School of psychology PhD student Hayley Dewe is a co-author on a new paper published, as part of wider engagement and scientific outreach, in The [UK] Skeptic magazine.

Hayley's paper explores how the latest findings from brain science can help explain Near-Death Experiences (NDEs).  

Her work challenges the view that these experiences are poorly understood or are supernatural. Instead, a comprehensive argument that neuroscience provides a plausible and testable framework for understanding these fascinating experiences is made.  

It is argued that no part of the NDE is unique, and all components of these experiences do occur in other neurological and clinical conditions where one's mortality is not threatened.  

It is concluded that the NDE itself represents a collection of striking and emotive hallucinatory experiences taking place in a highly confused brain.

Such instances can be revealing for theories of consciousness and how the brain works. NDEs are fascinating experiences and there are implications both from and for contemporary neuroscience.

Hayley is currently researching the neurocognition of anomalous experience in the The Selective Attention and Awareness Laboratory (SAAL) headed by Dr Jason Braithwaite.


Braithwaite, J.J., & Dewe, H (2014). Occam’s chainsaw: Neuroscientific nails in the coffin of dualist notions of the near-death Experience (NDE). The [UK] Skeptic magazine, (25) 2, pp24-31.