Results of world's largest Near Death Experiences study published.

#1
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2014/oct/14_181.shtml

Recollections in relation to death, so-called out-of-body experiences (OBEs) or near-death experiences (NDEs), are an often spoken about phenomenon which have frequently been considered hallucinatory or illusory in nature; however, objective studies on these experiences are limited.

In 2008, a large-scale study involving 2060 patients from 15 hospitals in the United Kingdom, United States and Austria was launched. The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study, sponsored by the University of Southampton in the UK, examined the broad range of mental experiences in relation to death. Researchers also tested the validity of conscious experiences using objective markers for the first time in a large study to determine whether claims of awareness compatible with out-of-body experiences correspond with real or hallucinatory events.

Results of the study have been published in the journal Resuscitation and are now available online. The study concludes:

• The themes relating to the experience of death appear far broader than what has been understood so far, or what has been described as so called near-death experiences.

• In some cases of cardiac arrest, memories of visual awareness compatible with so called out-of-body experiences may correspond with actual events.

• A higher proportion of people may have vivid death experiences, but do not recall them due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory circuits.

• Widely used yet scientifically imprecise terms such as near-death and out-of-body experiences may not be sufficient to describe the actual experience of death. Future studies should focus on cardiac arrest, which is biologically synonymous with death, rather than ill-defined medical states sometimes referred to as ‘near-death’.

• The recalled experience surrounding death merits a genuine investigation without prejudice.

Dr Sam Parnia, Assistant Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Director of Resuscitation Research at The State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA, and the study’s lead author, explained: “Contrary to perception, death is not a specific moment but a potentially reversible process that occurs after any severe illness or accident causes the heart, lungs and brain to cease functioning. If attempts are made to reverse this process, it is referred to as ‘cardiac arrest’; however, if these attempts do not succeed it is called ‘death’. In this study we wanted to go beyond the emotionally charged yet poorly defined term of NDEs to explore objectively what happens when we die.”

Thirty-nine per cent of patients who survived cardiac arrest and were able to undergo structured interviews described a perception of awareness, but interestingly did not have any explicit recall of events.

“This suggests more people may have mental activity initially but then lose their memories after recovery, either due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory recall,” explained Dr Parnia, who was an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Southampton when he started the AWARE study.

Among those who reported a perception of awareness and completed further interviews, 46 per cent experienced a broad range of mental recollections in relation to death that were not compatible with the commonly used term of NDE’s. These included fearful and persecutory experiences. Only 9 per cent had experiences compatible with NDEs and 2 per cent exhibited full awareness compatible with OBE’s with explicit recall of ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ events.

One case was validated and timed using auditory stimuli during cardiac arrest. Dr Parnia concluded: “This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions, occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted, but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating. In this case, consciousness and awareness appeared to occur during a three-minute period when there was no heartbeat. This is paradoxical, since the brain typically ceases functioning within 20-30 seconds of the heart stopping and doesn’t resume again until the heart has been restarted. Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events.

“Thus, while it was not possible to absolutely prove the reality or meaning of patients’ experiences and claims of awareness, (due to the very low incidence (2 per cent) of explicit recall of visual awareness or so called OBE’s), it was impossible to disclaim them either and more work is needed in this area. Clearly, the recalled experience surrounding death now merits further genuine investigation without prejudice.”

Further studies are also needed to explore whether awareness (explicit or implicit) may lead to long term adverse psychological outcomes including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr Jerry Nolan, Editor-in-Chief of Resuscitation, stated: “The AWARE study researchers are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.”
Queue the pseudoskeptical frantic and hysterical hand-waving and special Olympic mental gymnastic debunking only to later trot out denial and then pull the cognitive dissonant safety blanket over their heads.
 
#2
I've already seen quite a few "this is bunk because these people didn't really die" 's, all the while overlooking the notion of a person having a conscious experience without brain activity. I'm sure someone could develop a study to interview those who've been dead for a while to convince these people, but it would involve bringing in mediumship, which I doubt any of them would take seriously.
 
#3
Finally. I would love for dr. Parnia to get more vocal about his findings. He has been so political throughout this study. Which is great, don't get me wrong. I remember the 'Aware study set up to fail' thread and Parnia thinking NDE was going to turn out to be an hallucination. He absolutely turned around, I think 'the beeps' did it for him probably, at least that's my guess, not that it matters. It's great proof. Hopefully it will shift the debate from 'we don't know anything about consciousness' to 'consciousness is working without a functioning brain' a lot more.
 
#5
Hold the phone...I must be psychic. My comment was tailor made for the Amazingly Stupendous Über Greatness Randi , who is a magician. And magicians, as we all know, or maybe it's just Randi that believes this, are the arbiters of all things known and not known too, obviously.

Like when the Amazing Super-Duper Tremendous Randi makes this statement;
From reading just this pop media piece, I saw no indication of “life after death” mentioned. I saw a claim that people appear to be mentally aware (to some degree) when there is no recorded brain activity occurring. That would be an important new finding, there was no need to jump to a more overarching, unwarranted claim about evidence for “life after death”.
Because it's almost like the Amazing Whatever Randi didn't read this part of the article;
Dr Sam Parnia, Assistant Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Director of Resuscitation Research at The State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA, and the study’s lead author, explained: “Contrary to perception, death is not a specific moment but a potentially reversible process that occurs after any severe illness or accident causes the heart, lungs and brain to cease functioning. If attempts are made to reverse this process, it is referred to as ‘cardiac arrest’; however, if these attempts do not succeed it is called ‘death’. In this study we wanted to go beyond the emotionally charged yet poorly defined term of NDEs to explore objectively what happens when we die.”
But, what I want to know is, how would a magician know what “life after death” even is, let alone be able to distinguish or understand anything about it to even offer an opinion? So, once again we have a pseudoskeptic making counter claims, but completely forgetting to offer any evidence for this categorical declaration. It's because he says so, that's why and if you don't believe him, well you're just dumb.

Randi better watch it, he's cutting into Micheal Shermer's I'm smart and you're not, so it's what I say it is gig.
 
#8
Hold the phone...I must be psychic. My comment was tailor made for the Amazingly Stupendous Über Greatness Randi , who is a magician. And magicians, as we all know, or maybe it's just Randi that believes this, are the arbiters of all things known and not known too, obviously.

Like when the Amazing Super-Duper Tremendous Randi makes this statement;


Because it's almost like the Amazing Whatever Randi didn't read this part of the article;


But, what I want to know is, how would a magician know what “life after death” even is, let alone be able to distinguish or understand anything about it to even offer an opinion? So, once again we have a pseudoskeptic making counter claims, but completely forgetting to offer any evidence for this categorical declaration. It's because he says so, that's why and if you don't believe him, well you're just dumb.

Randi better watch it, he's cutting into Micheal Shermer's I'm smart and you're not, so it's what I say it is gig.
It was actually Sharon Hill who wrote that piece. But why anyone should listen to a person who has a B.S (I bet B.S stands for BullShit) in Geology - when it comes to matter of of resuscitation, cardiology, consciousness, and cerebral oximetry - is beyond me. The lady should focus on splitting rocks and measure sinkholes instead - things she actually have an education in.
 
#15
She is writing it from her point of view, but what exactly did she say that was untrue?
I don't think she outright lied at any point in the article, but that isn't what we're discussing. You called the article balanced. Presenting only her point of view, which you seem to agree happened, is not balanced. Cherry picking your facts to draw your conclusions and ignoring context isn't what I would call neutral.
 
#16
I don't think she outright lied at any point in the article, but that isn't what we're discussing. You called the article balanced. Presenting only her point of view, which you seem to agree happened, is not balanced. Cherry picking your facts to draw your conclusions and ignoring context isn't what I would call neutral.
But isn't that exactly what we do here all the time? Choose data points to support our arguments and formulate them to fit our chosen model?

Which 3 sentences are the most unbalanced to you?
 
#17
But isn't that exactly what we do here all the time? Choose data points to support our arguments and formulate them to fit our chosen model?

Which 3 sentences are the most unbalanced to you?
We are commenting on topics, not writing articles. Different standards apply. And I'm not going to take the time to parse that article. It's too time consuming because it would require me to carefully point out all the evidence and POV's that she didn't cover. I'm not going to that much trouble.
 
#18
We are commenting on topics, not writing articles. Different standards apply. And I'm not going to take the time to parse that article. It's too time consuming because it would require me to carefully point out all the evidence and POV's that she didn't cover. I'm not going to that much trouble.
That's cool. I didn't really expect that you would. But if I were going to write an article, I would still do the same--carefully choose my data points and formulate my argument in order to persuade.

I've never read anything from any of the skeptical sites or authors before, but I have heard plenty about them after reading this forum for a couple of years. I happened to follow this link and in reality thought most of what she said was true.

If writing of this nature is the bogey man that everyone seems to rail against ad infinitum on this site, then methinks you are jousting at windmills.
 
#19
That's cool. I didn't really expect that you would. But if I were going to write an article, I would still do the same--carefully choose my data points and formulate my argument in order to persuade.

I've never read anything from any of the skeptical sites or authors before, but I have heard plenty about them after reading this forum for a couple of years. I happened to follow this link and in reality thought most of what she said was true.

If writing of this nature is the bogey man that everyone seems to rail against ad infinitum on this site, then methinks you are jousting at windmills.
As I said, we're not talking about truth here, but bias. There is a difference. She has obviously left inconvenient information out. She's done that before. If I have an article where I really want to persuade people, I bring up all the notable objections and data, link to them and deal with them. I also make it explicitly clear where my facts end and my opinion begins. She doesn't do that.
 
#20
As I said, we're not talking about truth here, but bias. There is a difference. She has obviously left inconvenient information out. She's done that before. If I have an article where I really want to persuade people, I bring up all the notable objections and data, link to them and deal with them. I also make it explicitly clear where my facts end and my opinion begins. She doesn't do that.
That's cool. I guess I just expected something much worse on Randi's site. Not a big deal.
 
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