Commentary on Report of EEG in a Dying Human Brain

Dr. Bruce Greyson, 2022NDE researchers Drs. Bruce Greyson, Pim van Lommel, and Peter Fenwick have published a commentary to appear in the Journal of Near-Death Studies on the recent report from Vicente et al. (2022) on the electroencephalographic (EEG) recording in an 87-year-old patient who unexpectedly suffered a cardiac arrest. Vincente et al. speculated that the unusual gamma frequency activity that was observed could support a last ‘recall of life’ that may take place in the near-death state. Subsequent mainstream media reports went far beyond this speculation and "proclaimed that this single case proved that near-death experiences (NDEs) were explained entirely by brain electrical activity persisting for several minutes after cardiac arrest."

In their analysis of the case, Greyson, van Lommel, and Fenwick concluded that, for many reasons, "the recent paper by Vicente et al. (2022) is, as the authors wrote, intriguing enough to stimulate speculation, but not evidential enough to suggest a neurological basis for NDEs."

References:

  • Greyson, B., van Lommel, P., & Fenwick, P. (2022). Recent report of electroencephalogram of a dying human brain. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 40(1). Preprint.
  • Vicente, R., Rizzuto, M., Sarica, C., Yamamoto, K., Sadr, M., Khajuria, T., ... & Zemmar, A. (2022). Enhanced interplay of neuronal coherence and coupling in the dying human brain. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 14, article 813531.

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TIMELESS ONENESS
The Luminous Message of Near-Death Experiences
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Participate in an NDE Research Study!

If you have had a near-death experience (NDE), NDE-like experience or related experience, please consider participating in the on-going research studies below. All of these studies have been reviewed and approved by the IANDS Academic & Research Committee.

1. Opinion about wording of questionnaires about NDEs
  • Objectives: The Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia is recruiting individuals who have had a near-death experience (NDE) for an online study. These are personal and transformative experiences that sometimes happen when one is close to death or under the threat of death. This research asks for your opinion about the wording of questionnaires about NDEs and will allow researchers to improve these questionnaires to better reflect the experiences people have.
  • Researchers: Marieta Pehlivanova, PhD, and Bruce Greyson, MD, of the Division of Peceptual Studies, University of Virginia.
  • Type of study: Questionnaire            Time required: 20 minutes
  • Further information and link to questionnaire

2. Sleep and Dreaming After a Near-death Experience
  • Objectives: Extensive research over the past 40 years has revealed a consistent pattern of pronounced and pervasive aftereffects following near-death experiences (NDEs). The majority of research has focused on psychosocial and spiritual changes, however an increasing body of evidence suggests physiological alterations may also occur in association with NDEs. For this research we would like to know whether your sleep patterns and experiences (including dream content) have changed since your near-death incident, and if so, in what ways. It is possible they may not have changed at all, and we are also interested in this.
  • Researchers: Laura O’Sullivan, PhD and Nicole Lindsay from Massey University in New Zealand
  • Type of study: questionnaire             Time required: 15-20 minutes
  • Further information and link to questionnaire

3. Study of Profound MYSTICAL or SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES
  • Objectives: Have you had a momentous, transcendental experience that “All is One,” a Near-Death Experience, seen and felt an extraordinary Light, or anything along these lines? Then you would be an ideal participant!
  • Researcher: Jonathan Dinsmore, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
  • Type of study: questionnaire             Time required: 10-20 minutes
  • Further information and link to questionnaire

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Founded in 1981, IANDS is a membership-based, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes research, education, and support around near-death experiences and related experiences. Our mission is to advance a global understanding of these experiences. We envision a future in which all people embrace near-death and related experiences as sources of meaning and inspiration for a better world. 

If you are not currently an IANDS member, we kindly invite you to join our organization. 

Why Join IANDS?

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Near-Death Experience Accounts

Near-Death Experience Accounts

On this website you will find near-death experience accounts (and NDE-like accounts) submitted by experiencers. These first-hand testimonies offer compelling insights and perspectives about consciousness and what happens after we die. You can also see more NDE accounts on our YouTube Channel (IANDSVideos) and in the IANDS publication, The Self Does Not Die.

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A New Scale to Assess Near-Death Experiences -- Commentary

Statistics

Abstract: An expanded scale, the Near-Death Experience Content (NDE-C) scale, has been developed by Charlotte Martial and colleagues (2020) to assess near-death experiences (NDEs). The scale was modeled after the existing NDE Scale (Greyson, 1983), using reworded scale items, and added five additional items, notably items about a gateway or tunnel and a feeling of non-existence or fear. NDE-C uses a rating scale of 0–4 for each item and thus ranges from 0 to 80. In this article, we raise concerns that several of the reworded items appear to have changed the meaning of NDE Scale item and appear to be significantly more prevalent or less prevalent than the original item, as demonstrated in a Rasch statistical analysis of the NDE-C results. We suggest wording changes for these items so that they return to their original context and meaning. [This page is an abbreviated version of the full article PDF, which can be downloaded here.]

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Reckoning: Discoveries after a Traumatic NDE by Nancy Evans Bush

Reckoning Nancy Evans Bush Book

Reckoning: Discoveries after a Traumatic Near-Death Experience

A devastating near-death experience--a disempowering NDE of the Void--overturned the certainties and worldview of Nancy Evans Bush, a young teacher and new mother. Decades later, recognized as a trusted pioneer in research of distressing near-death experiences, she writes for the first time about her long struggle to come to terms with the experience. In this third book, she looks at reconciling foundational beliefs with the powerful messages of a strange and otherworldly NDE. The unexpected, sometimes humorous, often synchronistic discoveries point beyond herself to challenges and reassurance for everyone.

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Closing the Gap in Medical Care for NDErs

VOICES Close the Gap Resources
 
NDE DISCLOSURE DISCRIMINATION
Those who have a near-death experience struggle with sharing this information with their healthcare providers, family members, and others. Some struggle to make sense of the experience, mainly if they are unaware that others have reported similar accounts. Though it’s challenging to explain near-death experiences scientifically, they happen to millions of people and often leave individuals profoundly changed for the remainder of their lives. Studies have found that 10 – 20% of people who are resuscitated after nearly dying have an out-of-body experience accompanied by various perceptions such as traveling through a tunnel of light, feeling loved, or being received by deceased loved ones. Most NDEs are highly positive experiences, but a percentage describe a negative experience, which can be traumatizing to patients.
 

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