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A Trick of Your Mind

Another report by researchers has found that all of the wacky phenomena experienced by people having a near-death experience have a biological basis. Translation: there is absolutely no evidence that NDE’s are supernatural, spiritual, or unexplainable. It’s all in your head. This report squares with what we have talked about before, as NDE’s are science after all.

While you can go to the aforementioned post to find out what the gist is about the science of NDE’s, it is useful to again mention what researchers have found and continue to find.

When looking at all of the phenomena associated with NDE’s, such as out-of-body experiences, visions of tunnels of light, or encounters with dead relatives, psychologists have found a biological basis for each. For example, out-of-body experiences, may happen when there is a breakdown in the brain’s multi-sensory processes, and visions of tunnels and bright lights could stem from a breakdown in the brain’s visual system caused by oxygen deprivation.

Furthermore, the new report also points to the effects of noradrenaline, a hormone released by the mid-brain which, when triggered, may evoke positive emotions, hallucinations and other features of the near-death experience.

As the report states, researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge say that most of the experiences can be explained by a reaction in the brain prompted by a traumatic and sometimes harmless event. Interestingly, you don’t even have to be actually dying to have a NDE, making the afterlife claim even more unreasonable.

When the brain goes through a traumatic event, it desperately tries to make sense out of the chaos, and usual perceptions and sensations are produced as a result. Most people never go through this, only about 3% of the US population, so the “unnatural” brain sensations are hard to explain and share with others, perhaps prompting the cop-out explanation of the supernatural.

In summary, the researchers conclude that:

The scientific evidence suggests that all aspects of the near-death experience have a biological basis.

Science after all.