Does life actually flash before your eyes when you’re about to die? Scientists recently experienced a moment that suggests it does.
What happened: Scientists from the University of Louisville decided to measure the brainwaves of an 87-year-old patient in Estonia with epilepsy, per WDRB, a local news outlet in Louisville, Kentucky.
- However, during the brain recording, he died from a fatal heart attack.
- This gave the scientists a reading of the brain at the time of death.
What they found: The recording “revealed that in the 30 seconds before and after, the man’s brain waves followed the same patterns as dreaming or recalling memories,” per BBC News.
- Per WDRB, “your brain may remain active and coordinated during and even after the transition to death, and be programmed to orchestrate the whole ordeal.”
- The findings were published in the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience journal.
Why this matters: This is the first recording of a dying brain, shedding light on what happens to the brain when one is dying.
What they’re saying: “If I were to jump to the philosophical realm, I would speculate that if the brain did a flashback, it would probably like to remind you of good things, rather than the bad things,” said Dr. Ajmal Zemmar, a co-author of the study, according to BBC News.
- “But what’s memorable would be different for every person.”
The bottom line: Zemmar said the research showed that “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.”