Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Near Death Experiences

I have to say, I’ve always been fascinated by near death experiences. What makes near death experiences so remarkable to me is the absolute certainty these people have that they have indeed traveled to “the other side”. The experience is often so vivid and clear that they are sure they aren’t dreaming. Although NDEs can vary from person to person, there are a number of similarities. The feeling of leaving or floating above the body, bright lights, tunnels, and indescribable peace are all associated with NDEs. Many people claim near death experiences are proof that life after death exists, but scientists found there are possible explanations for NDE phenomena.

Although the near death experience isn’t fully explainable, it is thought that NDEs are hallucinations that originate from physiological changes in the brain, mainly the lack of oxygen. The feeling of being in a tunnel heading towards light can be attributed to retinal ischemia. Retinal ischemia causes blindness first in the peripheral vision, while the central vision remains intact, creating a tunnel effect. Another explanation for the similarities between NDEs is we all have similar brain biology, therefore all have similar sensations and experiences during NDEs.

Although these scientific explanations offer some answers for what creates near death experiences, they are still widely regarded as unexplainable. I recently saw a documentary on the Discovery Channel called “I Was Dead” that interviewed people who claimed to have had a near death experience. I found a clip of one of the people they interviewed on the Discovery Channel website.


1 comment:

  1. I thought this was a very interesting topic, since many people can relate to this. It questions the fact of pseudoscience in the article.