, leading study’s author, from Michigan University said that many people think brain becomes hypoactive or inactive after the clinical death but that’s not what happens. He said that it becomes even more active while the process of dying is going on as compared to waking state.
Ranging from white bright lights to feelings of the life flashing in front of their eyes, experiences told by the people who already have been close to the death though survived happen to be common throughout the world.
However, studying it in the humans tends to be one challenge, and such visions are only little understood.In order to find more, the scientists at Michigan University monitored 9 rats while they were in dying process.
In period of 30 seconds after heart beat of hearts of animals stopped, they measured one sharp increase of brainwaves of high-frequency called the gamma oscillations.
Such pulses appear to be one out of neuronal features which are considered to underpin the consciousness within humans, especially at the time they help in linking information from the different brain parts.
Within rats, such electrical pulses happened to be found at higher levels than this just after cardiac arrest compared to when the animals were well and awake.
Dr Borjigin told that it was possible that similar thing happened in brain of human, and that brain activity’s elevated level as well as that of consciousness can cause visions near-death.
“The fact they see light perhaps indicates the visual cortex in the brain is highly activated – and we have evidence to suggest this might be the case, because we have seen increased gamma in area of the brain that is right on top of the visual cortex.We have seen increased coupling between the lower-frequency waves and the gamma that has been shown to be a feature of visual awareness and visual sensation.”
She said in order to confirm these findings, one study would’ve to be done on the humans who experienced the clinical death, then revived.
Dr Jason Braithwaite of Birmingham University, while commenting over this research, said that this phenomenon appears to be brain’s final “hurrah”.
He said that a limitation is they didn’t know when these near-death incidents really occur. According to him, for the instances where the experiences might occur around time of the cardiac arrest and even beyond that time, they could provide further food to the idea about brain driving the striking and fascinating experiences.
Cardiff University’s Dr Chris Chambers said: “We know precious little about brain activity during death, let alone conscious brain activity. These findings open the door to further studies in humans.”
He also added that we need to be very cautious before approaching any conclusions regarding near-death human experiences as measuring brain activity within rats at the time of cardiac arrest is another thing and relating it with human experiences is quite another.