Near-death experience, consciousness, and the brain: A new concept about the continuity of our consciousness based on recent scientific research on near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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World Futures 62 (1 & 2):134 – 151 (2006)
In this article first some general aspects of near-death experience will be discussed, followed by questions about consciousness and its relation to brain function. Details will be described from our prospective study on near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest in the Netherlands, which was published in the Lancet in 2001. In this study it could not be shown that physiological, psychological, or pharmacological factors caused these experiences after cardiac arrest. Neurophysiology in cardiac arrest and in a normal functioning brain will be explained. Finally, implications for consciousness studies will be discussed, and how it could be possible to explain the continuity of our consciousness. Scientific study of NDE pushes us to the limits of our medical and neurophysiologic ideas about the range of human consciousness and mind-brain relation.
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