It has long been believed that brain activity declines during the stages of death, but a new study revealed the opposite, as it monitored an increase in the activity of neurological functions in the human brain during death.
The first assumption of a decline in brain activity stems from the idea that cardiac arrest is accompanied by a loss of consciousness, but many people who have had a near-death experience indicated the opposite, and some animal studies showed increased brain activity at the moment of death.
A team of researchers, led by Jimo Borjigin of the University of Michigan, conducted an experiment in which a significant increase in the electrical activity of the rats’ brains was recorded, immediately after the cardiac arrest that preceded their death.
A study conducted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found a similar pattern of activity in the human brain before death.
According to the ” Big Think ” website , the study was conducted on 4 patients who were in a coma and died in the intensive care unit, at the University of Michigan Hospital, and all of them were on resuscitation devices after suffering brain damage as a result of a heart attack in 2014.
TTo gain insights into the brain during the moment of death, Borjigin and her colleagues analyzed the EEG data of patients connected to life-support machines, both before and after support ceased.
Two of the patients showed increased activity in the neuronal functions of the brain, once the life support machines were disconnected.
The study reveals that unplugging life support leads to increased electrical activity throughout the brain, and the researchers suggest that this pattern of brain activity may be why people who have had near-death experiences see a bright white light.
The researchers believe that the results of their study still need more verification about the loss of consciousness in a heart attack, and may give an indication of the mechanisms of brain functioning in the stage of human consciousness in general.