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First ever recording of moment someone dies shows what our last thoughts could be

Ali Condon

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First ever recording of moment someone dies shows what our last thoughts could be

It's the question as old as time itself - and the one that'll freak you out if you think about it too much.

What really happens when we die?

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Well, not to leave any question unanswered, scientists reckon they might just have figured that out by recording brain waves.

Researchers in the US underwent an electroencephalogram (EEG) on an 87-year-old man who suffered from epilepsy.

Basically, via the EEG test, they recorded the brain waves of a the patient 15 minutes after they died from a heart attack.

An increase in brain waves - known as 'gamma oscillations' - was detected, which supports the idea that one's life 'flashes before their eyes'.

"Through generating oscillations involved in memory retrieval, the brain may be playing a last recall of important life events just before we die, similar to the ones reported in near-death experiences," said Dr. Ajmal Zemmar, who's the lead author of the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience.

What thoughts will go through our head when we die? Credit: Pexels
What thoughts will go through our head when we die? Credit: Pexels

"These findings challenge our understanding of when exactly life ends and generate important subsequent questions, such as those related to the timing of organ donation."

The study showed similar changes in brainwaves between rats at the time of death - but it's the first time it's being detected in humans.

However, as with most studies, the team say that further research is needed in order to provide more conclusive claims.

It's also important to note that the data focuses on just a single case study and the patient's brain had already been damaged from epilepsy.

Therefore, professionals aren't able to conclude if the same thing would occur with a different person near the time of their death.

"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," Dr. Zemmar added.

Will your life really 'flash before your eyes'. Credit: Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience
Will your life really 'flash before your eyes'. Credit: Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience

The NHS say that 'during this painless test, small sensors are attached to the scalp to pick up the electrical signals produced by the brain'.

The information page on EEG reads: "These signals are recorded by a machine and are looked at by a doctor.

"The EEG procedure is usually carried out by a highly trained specialist, called a clinical neurophysiologist, during a short visit to hospital.

"The main use of an EEG is to detect and investigate epilepsy, a condition that causes repeated seizures. An EEG will help your doctor identify the type of epilepsy you have, what may be triggering your seizures and how best to treat you."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Science, Health

Ali Condon
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