AWARE—like study by Bruce Greyson

Discussion in 'Consciousness & Science' started by Alana, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Alana

    Alana Member

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  2. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    Trancestate likes this.
  3. Alana

    Alana Member

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  4. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    It's so difficult to measure these things scientifically, unfortunately.
     
  5. Imperial Philosopher

    Imperial Philosopher New

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    The first AWARE study didn't really find much. Very few of those they interviewed experienced anything and to my recollection none of them saw whatever images were hidden in an effort to show whether consciousness actually disconnects from the body somehow. I don't think it's very likely we'll get results that are all that different this time, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.
     
  6. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    It was pretty mixed as far as the results went, I'd say a little on the dissapointing side if anything. But there was one very interesting case which was veridical in nature, I cant remember the details, but he correctly identified what happened while he was dead with precision. There were many others who claimed NDE, but were just not able to verify it scientifically.
     
  7. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    The real problem is that the AWARE studies are often thought of out of context. There is plenty of evidence that people observe all sorts of stuff while their heart is stopped and people are trying to resuscitate them. This has lead to a collection of really unlikely 'explanations' of NDE's from sceptics, such as:

    1) Maybe people retain some awareness while in a state of cardiac arrest - conceivably because the resuscitation process itself pushes some blood through their brains.

    2) Maybe the brain is still doing something - perhaps in the deeper layers - even though in the odd case where someone is wired to an EEG machine, it goes flat after a few seconds.

    3) Maybe people confabulate their experiences after their hearts are restarted and they are recovering.

    These 'explanations' (all of which start with a big 'Maybe') pressured researchers into trying the AWARE experiment. However, all those explanations are extremely ad-hoc, and more importantly, don't even explain all of the NDE experience. For example, a very common feature is that the scene is viewed as if from the ceiling - which seems very hard to understand. In some cases people have their eyes taped shut - yet they report visual NDE experiences. A few even have a visual NDE while despite being blind!

    So despite all that evidence that is really hard to explain conventionally, the sceptics pin all their hopes (well I suppose they don't really hope it will work) on a very difficult experiment that may simply not correspond to how NDE's work.

    I mean, imagine that you have been very ill and now found yourself gazing down on people trying to resuscitate you, and with a burgeoning sense that you are dead but still aware! Perhaps you don't notice an irrelevant image or whatever, placed on top of a cupboard! Indeed it is a psychological fact that people's attention narrows in extreme situation. Imagine that you turned a corner and came across a terrible road accident, would you notice that a shop on the other side of the road had a sign with a spelling mistake?

    Also the AWARE experiment sounds easy, but as Parnia explained, the reality is rather different. The experiment has to be performed in a hospital, which has much higher priorities (at least as administrators see it) than exploring NDE's. Thus even getting a suitably placed shelf to hold the image installed can present problems, and cardiac arrests can happen in a variety of settings. Drilling holes creates dust, and may temporarily reduce the sterility of the environment, etc etc.

    Sceptics generally can force experimenters into ever harder and more expensive research - possibly with the cynical intention to stop people doing such work. Thus a lot of ESP experiments are now performed with one or both participants inside electromagnetically shielded sound-proof rooms! My objection to this approach, is that most of science would have been stiffed over time if people took the same approach. Take a look at the early blurry pictures of 2-slit interference for example.

    David
     
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