NDE Research News
Parnia interviewed on Fresh Air about his book 'Erasing Death'
Dr. Sam Parnia was interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air about his new book, Erasing Death: The science that is rewriting the boundaries between life and death, released in February. The book reveals that death is not a moment in time, but rather a process that can be interrupted well after it has begun. Dr. Parnia reveals how some form of "afterlife" may be uniquely ours, as evidenced by the continuation of the human mind and psyche after the brain stops functioning.
In the interview, Parnia relates some initial results of the AWARE study: only about 1 in 1,000 patients has remembered an NDE with an OBE component. A number of OBEs were reported but some occurred with no target images installed and some patients looked at events at a different angle from where the target was installed, but still described accurate details. The researchers are adjusting the study. See also excellent article in The Guardian.
Last Updated ( Monday, 12 August 2013 21:37 )
Alexander debates skeptic Shermer on Larry King Now
Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander debated skeptic Michael Shermer on the Larry King Now show about "Does heaven exist?", along with spiritual activist Marianne Williamson and Rabbi Marvin Hier. Larry King had earlier interviewed Dr. Alexander and later the debate among the four thinkers was recorded.
Shermer's argument was that all experience derives from the brain as we can see from cases of senility and dementia. Alexander's near-death experience can be explained completely by neurological phenomena occurring very quickly as he came out of coma, producing a very powerful dream-like hallucination which Alexander later elaborated with confabulations. Alexander countered that his experience was way too real and rich to be an hallucination and that it is a mistake to assume that all experience occurs through the brain.
Last Updated ( Monday, 05 August 2013 20:06 )
AWARE study preliminary results due in the fall
The AWARE study (AWAreness during REsuscitation) is a multi-hospital clinical study of the brain and consciousness during cardiac arrest, including tests of the validity of perceptions during the out-of-body portion of near-death experiences. The latest status is that more data and larger scale studies will probably be required, and an end to the study is not anticipated in the near future. A report of preliminary results from the first five years of the study is likely this fall, to be presented through a scientific journal or a scientific conference.
In the meantime, Dr. Sam Parnia, Director of the AWARE study, has written a new book, Erasing Death: The science that is rewriting the boundaries between life and death, to be released in February. The book reveals that death is not a moment in time, but rather a process that can be interrupted well after it has begun. Dr. Parnia reveals how some form of "afterlife" may be uniquely ours, as evidenced by the continuation of the human mind and psyche after the brain stops functioning.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 July 2013 22:49 )
Author uses IANDS NDE accounts in her new book
IANDS member Ann Frances Ellis drew on 478 NDE accounts submitted over the years to the IANDS research archives for her book Revelations of Profound Love (also here). When people submit their near- death experience to IANDS, the account can be used by NDE researchers.
Dr. Ellis used the IANDS research archives to write her Ph.D. dissertation and now to publish a book on the profound Love that is revealed in NDEs. She was recently interviewed on Fox News about her book. In 2010, she presented her research at the IANDS Conference in Denver (part1, part2). One reviewer said, "Revelations of Profound Love is a rich book filled with stories of many people who have experienced near-death experiences. When you read story after story of people experiencing profound love, you gain confidence and faith that we don't die when our bodies do."
Last Updated ( Friday, 31 May 2013 22:11 )
Eben Alexander answers skeptics' criticisms
In October,a Newsweek article featured an excerpt from neurosurgeon Eben Alexander's new book, Proof of Heaven. Several skeptics wrote articles critical of Dr. Alexander's Newsweek account, notably neuroscientist Sam Harris. Harris disputes that Alexander's cortex was shut down which allowed the “hyper-real” experience of heaven Alexander reported. While the severity and duration of the meningitis infection, the resulting coma, an enhanced CT scan and neurological examinations all indicate global impairment of the neocortex which would not support consciousness, to Harris these constitute only secondary evidence and consciousness could still have been possible. For Harris, complete brain inactivity can be demonstrated only by brain imaging like fMRI and EEG. It should be noted that while he has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, Harris does not practice neuroscience and is not a clinician.
Alexander responded to these criticisms on Alex Tsakiris' Skeptiko podcast.
Last Updated ( Monday, 05 August 2013 20:08 )
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