Approximately 20 percent of cardiac arrest survivors report having had a near-death experience during clinical death.
The study found that after clinical death, the rats display brain activity patterns which were characteristic of conscious perception.
Lead study author Jimo Borjigin, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular and integrative physiology and associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School, said: “We reasoned that if near-death experience stems from brain activity, neural correlates of consciousness should be identifiable in humans or animals even after the cessation of cerebral blood flow.”
She added: “This study tells us that reduction of oxygen or both oxygen and glucose during cardiac arrest can stimulate brain activity that is characteristic of conscious processing. It also provides the first scientific framework for the near-death experiences reported by many cardiac arrest survivors.”