First-ever recording of a dying brain shows what our final thoughts might be

Scientists have noticed an increase in a particular type of brain wave 30 seconds before and after a patient’s last heartbeat (Photo: Adobe)

The first-ever recording of a dying brain has given us a glimpse of what might happen in the moments before we die.

Scientists accidentally filmed the most complex human organ as it went offline, revealing an unusual snapshot of death.

What have scientists discovered?

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Neuroscientists used electroencephalography (EEG) to detect and treat seizures in an 87-year-old patient.

A man being treated for epilepsy was hooked up to an electroencephalogram recording brain activity when he suddenly had a heart attack and died.

However, the electroencephalogram continued to record his brain activity, including 15 minutes before his death.

The scientists saw that for 30 seconds on either side of the patient’s last heartbeat, there was an increase in a particular type of brain wave.

These waves, known as gamma waves, are associated with more complex cognitive functions and are especially active during dreams, meditation, and concentration.

Waves are also associated with memory retrieval and information processing.

The recording suggests that when we die, we experience the same neural activity as when we sleep, remembering memories or meditating.

It also raises the question of whether we can see the flow of our best memories in these last moments, suggesting that we actually see our lives “flash before our eyes” through “memory recovery”.

Alternatively, we can simply enter a dream-like state, similar to meditation.

The results of a study published in Frontiers in the Neurobiology of Agingindicate that our brains can remain active and coordinated during and even after the transition to death.

Dr. Ajmal Zemmar, a neurosurgeon at the University of Louisville and lead author of the study, told Frontiers Science News: “We measured brain activity for 900 seconds at the time of death and focused on studying what happened in the 30 seconds before and after death. heart stopped beating.

“Immediately before and after the heart stopped beating, we observed changes in a certain band of neural oscillations, the so-called gamma oscillations, as well as in others, such as delta, theta, alpha and beta oscillations.

“By generating memory-seeking oscillations, the brain can recall the last memory of important life events just before death, similar to those reported in near-death experiences.

“These results challenge our understanding of exactly when life ends and raise important follow-up questions, such as those related to the timing of organ donation.”

While the first study of its kind is based on a single case that additionally included a patient with epilepsy and edema, Dr. Zemmar said he hopes to investigate more cases.

He added that the results gave neuroscientists hope to better understand the “life memory” phenomenon often reported by near-death survivors.

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