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Percept Mot Skills. 1997 Jun;84(3 Pt 2):1491-504.

Hallucinations that comfort: contextual mediation of deathbed visions.

Author information

1
University of Illinois at Springfield, USA.

Abstract

A sample of 49 accounts of deathbed visions from Barrett's 1926 classic collection were analyzed using the classification scheme for contextual variables proposed recently by Lange, Houran, Harte, and Havens. Consistent with previous research, the contents of the contextual variables operating during these deathbed visions were consistent with the contents of the percipients' experiences. In addition, contextual variables were related to the modalities of the experience, e.g., visual, auditory, and sensed presences, as well as the number of contents, e.g., deceased relatives, angelic beings, and the perception of symbolic borders or limits including water and heavenly gates, as perceived during the dying process. These findings are consistent with the interpretation that deathbed visions are comforting hallucinations and that contextual variables serve to structure these otherwise ambiguous experiences.

PMID:
9229476
DOI:
10.2466/pms.1997.84.3c.1491
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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