An article from The Telegraph published in the National Post reports that, according to a British study into near-death and out-of-body experiences, awareness may continue for a short time after the brain has shut down completely. Scientists at the University of Southampton spent 4 years studying more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrest at 15 hospitals in the U.K., U.S., and Austria. They found that almost 40% of those patients who survived experienced some kind of “awareness” during the time when they were clinically dead before they were able to be revived.
One man, a 57 year old from Southampton, recalled leaving his body entirely and watching his resuscitation from the corner of the room. He was able to recount the actions of the medical staff in detail and described the sound of the machines despite being unconscious and “dead” for 3 minutes. Although many couldn’t recall specific details, common themes of peacefulness, bright light, and altered time emerged.
While medical professionals don’t know what causes this phenomenon, doctors involved in the study are hopeful that their findings will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.
Read: The Telegraph, Largest Study Into Near-Death Experiences Discovers Awareness May Continue Even After the Brain Shuts Down, National Post, 10-07-2014.