False memory & the NDE

#1
I noticed Stephen Laureys has another paper out, comparing the susceptibility of NDE'rs and Non-NDE'rs to false memories...

False memory susceptibility in coma survivors with and without a near-death experience

A cognitive explanation for NDE may be based on the fact that people experiencing them make erroneous use of their reality monitoring processes, and furthermore that NDEs might (at least in part) be considered as reconstructions based on experiencers’ previous knowledge. This could be an explanation as to why NDE memories are then characterized by a sense of “phenomenological certainty” (Dell’Olio, 2010) from NDErs’ perspective and perceived as “more real than real” (Thonnard et al., 2013). Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the susceptibility of NDErs to report false memories and illusory recollection using the DRM paradigm, compared to matched volunteers.
Conclusion

In conclusion, the present study showed that NDErs and matched volunteers without a NDE were equally likely to produce false memories, but that NDErs were more likely to associate them with compelling illusory recollection (i.e., a detailed subjective feeling of remembering items that actually were not presented). Moreover, NDErs seem to have more difficulty in later identifying the source of information that was activated as a consequence of intact semantic activation processes in the DRM paradigm. Since the research data on the cognitive processing style in NDErs are still quite sparse, this study constitutes a first approach toward understanding their memory formation and, more generally, their cognitive processing style. Further studies are needed to examine the contents and the origin of this illusory recollection in NDErs. Clarification of mechanisms underlying the recall and encoding of the NDEs should allow us to complete the scientific understanding of the NDE phenomenon and, in general, enhance our understanding of memory.
 

Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#2
I'm assuming this is the same research:

"Researchers from the University of Liège, led by Vanessa Charland-Verville and Steven Laureys* with assistance from IANDS France and IANDS Flanders, published a report in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience."


https://iands.org/news/news/front-page-news/1052-iands-groups-assist-research-on-the-causes-of-ndes.html


"Surprisingly the results showed no significant difference in the intensity and content of the NDE between the “NDE-like” and “real NDE” groups. Furthermore, there was no difference in the "real NDE" (coma) group depending on the cause of the coma—anoxic condition resulting from cardiac arrest or drowning (n=45) vs. traumatic injury (n=30) vs. other cause of coma such as illness or surgical complications (n=65).


This means that neither the apparent "closeness to death" nor the specific physiological or psychological factors that were present influenced the content or intensity of the NDE. A person, for example, who has an "NDE-like" experience during sleep or meditation will tend to have the same elements (e.g., feelings of peace, separation from the body, a brilliant light) and the same intensity (total NDE score: mean of 16 for "real NDEs" and 17 for "NDE-like") as a person actually near death, for example, who has a so-called "real NDE" while suffering anoxia and coma from a cardiac arrest.


NDEs occurring on either end of the "closeness to death" spectrum cannot be distinguished—they are the same experience. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the content and intensity of the NDE depending on the etiology of the acute brain insult resulting in coma (anoxia vs. trauma vs. illness or surgical complications).


Implications


These results imply that there is no physiological explanation that can account for NDEs."
 

Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#3
Sounds like another Cox!

"Dr. Laureys is happily tearing apart a straw man, all the while trying to claim the high ground by painting those who question whether Houben’s communication is real or due to nothing more than FC as nasty, insensitive louts who are trying to argue that Houben can’t possibly be conscious and that this must be a scam."

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/11/28/coma-man-dr-steven-laureys-just-doesnt-g/
 
#4
I'm assuming this is the same research:

"Researchers from the University of Liège, led by Vanessa Charland-Verville and Steven Laureys* with assistance from IANDS France and IANDS Flanders, published a report in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience."


https://iands.org/news/news/front-page-news/1052-iands-groups-assist-research-on-the-causes-of-ndes.html


"Surprisingly the results showed no significant difference in the intensity and content of the NDE between the “NDE-like” and “real NDE” groups. Furthermore, there was no difference in the "real NDE" (coma) group depending on the cause of the coma—anoxic condition resulting from cardiac arrest or drowning (n=45) vs. traumatic injury (n=30) vs. other cause of coma such as illness or surgical complications (n=65).


This means that neither the apparent "closeness to death" nor the specific physiological or psychological factors that were present influenced the content or intensity of the NDE. A person, for example, who has an "NDE-like" experience during sleep or meditation will tend to have the same elements (e.g., feelings of peace, separation from the body, a brilliant light) and the same intensity (total NDE score: mean of 16 for "real NDEs" and 17 for "NDE-like") as a person actually near death, for example, who has a so-called "real NDE" while suffering anoxia and coma from a cardiac arrest.


NDEs occurring on either end of the "closeness to death" spectrum cannot be distinguished—they are the same experience. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the content and intensity of the NDE depending on the etiology of the acute brain insult resulting in coma (anoxia vs. trauma vs. illness or surgical complications).


Implications


These results imply that there is no physiological explanation that can account for NDEs."

No, this was a different study published last week.
 
#6
No probs.

Laureys seems to be suggesting that NDE'rs process stuff differently from non-NDE'rs...

I've only read it once, but off the top of my head, he very roughly... seems to be saying NDE'rs ain't as good at distinguishing where their recollections came from, and that they ascribe more significance (realness) to unreal recollections.

Yikes... almost seems like he's saying NDE'rs in his study are more easily fooled!

Anybody fancy hazarding some guesses why he may have found that effect in his study? (I've got my own ideas).
 
#7
I'm assuming this is the same research:

"Researchers from the University of Liège, led by Vanessa Charland-Verville and Steven Laureys* with assistance from IANDS France and IANDS Flanders, published a report in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience."


https://iands.org/news/news/front-page-news/1052-iands-groups-assist-research-on-the-causes-of-ndes.html




Implications


These results imply that there is no physiological explanation that can account for NDEs."
Well, it also implies the near death experiences have nothing to do with being near death. Exact same phenomena (same depth of experience etc.) happens in other situations like when sleeping.
 
#9
Well, it also implies the near death experiences have nothing to do with being near death. Exact same phenomena (same depth of experience etc.) happens in other situations like when sleeping.
I've often pointed out that NDEs can occur in all states, from a completely healthy and normally-functioning body, to one which is dead. This means that attempting to explain NDEs in terms of such things as oxygen deprivation or other physical explanations are bound to fail. It also means that consciousness can exist independent of the physical body.
 
#10
I've often pointed out that NDEs can occur in all states, from a completely healthy and normally-functioning body, to one which is dead. This means that attempting to explain NDEs in terms of such things as oxygen deprivation or other physical explanations are bound to fail.
I'm with you so far. It must be a psychological phenomena.

It also means that consciousness can exist independent of the physical body.
I don't see how that follows at all when it's definitely known that the phenomena occurs e.g. during sleep when normal brain function must be assumed. But I think the subjective assessment of the NDE evidence has been discussed endlessly already so let's not go there.
 
#11
Sounds like another Cox!

"Dr. Laureys is happily tearing apart a straw man, all the while trying to claim the high ground by painting those who question whether Houben’s communication is real or due to nothing more than FC as nasty, insensitive louts who are trying to argue that Houben can’t possibly be conscious and that this must be a scam."

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/11/28/coma-man-dr-steven-laureys-just-doesnt-g/
How in the hell does that man still have a medical licence?
 
#12
Anybody fancy hazarding some guesses why he may have found that effect in his study? (I've got my own ideas).
The positive personally transformative NDE experience leads to greatly increased self-esteem and self-confidence and reduction in self-doubt. While this is generally a positive thing for an individual as many individuals are insecure and hyper-critical of themselves before their spiritually transformative experience, it might also make them more gullible or suceptible to self-deception.
 
#13
The positive personally transformative NDE experience leads to greatly increased self-esteem and self-confidence and reduction in self-doubt. While this is generally a positive thing for an individual as many individuals are insecure and hyper-critical of themselves before their spiritually transformative experience, it might also make them more gullible or suceptible to self-deception.
Yes that's an interesting point.
 
#14
I can't really think of any myself but I'd be interested in hearing yours.
I'm particularly concerned by two things, 1) the way the participants were recruited, selected, and screened (which is not clear), and then looking at the screening itself 2) whether the researchers study was only actually comparing two groups of people who were self-selecting themselves (or not), on the basis of the way they answered questions on the Greyson NDE scale. That's quite different in my view, to simply comparing two groups of those who recalled an experience vs those who did not.

Using the Greyson NDE scale to sort participants into NDE vs non-NDE groups for comparison, seems naturally biased to me.

The Greyson NDE scale doesn't actually tell us whether a person did, or did not have an NDE. It consists of 16 questions (16 core components of the lovely-type NDE), and each is scored between 0 - 2 based on the experients responses (0 = “not present”, 1 = “mildly or ambiguously present”, and 2 = “definitively present”). It's easy to see that two people could have exactly the same experience, yet for all manner of reasons, one might self-score it far lower than the other person.

The Greyson NDE scale has a cut off score which is set at 7. Score less than that and you're in the non-NDE group, score higher than that and you're in the NDE group. The result that one obtains is a completely arbitrary, and self-judged split, as to whether you are in one or the other of these two groups. More people who self-judge a low score are represented in the non-NDE group, whereas more people who self-judge a high score are in the NDE group.

By using the Greyson NDE scale to split a group for comparison, what we end up testing is those who self-score low, vs those who self-score high, against an arbitrary set of questions, and arbitrary cut-off point. What we're not testing is those who recall an experience, vs those who do not recall an experience.

That's what we might be seeing in Laureys results. Mere confirmation of the biased sorting between these groups, i.e. perhaps one biased element of the scale might sort people who express their beliefs about things with more certainty, vs those who express their beliefs about things with less certainty (Which is similar to what you were saying I think Hurmanetar?). There could be all manner of ways the Greyson NDE scale is selecting people.

But what the Greyson Scale is definitely not measuring in my view, is whether somebody had a experience, or not.

Hence, is Laureys study actually measuring something about NDE'rs, or just about the way people answer questions on the Greyson NDE scale?

What do people think?
 
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#16
Hence, is Laureys study actually measuring something about NDE'rs, or just about the way people answer questions on the Greyson NDE scale?

What do people think?
Frankly, it seems like the latter to me. I also agree that the Greyson scale may not be the best method of sorting, but I think it's the best we have at the moment.
 
#17
I'm particularly concerned by two things, 1) the way the participants were recruited, selected, and screened (which is not clear), and then looking at the screening itself 2) whether the researchers study was only actually comparing two groups of people who were self-selecting themselves (or not), on the basis of the way they answered questions on the Greyson NDE scale. That's quite different in my view, to simply comparing two groups of those who recalled an experience vs those who did not.

Using the Greyson NDE scale to sort participants into NDE vs non-NDE groups for comparison, seems naturally biased to me.

The Greyson NDE scale doesn't actually tell us whether a person did, or did not have an NDE. It consists of 16 questions (16 core components of the lovely-type NDE), and each is scored between 0 - 2 based on the experients responses (0 = “not present”, 1 = “mildly or ambiguously present”, and 2 = “definitively present”). It's easy to see that two people could have exactly the same experience, yet for all manner of reasons, one might self-score it far lower than the other person.

The Greyson NDE scale has a cut off score which is set at 7. Score less than that and you're in the non-NDE group, score higher than that and you're in the NDE group. The result that one obtains is a completely arbitrary, and self-judged split, as to whether you are in one or the other of these two groups. More people who self-judge a low score are represented in the non-NDE group, whereas more people who self-judge a high score are in the NDE group.

By using the Greyson NDE scale to split a group for comparison, what we end up testing is those who self-score low, vs those who self-score high, against an arbitrary set of questions, and arbitrary cut-off point. What we're not testing is those who recall an experience, vs those who do not recall an experience.

That's what we might be seeing in Laureys results. Mere confirmation of the biased sorting between these groups, i.e. perhaps one biased element of the scale might sort people who express their beliefs about things with more certainty, vs those who express their beliefs about things with less certainty (Which is similar to what you were saying I think Hurmanetar?). There could be all manner of ways the Greyson NDE scale is selecting people.

But what the Greyson Scale is definitely not measuring in my view, is whether somebody had a experience, or not.

Hence, is Laureys study actually measuring something about NDE'rs, or just about the way people answer questions on the Greyson NDE scale?

What do people think?
I've raised similar issues about the scale. Didn't get much traction tho
 
#19
Frankly, it seems like the latter to me. I also agree that the Greyson scale may not be the best method of sorting, but I think it's the best we have at the moment.
Yes, it seems like the latter to me too.

I think the Grayson NDE Scale is out of date, and often gets used inappropriately - like in this paper.
 
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