This Is What Happens 30 Seconds Before You Die
What happens just before we die?
I'm afraid I can't say because, for whatever reason, I'm not a ghost.
Rumour has it that our lives flash before our eyes.
Neurologist Dr Cameron Shaw decided to find out for himself, by dissecting a woman's brain.
Turns out that we:
LOSE OUR SENSE OF SELF
What most of us experience on a Friday night Shaw says right before we die the brain dies 'from the top down, claiming our most human characteristics first," he said.
"Our sense of self, our sense of humour, our ability to think ahead - that stuff all goes within the first 10 to 20 seconds. Then, as the wave of blood-starved brain cells spread out, our memories and language centres short out, until we're left with just a core."
THE OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE IS BULLSHIT
You know all those kids you see coming out surgery saying they ascended to Heaven and met God? Yeah, it's obviously just hallucinations.
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"I had a neuroscience instructor who had an out-of-body, near-death experience," Dr Shaw tells VICE.
"They were trying to revive him and he witnessed that as a disconnected person.
"He was brought back and described that circumstance to others, this is what I saw, but basically everything he said, none of that actually happened.
"The brain can create a visual world around you that resembles something close to reality that isn't reality, because you're actually blind."
THERE'S A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
It just might not be what you think: God.
Shaw isn't strict about it. He's open to the 'light' possibly being a deity but there's also a scientific reason patients seeing such a thing.
"We know from experience tunnel vision emerges abruptly when you suddenly lose blood supply to the brain," Dr Shaw says.
"The first thing you notice in fainting is the narrowing of vision, followed by blackness. You could argue that's the way in which death would progress as well because the same mechanisms are in place and it's an interruption of blood flow to the brain."
LIFE DOES FLASH BEFORE YOUR EYES
Again, just not in the way we think. Researches at Hadassah University in Jerusalem examined seven different people hwo had gone through near-death experiences who said they had envisioned highly intense moments in their lives.
"There is not a linear progression, there is a lack of time limits," one person told researchers.
"It was like being there for centuries. I was not in time or space. A moment, and a thousand years ... both and neither. It all happened at once, or some experiences within my near-death experience were going on at the same time as others, though my human mind separated them into different events."
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