Long after a near-death experience, people recall the incident more vividly and emotionally than real and false memories, new research suggests.
“It’s really something that stays in the mind of people as a clear trace, and it’s even more clear than a real memory,” said Vanessa Charland-Verville, a neuropsychologist in the Coma Science Group at the University of Liege in Belgium. She, along with colleagues, detailed the study online March 27 in the journal PLOS ONE.
Roughly 5 percent of the general population and 10 percent of cardiac-arrest victims report near-death experiences, yet no one really knows what they are, Charland-Verville told LiveScience.
Across cultures and religions, people describe similar themes: being out of body; passing through a tunnel, river or door toward warm, glowing light; seeing dead loved ones greet them; and being called back to their bodies or told it’s not time to go yet.
Some think near-death experiences show the spirit and body can be separated. Others say oxygen deprivation or a cascade of chemicals in the failing brain are to blame. Some believe near-death experiences reveal the existence of God or heaven.
But what makes finding an explanation even more complicated is that healthy people in meditative trances and those taking hallucinogens, such as ketamine, describe very similar experiences, Charland-Verville told LiveScience.
Because it’s impossible to monitor these events in real time, Charland-Verville and her colleagues spoke with those who had gone through these trancelike states, sometimes years earlier.
- Near-Death Experiences More Vivid Than Real Life, Memory Study Shows (secretsofthefed.com)
- Near-Death Experiences More Vivid Than Real Life (livescience.com)
- Coma Study Spotlights Strange Power Of Near-Death Experiences (accidentvictimsalliance.com)
- Coma Study Spotlights Strange Power Of Near-Death Experiences (filemakerinfo.wordpress.com)
- Memories of near death experiences: More real than reality? (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
- Memories of near death experiences: More real than reality? (sciencedaily.com)
- My Almost-death Experience (socyberty.com)
- ‘Fox & Friends’ guest claims she smelled God during near-death experience (rawstory.com)
- ‘Proof Of Heaven’ Bestseller to be made into movie (doubtfulnews.com)