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Near Death Experiences Likely Caused by Lack of Oxygen

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posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 11:41 AM

Near-death experiences, in which people claim to encounter a variety of unusual phenomena, including moving through a tunnel toward light, feeling lightweight, feeling peace and joy, and profoundly spiritual moments, have often been classified by scientific researchers as a function of anoxia, or oxygen deprivation in the brain.


I have always thought many of people's unexplainable experiences were nothing more than an increase or lack of chemicals flooding the brain.

Many people are quick to label an experience they can't explain as spiritual or religious without looking at the science behind what exactly the brain is going through during death.

A new study has been released which claims to offer more support that NDE's are happening inside the dying brain rather than a person believing they are having an out of body experience.

Asphyxia-activated corticocardiac signaling accelerates onset of cardiac arrest


The mechanism by which the healthy heart and brain die rapidly in the absence of oxygen is not well understood. We performed continuous electrocardiography and electroencephalography in rats undergoing experimental asphyxia and analyzed cortical release of core neurotransmitters, changes in brain and heart electrical activity, and brain-heart connectivity. Asphyxia stimulates a robust and sustained increase of functional and effective cortical connectivity, an immediate increase in cortical release of a large set of neurotransmitters, and a delayed activation of corticocardiac functional and effective connectivity that persists until the onset of ventricular fibrillation. Blocking the brain's autonomic outflow significantly delayed terminal ventricular fibrillation and lengthened the duration of detectable cortical activities despite the continued absence of oxygen. These results demonstrate that asphyxia activates a brainstorm, which accelerates premature death of the heart and the brain.

You might say, "How can an experiment performed with rats, have any bearing on what happens to a human after death?" According to this article, scientists are continually discovering that a rat's brain is more similar to a human's and how it functions than previously thought.

"This study opens up avenues for studying some very complex neural processes in rodents that are more like our own than we had previously thought," said Smith. "The tools now available for studying activity in the rodent brain are improving at a remarkable pace, and the findings are even more interesting as we discover just how similar these mammalian relatives are to us.

According to an article at MedicalDaily, researchers found that in the 30-second period after the animals heart stopped beating, an immediate release of more than a dozen neurochemicals as well as high-frequency brainwaves called gamma oscillations increased. Faster rhythms that exist in the gamma frequency band have been linked to cognitive processing or heightened awareness.

The researchers examined neurotransmitters, changes in brain and heart electrical activity and brain-heart connectivity. They concluded, “Asphyxia stimulates a robust and sustained increase of functional and effective cortical connectivity, an immediate increase in cortical release of a large set of neurotransmitters. These results demonstrate that asphyxia activates a brainstorm, which accelerates premature death of the heart and the brain.”

Researcher Susan Blackmore is the author of a book called "Dying to Live:Near-Death Experiences" who makes note that many NDE's such as euphoria and the feeling of moving toward the light are common symptoms of oxygen deprivation to the brain.

In a previous study from 2010 reported in the journal Critical Care, it was found that out of 52 heart attack patients, 1 reported having NDE's. It's interesting to note that how a person is dying will also effect the possibility of them experiencing an NDE.

A person close to drowning would be more likely to experience an the phenomenon than someone who's injury involved only the brain or other major organ, leaving the lungs to function normally.

Brain Waves Surge Moments Before Death

A study of seven terminally ill patients found identical surges in brain activity moments before death, providing what may be physiological evidence of "out of body" experiences reported by people who survive near-death ordeals.

Moments before death, the patients experienced a burst in brainwave activity, with spikes occurring at the same time before death and at a comparable intensity and duration. This would lead us to believe that most peoples brain reacts the same way towards death whether they are religious or not.

Ironically scientists first believed the electrical surges picked up by the electroencephalographs were caused by other machines or cell phones in the rooms of dying patient. As they began removing possible equipment from the equation they started to realize it was coming from the patients own brain as they were experiencing death.

Quite a fascinating subject whether you believe this phenomenon to be spiritual in nature or not. Peoples experiences seem related to their specific illness and may not occur when the lungs are functioning normally before death. If you have anything at add, I would be interested in reading more on the subject.

edit on 12-4-2015 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 11:51 AM
Choked on a grape when I was 4...

Had a NDE...

So they might be right, in many cases at least.

Edit: But there was no tunnel & light...

Just me standing there watching myself choke while a Hells Angel shoved his fingers down my throat.
edit on 12-4-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 12:03 PM
a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

Well, alright then!

Sounds traumatizing, but an interesting experience nonetheless. I have to admit, they way you wrote that gave me a chuckle.

Thanks for sharing.

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 12:05 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

Having been with my mother at the moment of her death, she looked at me, squeezed my hand and smiled. She then closed her eyes and passed away. She was on oxygen.

I could feel her presence in the room, her soul presence, her light of being. I believe she was having her OBE but asking permission to pass. We told her it was okay to let go, she had fought breast cancer for a very long time.

I can still her her voice in clarity, of prior conversations we had, before she died 28 years ago.

Soul ties.

The light of my mother still resonates with me. No scientific study can prove this and I am okay with that.

Sometimes, just knowing you are right has to be enough.
edit on 1428858377Sunday30Sun, 12 Apr 2015 12:06:17 -0500pmSunday06121230 by Ultralight because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 12:10 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

Always aim to please...

What makes me laugh...

Since my brother mentioned the irony...

Was it the man's Hellish side that saved me...
Or his Angelic nature???

& who has dibs on my soul right now

That's what has me chuckling lately.
edit on 12-4-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-4-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 12:19 PM

originally posted by: eisegesis

Quite a fascinating subject whether you believe this phenomenon to be spiritual in nature or not. Peoples experiences seem related to their specific illness and may not occur when the lungs are functioning normally before death. If you have anything at add, I would be interested in reading more on the subject.

I've read of several NDEs with people who have had only brain injuries. I believe there was a woman scientist who did a TEDTalk, who had a NDE with a brain aneurysm/stroke. She didn't believe in NDEs before - now she does.

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 12:36 PM
a reply to: kaylaluv

If it was a stroke, it technically was the lack of blood with accompanying oxygen that caused her brain injury giving more credit to the OP. A ruptured aneurism may also cause severe blood loss and lack of oxygen to the brain.

If you have any links that state the brain was receiving normal or adequate levels of oxygen during their experience, I would be interested in reading them. I'm not here to dismiss any one side entirely.

NDE's are real, but whether they exist in a physical or nonphysical realm is at question.

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 01:35 PM
The stories that interest me the most in regard to NDEs are when the "dead" individual has a verifiable out of body experience, where they see people and hear conversations that human hearing could not account for.

For example, there is a woman, who describes a conversation through closed doors and all the way at the end of a hall, completely out of her ability to hear, was experienced clearly, as she saw and heard up close the discussion the doctor was having with her husband. She relayed this conversation afterwards to the astonishment of the doctor - it is a well documented case.

"Dying to be Me" is the title of the book. There is no way that her dying brain happened to make this up, if you read the story." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Book

NDEs may be influenced by the lack of oxygen, and some of the "transition" characteristics, such as the bright light (which happens at the very beginning), might be due to physiological processes, but there are other mysteries that have not been "solved" by science. The door to Eternity is still open...

- AB

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 02:05 PM
Very interesting read . I have looked into NDE before since my dad claims to have one . My dad was not a very religious man and never told this experience to anyone but close family . I have been wondering for many years and probably will be wondering till the day i die


posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 03:28 PM
That's an interesting theory, but i don't buy that.

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 06:13 PM
Anything to deny that spirits exists.

Explain why people from NDEs get accurate prophecies and information if it's just a hallucination in the mind?

Anita Moorjani heard what the doctors were saying about her in another room down the hallway.

SPIRIT is Real.

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 07:28 PM
a reply to: arpgme

Did the researchers give an explanation for the bursts of gamma frequencies at the time of death? Did they tell us that, incidentally, monks that have been thoroughly examined with EEG devices can exhibit gamma frequencies at will. Did the researchers tell us that gamma frequencies are associated with compassion? Did they explain why some many people surviving medical NDE and those that were saved from death in a split-second in an ordinary life encounter would frequently report their whole life flashing by them in a fraction of time? No. They have a case they want to prove.

And if yo want to look at the other side, check into some of the current work being done on various kinds of psi investigations. Perhaps we should edge into another term rather than the old one of "spirit." I prefer the word "consciousness" and not the, Did-I-let-the-dog-out-yet-today, type of consciousness most people think of when they use the term.

posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 08:26 PM
a reply to: Aliensun

Thank you for mentioning that. I like to research NDEs and I knew about a monk who was really happy and had gamma frequencies when doing metta kindness meditation, but I didn't know the brain wave frequencies increase during NDEs, too.

Even if they are skeptical, they should at least considered they became aware of SOMETHING while having increased consciousness/awareness, especially when they continue living a more compassionate life when they adjust back to normal life.

Yes, "Spirit" can be a misleading word because people have so many ideas regarding that. Referring to it as consciousnes/awareness is less likely to be misunderstood.

posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 09:07 AM
a reply to: eisegesis

Near death experiences are difficult to explain through science. But nevertheless -what would you expect?- science tries to explain it.
I am grateful they are searching for the truth. But like so many times they change their minds too often to be credible. Near death experiences have been given so many explanations by science that I lost track.


posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 09:23 AM
NDE I've done a lot of research on this subject. Your claim is in like just false.

posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 10:05 AM

originally posted by: StoutBroux
NDE I've done a lot of research on this subject. Your claim is in like just false.

This isn't my claim, its the researchers. I stated my opinion, cited some articles and was hoping for a rational discussion based on scientific reasoning and peoples own personal experiences. Saying its false twice doesn't make it any less compelling. These types of responses are getting more typical every day.

"I've done a lot of research, you are wrong."

posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 02:18 PM
OP, NDEs can be influenced by oxygen deprivation, but the asphyxiation process is just one of several methods that can be used to experience an OBE. Another way to obtain an OBE without having to be an "Adept" in spiritual practices is to undergo sleep paralysis, and then imagining yourself detaching from the body. Some people actually do experience this, and can get out of their body and float during sleep paralysis at will. I have never experienced such an OBE before, so I can't say anything about those that claim they do, but all I can say is that, such OBEs are of more research value than OBEs experienced during NDEs.

Both methods--NDEs and Sleep Paralysis, are just methods or processes to obtain an OBE. Chemical or electrical-neuro changes on the brain might occur during OBE, but that is just a physical indication to indicate that one is indeed undergoing an OBE; it doesn't explain why OBE experiencers experience what they see and feel during OBE. Some OBE experiences are influenced by the experiencers' beliefs---some aren't. Whatever it is, there does indeed to be distinct cases where both positive and negative OBE experiences can be noticed. The question is, what influences OBE experiencers to have either negative or positive OBE experiences? For example, does anyone know how Atheist-OBE experiences differ from Christian OBE-experiences, as well as spiritual or New Age OBE experiencers? We would liek to study the percentage of which group had more positive OBE experiences rather than negative ones.
edit on 13-4-2015 by Ezio313 because: spelling

edit on 13-4-2015 by Ezio313 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 02:51 PM
Also, it is also worthy to note that OBE experiencers that had lots of "guilty conscious", based on their past wrongdoings, as well as those who had much regrets in their life in the past, are more prone to having negative OBE experiences compared to OBE experiencers that don't have too much regrets in their life. It's also common that OBE experiencers that had done bad things to other people in the past would also experience highly negative OBE experiences, encountering "demons" or scary-looking entities during OBEs, regardless of having any religious beliefs or not, so this is proof that empathy and Love for another human being is important, and such empathy transcends religions and beliefs. Like a wise man once said, "Love your neighbor as yourself".

I personally belief that anybody could become a "demon" or negative being, if they lack love, empathy and compassion, and such "demons" would search for other consciousness that have passed on to the dead that are the same as their way of thinking . Horrifically, demons bully and torment other demons based on their hierarchy and seniority, just like a Mafia gang would have their own hierarchy. So if you don't want to join the Dark Side of the Force, do not do or think actions that align with the Dark, or negativity. Lacking empathy and compassion is a cheap ticket for anyone to get at entering the Dark Side and becoming a "Demon". If you want to be an "Angel" instead and experience only positivity, work on raising your empathy and kindness
edit on 13-4-2015 by Ezio313 because: spelling

posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 08:51 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

My experience with this , three times ages about 7, 14 ,28.

At 7, an angelic woman sent me back.

At 14 , life so far flashed before my eyes.

At 28 , brain bleed , blackness and at the edge of a cliff or hole or tunnel ?

What I think is that the brain behaves differently at different stages of development.
So a young brain will see relatives like grandma and pa

As the brain develops more moved onto movie of your life so far.

The last one not sure.

The oxygen can/ cannot be right with the first because no physical trauma only emotional.

The second not sure as head injury could cause lack of air.

The third, brain bleed, could cause lack of air.

So still don't know what to make of it.

The first one was pretty powerful , when I decided to leave as a 7 year old (had enough) did my body just stop breathing?

I think most kid nde's are based on seeing someone .

Maybe because they are not old enough to be responsible for their actions.

I think about this a bit trying to make sense of it all.

The one at seven made me think somebody/ group does watch us all ?


There is one thing, spinning that comes as it happens ,before you change over that is.

edit on 13-4-2015 by my1percent because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 13 2015 @ 09:15 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

The body is made of matter from the physical world, to be more precise elements that have been around since the big bang, these elements get completely replaced every few years or so, so you have in essence a new body, when a complete replacement takes place. But you don't have a mind replacement, it hangs around the body for as long as the DNA, replaces the cells, during the time its a viable vehicle. So who said the mind is permanently attached to the users body, and ceases to exist, when the body does. If we consider the mind to be the same as consciousness, during life we spend a good third of it out of the body, while its sleeping. So why shouldn't the body be observed from the outside.

If the body can be observed from the outside , it must be outside the physical world, where the laws like the speed of light, and distance don't play out as they do with the laws of the substance we perceive to be matter. Then why shouldn't their be a burst of energy, as the mind permanently vacates the body, one sure thing is if it has permanently vacated, their would be an inevitable run down of energetic activity, as the cells collapse back into the biosphere. The Universe is infinite, if we are part of the Universe, which we are, then we are also infinite, we just don't realise it at the moment.

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