Does Life Really Flash In Front Of Our Eyes When We Die? This Is What The Science Says

A new study concluded that life does flash in front of our eyes in the moments of death, and that parts of the brain that are ‘equipped’ with memories are the last to die as opposed to other functions that fail sooner.

The study, which included people that had near-death experiences, suggests that this phenomenon rarely gives memories chronologically, as seen in the movies. On the contrary, the participants reported that their memories were randomly ordered.

The research was carried out by scientists from Hadassah University in Jerusalem, who found that these so-called flashbacks included intense emotional moments from a person’s life.

During the study, scientists talked to seven people who had near-death experiences, which helped devise a questionnaire that they sent to 264 other people with similar experiences. The participants mostly reported that at that particular moment they had no concept of time, and that different memories from all periods of their life flashed in front of their eyes.
One of the participants said “There is not a linear progression, there is lack of time limits… It was like being there for centuries. I was not in time/space so this question also feels impossible to answer. A moment, and a thousand years… both and neither. It all happened at once, or some experiences within my near-death experience were going on at the same time as others, though my human mind separates them into different events.”
Another thing in common for all people who had near-death experiences is strong emotions, often from somebody else’s point of view.

One of the subjects reported to have felt what his father was going through at some difficult times in his life.

Everyone who took part in the study reported that after their near-death experience, they got a different perspective on life, past events and people around them.

The researchers explained that this phenomenon could be caused by parts of the brain which store autobiographical memories including the medial temporal, prefrontal and parietal cortex. These parts of the brain are not as susceptible to loss of oxygen and blood during serious injuries, meaning they are the last ones to lose function.

The study, published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, concludes: “Re-experiencing one’s own life-events, so-called LRE, is a phenomenon with well-defined characteristics, and its sub-components may be also evident in healthy people.
“This suggests that a representation of life-events as a continuum exists in the cognitive system, and may be further expressed in extreme conditions of psychological and physiological stress.”
Previous studies have shown that this phenomenon is more common in people with a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the breath and arteries following a heart failure.

By David Vanallen, Reflection Of Mind


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