Schroter-Kunhardt, M. (1993). A review of near death experiences. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 7(3) 219-239.
Abstract: Near death experiences (NDEs) have been reported throughout time in essentially all cultures. The contents of modern NDEs are independent of gender, age, and profession. The frequency of occurrence is estimated to lie between 10 and 50 percent of all near-death situations. This frequency could be higher still, perhaps even 100 percent, were it not for the dreamlike and dissociative character of the experience and the amnesia-prone participation of the temporal lobe causing a clear tendency to forget the NDE. A number of similar elements are common to NDEs, such as an out-of-body experience in which the physical body and its surroundings are observed from various external vantage points, often from above. Numerous cases exist in which the reality of the ODE-observation can be independently verified by external conditions, situations, people, objects, etc. Even previously non-religious ND experiencers subsequently show a markedly decreased fear of death and a corresponding increase in belief in life after death. Certain elements of NDE-like experiences can be induced by, for example, electrical stimulation of the right temporal lobe or the use of hallucinogenic substances. It is possible that hallucinogenic transmitters (and endorphins) of the brain itself play a role in the NDE. Nevertheless, there are NDE-elements, such as the frequently reopened life-review and certainly the acquisition of external verifiable information concerning the physical surroundings during the experience that cannot be explained by physiological causes. Wish-fulfillment, death-denial or other defense mechanisms of the brain are also not adequate explanations. The large body of NDE data now accumulated point to genuine evidence for a non-physical reality and paranormal capacities of the human-being.
Copyright: © 1993. Reprinted with permission of the Journal of Scientific Exploration.
Aftereffects of NDEs—Orientation to Death
Afterlife, Belief in
Altered States and NDEs
Definition of NDEs
Explanations of NDEs—Parapsychological
Explanations of NDEs—Physiological, Neurological, Brain
Explanations of NDEs—Psychological
Historical Perspectives on NDEs
Psychopathology and NDEs NOS
Religion and NDEs NOS
Veridical Perception during NDEs