Whatever: April 2006 Archives

April 11, 2006

All in the mind.

United States: New research suggests that the classic near-death experience, involving bright lights, or staring down on oneself on an operating table, has a biological basis. Study leader Professor Kevin Nelson of the University of Kentucky said that the experiences appear to be related to dreams.

Study author Professor Kevin Nelson of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, who led the study, said the findings suggests that REM state intrusion contributed to near-death experiences.

He told the Daily Telegraph: I see it as an activation of certain brain regions that are also active during the dream state.

“However, I hesitate to call it dreaming or dreaming while awake. This is the first testable hypothesis of a biological basis for these experiences.”

“People who have near death experiences may have an arousal system that predisposes them to REM intrusion,
he added.

Although Nelson is reluctant to rule out a supernatural explanation, this research provides a testable hypothesis, which interpretations involving imaginary friends cannot do.

'Near death' has biological basisBBC News, 11th April 2005.

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This page is an archive of entries in the Whatever category from April 2006.

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