Here’s are excerpts from an interesting article in Men’s Health referencing this paper.
Perhaps the dying man experienced reviewing the basis for his rebirth…?
"For the first time ever, we’ve caught a glimpse of what human brain waves look like in a dying person.
After a fall, an 87-year-old male went to the emergency room and rapidly deteriorated while hooked up to an electroencephalograph (EEG) machine that captured his brain waves as he passed from a heart attack. This is not the first time we’ve seen the brain activity in a dying person—some patients who have been pulled off of life support have had simplified EEG recordings taken, though they’ve been limited to frontal cortex signals. This, however, is the first case of detailed recordings that may be able to shed some light on what we experience when we die.
The team working with the patient was able to capture about 900 seconds of brain activity and focused most of its analysis on the first 30 seconds before and after the patient’s heart stopped beating.
Immediately following cardiac arrest, they noticed changes in the brain waves involved in higher-order cognitive functions, including information processing, concentrating, memory retrieval, conscious perception, and the different stages of dreaming, possibly indicating the brain was actively engaging in memory recall.
“What is most intriguing is that this seems to be occurring when the brain is shutting down at the end of life. This study supports these descriptions and certainly raises the possibility that a marker of lucidity at the end of life may have been discovered,” says Parnia.
In their paper, the team who worked with this patient theorized that because “cross-coupling” between the alpha and gamma waves indicates memory recall in healthy patients, this particular patient could have been experiencing a “recall of life,” or what is often referred to as someone’s life flashing before their eyes. Alpha brain waves are produced when we’re alert but calm and help us with activities like learning and coordination. Gamma waves are the fastest and are associated with high-level alertness, cognition, memory, and focus.
According to Parnia, while the brain is in the process of shutting down and dying, “there is disinhibition of parts of the brain (i.e. emergence of functions) that are ordinarily depressed by our usual brain activity,” such as those we use to get through our day-to-day tasks. Because of this, we’re granted access to what Parnia refers to as “aspects of reality at death that we would ordinarily not have access to,” including the depths of our consciousness."