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Science & Technology

Brain scan captures last thoughts of a person as they died

February 23, 2022 | Comment icon 10 comments

What is the last thing a person thinks of when they die ? Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Mason
The groundbreaking study saw researchers record the brain activity of a patient dying of a heart attack.
University of Tartu neuroscientist Raul Vicente and colleagues had been using an electroencephalography (EEG) device to capture the brain activity of an 87-year-old epilepsy sufferer when the patient unexpectedly had a heart attack and died in the middle of the study.

As a result, the EEG captured 900 seconds of their brain activity as they died, providing the researchers with a unique glimpse of what goes on in the brain at the time of death.

The findings indicated that, during the last few moments of life, there was an increase in gamma oscillations indicative of dreaming or memory retrieval, as well as delta, theta, alpha and beta oscillations.
"Given that cross-coupling between alpha and gamma activity is involved in cognitive processes and memory recall in healthy subjects, it is intriguing to speculate that such activity could support a last 'recall of life' that may take place in the near-death state," the researchers wrote.

While the findings are far from conclusive, they do paint a potentially positive picture of a person's last moments.

"Something we may learn from this research is: although our loved ones have their eyes closed and are ready to leave us to rest, their brains may be replaying some of the nicest moments they experienced in their lives," said study co-author Ajmal Zemmar.

Source: Independent | Comments (10)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by godnodog 4 months ago
Whatever the experience was I hope it was memories of joy with the person's loved ones. I found this quite moving.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Tassie Dude 4 months ago
Literally saw his life flash before his eyes. It appears there's some truth to the saying.
Comment icon #3 Posted by psyche101 4 months ago
From the link. These brain waves - gamma waves - are associated with more sophisticated cognitive functions and are especially active when we are concentrating, dreaming and meditating, as well as retrieving memories and processing information. The recorded brain waves - known as gamma oscillations - suggest that, as we die, we experience the same neural activity as during dreaming, recalling memories, or meditating. As much as it's going to offend afterlife proponents, evidence against an afterlife just keeps stacking up. Afterlife ideas are about as well supported as the Loch Ness Monster.
Comment icon #4 Posted by jethrofloyd 4 months ago
It's just Brain Salad Surgery. There is a zero evidence for the afterlife.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Xetan 4 months ago
This doesn't add anything to the "afterlife" conversation whatsoever... just seems like fishing for an Internet argument to me...
Comment icon #6 Posted by Michelle 4 months ago
There was nothing mentioned about it in the OP article at all, but it won't stop people from just reading the headlines and making assumptions.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Xetan 4 months ago
"New species of frog discovered; evidence against the existence of dragons mounting by the day!"
Comment icon #8 Posted by godnodog 4 months ago
And running away from the main topic, sometimes I wonder what would it look like, from our current medical and technological capabilities, if someone in the future was transferring the mind of someone dying in the past? I am not claiming this is happening, just wondering how it would look.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Abramelin 4 months ago
But what you quoted has nothing to do with any 'afterlife'; it is a record of brain activity during the process of dying.
Comment icon #10 Posted by psyche101 4 months ago
It's the elephant in the room Abe. It's shows life ends. Why do you think that it is an interesting subject worthy of comment? What do you feel is significant about the result?

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