|2013 Conference: Speakers and Titles|
Speakers and Titles have been announced (subject to change):
|2013 Conference: 11 Workshops Available!|
Workshops at the Conference (priced separately)
|2013 Conference: Main speakers and topics!|
|AWARE study & two others receive Templeton grants|
Three studies relating to NDEs have been award grants in the Immortality Project, including the AWARE study directed by Sam Parnia of Stony Brook University, according to a University of California Riverside report. The size of the individual grants was not disclosed but they average $240,000.
Another study by Ann Taves and Tamsin German of UC Santa Barbara will include a "quasi-experimental field study" of IANDS to examine the role that NDE accounts and experiences play in shaping and reinforcing the potency of afterlife beliefs in the NDE movement. In the third study related to NDEs, Shahar Arzy of Hadassah Hebrew University will examine the life-review experience reported in many near-death experiences, including its prevalence and relationship to life events.
|2013 Conference Registration is now open!|
|Interview with Diane Corcoran on Combat NDE Project|
Jeff Garton of Veteran Empowerment Training recently interviewed IANDS President Diane Corcoran about her Combat NDE Project, reviewing her military career as a nurse and her work on near-death experiences (NDEs) and with IANDS.
Dr. Corcoran launched the Combat NDE Project to develop education materials and videos to reach out to veterans in military or VA facilities—to get the word out to veterans about NDEs to help them understand their own NDE and the aftereffects they may be experiencing.
The Veteran Empowerment Training is a job and career readiness training for veterans.
|Study finds NDE memories are not of imagined events|
|Skeptics have long proposed that NDEs are dream-like memories of events that never happened or are altered memories of real events which are partly or fully imagined. A recently published study from the University of Liège in Belgium compared the memories of NDEs with memories of others who were in coma without an NDE. They found that memories of NDEs are significantly different from coma patients without an NDE. In particular they have significantly more characteristics, like visual details, memory clarity, self-referential information (being involved in the event) and emotional content.|
The researchers propose that NDEs can't be considered as imagined events. which have significantly fewer characteristics. NDE events are really perceived but since the events did not occur in reality and likely result from physiological conditions (e.g., neurological dysfunction), the events are actually hallucinatory (see also ULg video). This conclusion is based on assumptions that are inconsistent with other evidence from NDEs. Other interpretations are possible.
|Parnia interviewed on Fresh Air about his book 'Erasing Death'|
Dr. Sam Parnia was interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air about his new book, Erasing Death: The science that is rewriting the boundaries between life and death, released in February. The book reveals that death is not a moment in time, but rather a process that can be interrupted well after it has begun. Dr. Parnia reveals how some form of "afterlife" may be uniquely ours, as evidenced by the continuation of the human mind and psyche after the brain stops functioning.
In the interview, Parnia relates some initial results of the AWARE study: only about 1 in 1,000 patients has remembered an NDE with an OBE component. A number of OBEs were reported but some occurred with no target images installed and some patients looked at events at a different angle from where the target was installed, but still described accurate details. The researchers are adjusting the study. See also excellent article in The Guardian.
|Alexander debates skeptic Shermer on Larry King Now|
Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander debated skeptic Michael Shermer on the Larry King Now show about "Does heaven exist?", along with spiritual activist Marianne Williamson and Rabbi Marvin Hier. Larry King had earlier interviewed Dr. Alexander and later the debate among the four thinkers was recorded.
Shermer's argument was that all experience derives from the brain as we can see from cases of senility and dementia. Alexander's near-death experience can be explained completely by neurological phenomena occurring very quickly as he came out of coma, producing a very powerful dream-like hallucination which Alexander later elaborated with confabulations. Alexander countered that his experience was way too real and rich to be an hallucination and that it is a mistake to assume that all experience occurs through the brain.
|AWARE study preliminary results due in the fall|
The AWARE study (AWAreness during REsuscitation) is a multi-hospital clinical study of the brain and consciousness during cardiac arrest, including tests of the validity of perceptions during the out-of-body portion of near-death experiences. The latest status is that more data and larger scale studies will probably be required, and an end to the study is not anticipated in the near future. A report of preliminary results from the first five years of the study is likely this fall, to be presented through a scientific journal or a scientific conference.
In the meantime, Dr. Sam Parnia, Director of the AWARE study, has written a new book, Erasing Death: The science that is rewriting the boundaries between life and death, to be released in February. The book reveals that death is not a moment in time, but rather a process that can be interrupted well after it has begun. Dr. Parnia reveals how some form of "afterlife" may be uniquely ours, as evidenced by the continuation of the human mind and psyche after the brain stops functioning.