Posted on Friday 16th August 2013
Dr Jason Braithwaite has been interviewed for a BBC News article that points to an explanation for why people claim to see white light or "life flash before their eyes" during near-death experiences.
Scientists at the University of Michigan monitored the brainwaves of nine rats as they were dying. In the 30-second period after the animal's hearts stopped beating, they measured a sharp increase in high-frequency brainwaves called gamma oscillations. It is suggested that the nature of these waves and the area of the brain to which they are linked might give rise to visual sensations such as lights or visions, which could also occur in humans.
Dr Braithwaite commented "This is a very neat demonstration of an idea that's been around for a long time: that under certain unfamiliar and confusing circumstances - like near-death - the brain becomes overstimulated and hyperexcited,".
Watch the full interview with Dr Braithwaite on the BBC News website.