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Trends Cogn Sci. 2011 Oct;15(10):447-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2011.07.010. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

There is nothing paranormal about near-death experiences: how neuroscience can explain seeing bright lights, meeting the dead, or being convinced you are one of them.

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  • 1Medical Research Council, Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge, CB2 7EF, UK. dean.mobbs@mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

Approximately 3% of Americans declare to have had a near-death experience. These experiences classically involve the feeling that one's soul has left the body, approaches a bright light and goes to another reality, where love and bliss are all encompassing. Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that there is nothing paranormal about these experiences. Instead, near-death experiences are the manifestation of normal brain function gone awry, during a traumatic, and sometimes harmless, event.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21852181
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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