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A new study found that life may indeed flash in front of one’s eyes before death.
For the first time, scientists recorded the brain activity of a dying individual and discovered an increase in brain activity associated with memory retrieval, Futurism reported.
The findings were purely accidental as researchers were initially analyzing the brain activity of an 87-year-old epilepsy patient for seizures using electroencephalography (EEG).
Unfortunately, the patient suffered a heart attack during the study while still connected to the device, which incidentally allowed researchers to record 15 minutes of brain waves of the dying individual.
The team said there was a spike in brain waves known as gamma oscillations, which are known to occur during dreaming and memory recall. They suggested that the patient could be experiencing moments of their life flashing before them.
“Through generating oscillations involved in memory retrieval, the brain may be playing the last recall of important life events just before we die, similar to the ones reported in near-death experiences,” lead author Ajmal Zemmar said.
The authors acknowledged that the study only focused on one person with neurological disorders but said previous studies on dying rats also showed similar gamma activity.
Meanwhile, Zemmar believes that the results can offer some sense of hope and closure to grieving families.
“Although our loved ones have their eyes closed and are ready to leave us to rest, their brains may be replaying some of the nicest moments they experienced in their lives,” Zemmar noted.