AwareofAware

Evolving news on the science, writing and thinking about Near Death Experiences (NDEs)

COOL news

OK, so Werner and Z both added links to Dr Parnia’s updated website.

Parnia’s research website

Z said there was nothing new, but buried in the list of studies there is something of great interest to those of us who have been following this field for the last 15 years, and it is this:

Conscious Awareness During Deep Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest

In our studies of cardiac arrest and its effects on consciousness, our data led us to hypothesize that higher-quality resuscitation is associated with a higher level of conscious awareness during cardiac arrest and resuscitation, which in turn is associated with improved survival, less severe brain injuries, and a smaller incidence of disorders of consciousness.

A novel way to study consciousness in a setting that biologically mimics clinical death besides cardiac arrest is to study patients undergoing deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA), a medical technique in which a patient’s temperature is cooled to approximately 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), shutting down blood circulation and major organ function. This approach is often used by surgeons who need to operate on major blood vessels.

Because DHCA biologically mimics clinical death, but is very well controlled, it provides an excellent opportunity to study consciousness and awareness in a population, which unlike cardiac arrest, has a very high survival rate. We are developing new methods to determine what happens to consciousness before, during, and after this shutdown. We are using various technologies including portable EEG, cerebral oximetry, and visual and audio tools to test implicit and explicit learning as well as recall and memory.

This study complements our work in AWARE II, and we anticipate that we will discover exciting new aspects of the human mind.

This is basically very similar to the COOL study that was started in Montreal, but ended when the surgeon who performed the processes left. It is very exciting since there have been a number of reports over the years that have shown that doing this does indeed create NDE like experiences with OBEs. The key point, that Dr Parnia makes, is that the conditions are predictable and controlled. While there will be many more CAs than these procedures, there is also a much lower chance of survival or recall with a CA, so this route has a chance of producing results more consistently. Very excited to see this happening, and the fact that it is already ongoing, and may lead to results sooner rather than later. Case reports would be very interesting indeed.

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  1. werner Bartl on said:

    think the text on this information page sounds very positive, as if they had learned new knowledge about the consciousness

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  2. werner Bartl on said:

    yes it sounds almost like that, best regards from salzburg

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  3. Chad on said:

    He could be switching where to look because he didn’t have hits in aware 2. Just to point out that in taking a rigorous scientific stance, all reasonable skeptic arguments must be considered. Let’s not be worse than the pseudoskeptics who are just out to validate their beliefs.

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    • Chad, there’s a difference between optimistic speculation and pseudoscience. The way that the AWARE II study was ramped up, to me, in my optimistic speculative state of mind, suggests that they had a hit, but need to get more. But you are right, we do not know what these events are actually due to, but we are free to speculate provided we do not infer actual results. Subtle difference.

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    • @Chad:

      As with all of the noise that erupted when someone posted that higher oxygen levels coincided with better memory recall , you are speculating too much about this complementary study without reading Parnia’s book (or so it seems).

      He has been advocating that “death is a process” that can be slowed doing to a crawl by lowering the patient’s body temperature for a while (i.e. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/04/dying-death-brain-dead-body-consciousness-science/), this is just him putting that to the test by using consciousness as a form of “control”.

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  4. That the title of a paper related to the original cool study. Unable to attach a direct link but a quick internet should suffice

    Beauregard M, Landry St-Pierre É, Rayburn G, Demers P. (2012) Conscious mental activity during a deep hypothermic cardiocirculatory arrest? Resuscitation 83: e19.

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  5. werner Bartl on said:

    Thanks for all Information
    Werner

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  6. David on said:

    Just speculation based on what Parnia has said . He seemed to hint he knew what happened to conscioussness. It was a crptic statement. I dismissed it because the only definitive thing we could say is that consciousness could survive after brain shut down. But it would be unknowable beyond that. Maybe this ? Iscwhat he hinted at.

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  7. David on said:

    There was also the nurse in one of the UK studies who said there is absolutely survival after death but she said its not what most people really expect…..which I wish I had printed out. …I always thought she meant there is some hint of reincarnation.

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    • Yes I’ve been thinking about how to reconcile the tight link between brain and consciousness, with afterlife. While I’m mostly leaning towards consciousness being independent of the brain – just from the impossibility of material giving rise to consciousness, I think the explanatory gap is an ontological one – I’m also sure looking at the evidence personality cannot survive death. This raises issues because the “self” is defined as someone’s personality and behavioural dispositions, so after death only pure consciousness without any properties should be present and the self dies. But NDErs do report feeling a self, maybe consciousness merely watch through channels like u watch a TV, and there’s a “spirit brain” channel in addition to material brain channel. All I can say from so long time thinking about this is that there’s definitely no traditional cartesian soul, i.e. a soul that does all the thinking and drives the body like a car. Maybe that’s what she meant because to a normal person afterlife means substance dualism, a transparent soul that was the person’s thoughts/emotions/personality.

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  8. This is potentially an even better route to demonstrate (once and for all) that consciousness continues after brain function has stopped, IMHO. There can be no quibbling about “little bit’s of consciousness” somewhere in the brain (still functioning) or whatever other objections the “sceptics” clutch at. Everything is stopped; the brain has no neuronal activity whatsoever at such a low temperature.

    This guy (follow the link) had one of these operations (Hypothermic Standstill) to repair a tear in his aorta which occurred from a potentially fatal ‘syndrome’ he suffers from.

    “I was so very aware of myself and knew exactly who I was. My body however was on the operating table below with the doctors and nurses hovering over, cutting sewing and doing whatever thoracic surgeons and their teams do when installing mechanical heart valves and Dacron aorta grafts.”

    http://aorta-tear.blogspot.com/2014/06/my-near-death-experience-during-aorta.html

    I ‘spoke’ to this man via email several times. He had no doubt at all that he really was floating around the operating room (adamant).

    “I absolutely know with certainty that it was me floating in the operating room. Beyond doubt. No doubt. My body on the gurney was not me.”

    There are many more of these cases. Anaesthesiologist Chris Yerington reported a man accurately recounting the serial number from the top of a operating room light
    whilst he was having one of these interventions.

    Similarly, in Dr Rajiv Parti’s book, he recounts another report of “The frozen man!”

    I think it’s just a question of time before someone sees an independent marker (assuming that’s what Parnia is going to do) As to hits in the Aware study, my gut feeling is that they haven’t got one yet because of the very low numbers recruited but I have (personally) very little doubt that they will.

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    • I agree this news is very interesting, but I still think that Parnia has hits from AWARE II. The sudden uptick in recruitment activities in the last two years points to that for me. I suspect he may have something from both…what a coup that would be. However, I don’t want Chad getting the hump, so I will stop with the hyperbole!

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      • Hi again, Ben (I’ll stick with Ben if that’s okay) do you know something we don’t ? 😉
        You seem very confident…personally, I don’t think he will have had enough OBE’s yet, due to the low recruitment he reported.

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      • No, I don’t know anything. The difference between AWARE I and AWARE II, other than the iPad facing the ceiling, is the fact that only survivors are counted as subjects in i the study whereas, bizarrely in AWARE I people who died were included so although they recruited a couple of thousand, the actual participants who could contribute were in the low hundreds. This time around they have changed the inclusion criteria to only include survivors who were able to attend an interview after the event. In 2018 they’d recruited over a hundred. By estimation they’d have at least 1 or 2 hits given the fact that only about 10% have NDEs and of those maybe 25% have OBEs. This would not be enough to provide strong evidence of the OBE being a real phenomenon, you’d need 3-4 or more.

        When they say that the new study compliments it, in my understanding it is not a follow up study like AWARE II which learned from AWARE and applied more rigorous inclusions criteria and methodology, but rather a different type of event that supports evidence for against the whole mind soul duality. Whilst the two events are similar in terms of the fact that the brain is not functioning, the outcomes and trauma involved mean that the ability to collect meaningful data is different.

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  9. I belief Christopher’s case was brought to the attention of Titus Rivas

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  10. Will on said:

    Not to sound pessimistic, but wouldn’t word of a hit have gotten out somehow by now? I realize these are professionals following a code of ethics, but something of that magnitude would be awfully hard to keep a secret for long, wouldn’t it?

    On a separate but related topic, I read something yesterday about how the brain dies in stages that can take up to 10 minutes. I’m wondering what anyone here believes is the best argument against this being a time when the brain creates the illusion of the self leaving the body, following the light, seeing loved ones, etc. Yes, I know this is called the dying-brain hypothesis, but I don’t know if I’ve read anything convincing that casts doubt upon it, so thought I’d ask others who have been studying this more completely.

    Thanks

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    • This has been discussed before. Brain cells take about 10 minutes to completely die, and there is no chance of any recovery after that. However, the brain is effectively inactive bar a few metabolic processes during that 10 minutes after the first few seconds. Sam Parnia has devoted much of his research in resuscitation into improving the length of time that a brain is not active and the cells dying.

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    • @Will Brain death is the irretrievable destruction of the majority of brain cells (they burst from chemical reactions). Apparently, (Parnia and other have stated, such as Lance Becker anyway) there is no set time anymore. People have been brought back with no brain damage after many hours with no blood supply to the brain, particularly if they were cold (which slows down the chemical reactions)

      The dying brain theory is historical nonsense. No serious researcher (Blackmore is not a serious researcher) aligns themselves with that anymore but I’m not going to start outlining why, it’s been done to death (no pun intended).

      NDE’s are not illusions. What they see and report is what has actually occurred (OBE portion) and it occurred when there was no brain function (cardiac arrest).
      Pseudo sceptics like Augustine and Woerlee maintain that this is not the case and there is always another explanation. However, if you look at the mountain of cardiac arrest out of body experiences, it’s absurd to continue to deny it.

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  11. werner Bartl on said:

    But one must never forget that we do not even know what consciousness is, or whether there is only matter

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  12. werner Bartl on said:

    But I think something must have them, otherwise they would not write that it will change our philosophy of mind, or our view, that is in the text of the homepage, why would they lean so far out of the window,

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    • I agree. This is a prestigious University hospital, and Parnia is a serious researcher with many publications under his belt. He used to be more circumspect in his comments, but less so in recent years, hence my optimism along with other little signals. Anyone who takes part in these studies must sign a CDA (confidentially agreement) and would liable to lawsuit if they disclosed results without permission of the study team.

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      • David on said:

        Less circumspect is understatemen Orson! I agree with you he must have something. The new study lets him try to understand maybe the binding mechanism.

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      • Raf on said:

        Parnia should have a hit or two by now, i’m pretty confident he has at least one. Even AWARE I, with all its flaws, gave some sort of hit, just in the wrong room. Skeptics denial of it was “he could have watched a medical drama on TV, so he knew the double shock thing” and, frankly, is a pretty lame debunking. When your debunking option is resorting to “he made verified stuff up on his mind, while loaded on drugs and in CA, because he watched medical dramas” your credibility goes down a lot. It’s like Woorlee claiming that Pam could have had the weirdest anesthesia awarness ever, even under EEG burst suppression, filter out 100 decibel of noise in her ears and listen to conversation, then recreat a nearly perfect picture of the operation and surgical tool in her mind using sound alone, as her eyes were taped shut. I mean, no human can do that, nobody even if they weren’t in hypothermia+loaded on anesthetic drugs (that usually also scramble your memory). Consciousness being outside of the brain sounds more credible than that, and this is huge.

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  13. Lukas on said:

    Hi

    I am new here but after reading this I am getting doubtful of a hit not only about the point Will made but also because of this:

    Because DHCA biologically mimics clinical death, but is very well controlled, it provides an excellent opportunity to study consciousness and awareness in a population, which unlike cardiac arrest, has a very high survival rate.

    The person who wrote this if its Dr. Parnia or someone from his team shows that they have a problem with the survival rate. Which like in AWARE I showed is a problem and there were no hits.

    Second line which gives me doubt about a hit:

    This study complements our work in AWARE II, and we anticipate that we will discover exciting new aspects of the human mind.

    This means again if written by Dr. Parnia or someone from his team that they want to continue their work after AWARE II like it happened after AWARE I. Also what else then new aspects of human mind can be besides that it is alive after death? If they did not prove it in AWARE II with a hit then they must do it again to get this hit.

    I could be wrong but this is what I am getting from these news. Its like the repeating of AWARE I. We failed to get a hit with AWARE I so lets do AWARE II we failed here also with a hit so lets do it in a controlled environment and a new study.

    Sorry for being pesimistic but I get this from the text. I could be wrong..

    I wish you all a nice day.

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    • The exciting new aspects of the mind may be that inducing death-like conditions cause the mind to separate from the body without actual death occurring. This is complimentary because Parnia talks a lot about ADEs, actual death experiences, however in this instance death has not actually occurred, but is merely being simulated, so it has lots of interesting philosophical implications if indeed an OBE occurs. I don’t think there is any reason to be pessimistic.

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    • I agree with Ben here, I actually take this as slight positive news. Exciting new aspects of human mind suggest to me they are more certain than before of afterlife. At the very least, they are certainly no OBEs in rooms with ipad where the person did not see the image, so news is at least neutral. And in aware 1 both the OBEs were not in rooms with images, a point many pseudoskeptics either don’t know or deliberately ignore.

      Also to Will’s comment about brain active for 10 minutes: I like to add you can test low oxygen yourself if you have low blood pressure. Couch for 15 minutes, then suddenly stand up, that’s what cardiac arrest feels like except maybe x3 the effect. You’ll instantly feel dizzy, feel like nothing in life is important, see sparks in your eyes, lose your peripheral vision (skeptics often use this to explain the tunnel in NDEs, but it’s nothing like the tunnels I read about), and collapse from unconsciousness just before you start to feel normal again. Even if cardiac massage give enough flood flow for a bit of consciousness, there’s still the dizzy/confused feelings that I’ve never read in any NDE accounts.

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      • Chad, I think I’ll give self-experimentation a miss thank you! Your point ion AWARE I is well made. It highlighted one of the flaw of the study that there were only a few rooms with pictures on shelves in some odd location. Since most OBEs seem to be from directly above the body, even if they had been in the right room, they possibly would still not have seen the images. They learned a lot from AWARE I and it seems they have implemented a much better design. My one warning all along though is that there must be separation between various people in the study team to insure “blindness”. In particular the interviewer must not be allowed to know what the images on the iPad were. The interviews must be conducted by one person, then the results cross referenced with the iPAD images by someone different.

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  14. I know what Chad us ralking about. I haveblow bp plus migranes plus allergies asthma. In one combo I had double vision and near pass out. Mt brain scans look great. This season my nose with close and I get dizzy before mouth takes over. But none of this us like the NDE because I have blood flow. But it shows how sensitive the brainbis to minor disruptions. So it makes the NDE even more inexplicable through these conventional explanations.

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  15. Not to diverge (again), but just wondering if anyone has seen a good argument for the “told to return” aspect of NDEs from a materialistic point of view. In other words, if we allow that the NDE is the brain making up a story to make death easier for the body its in, how does it suddenly know to have a “character” (a mother or grandfather, say) tell the now-not dying person that he has to return and live?
    (By the way, I realize several of you said the dying brain hypothesis has been dumped by most critics, but if that’s so, what has taken its place and what evidence do you have that it really has been tossed aside? Just curious, since I can’t find it).
    Thanks
    Will

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  16. David on said:

    Parnias work Will. Brain us dead brain no intercellular communication within seconds of CA. Brain cells live on 10 minutes or more depending on resusitation actions. As to an explanation of anything well there are none. Because anything conscious that happens between CA and revival could not have occured in shutdown brain unless there is one magic neuron. Also cpr keeps cells from death it does not restart intercellular communication. That communication is electrochemical and is picked up on EEG.

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    • I saw this in the news earlier, and will be creating a new post about it. I am somewhat more cynical about this work than Dr Parnia.

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    • Parnia mentioned this on many occasions, he probably posted this because this is the first direct evidence of his claims. I don’t see how this has anything to do with NDEs, this is only about individual cells not consciousness, which requires global coordinated brain activity if materialism is to be believed (and that is lost 30 seconds after cardiac arrest). So Ben why would you be cynical?

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  17. David on said:

    This was a nothing sausage bruger. There was no electric signally. Some cells were not dead. Parnias research on humans has shown this. I can hardly wait until clean meat arrives and we can stop killing a billion pigs a year. Chad I am cynical because Nature is hyping nothing. I found his last tweet interesting too.

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    • A nothing sausage burger. That’s a new one to me! But yes, I feel that is what it is.

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    • Devon on said:

      I find the horrific treatment of pigs and other “farm” animals extremely disturbing and also look forward to the arrival of clean meat. This research sounds like a horror movie, especially if you imagine being in the pigs’ place. Thanks for your compassion.

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  18. David on said:

    I am craftmeat on twitter. I responded I found Dr. Parnia too gracious.

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    • Good spot. Very interesting to see 20% of subjects having NDEs.

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    • Good find Peter! Are these the results and the group of people from the Aware 2 study? I thought they were still recruiting people?

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      • There is no mention of it being part of the AWARE II study, and we know that Parnia is involved in many areas of resuscitation research. I’m not going to pay for this article, and since I moved to a small Biotech I no longer have Ovid, so can’t access it through my work laptop. It may well be that there is overlap, with some, many or even all these patients being potential candidates for the AWARE II study since they are in one of the study sites. But from the visible abstract it would appear that no analysis of the NDEs is included in the main article.

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  19. I got it on our University service. Its pretty much what the abstract says.The high number ofvNDE and probably ADE is really interesting considering the general condition and poor survival propects of all the patients.
    Reality is not like James Bond in Casino Royale.

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  20. werner Bartl on said:

    What do you think David? Rather positive or is the consciousness purely material, which I do not hope

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  21. werner Bartl on said:

    I hope the world is not purely material, it would be bleak

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    • What type of materialism do you mean? The solid stuff materialism? That’s already been proven to be false by countless QM experiments. Unfortunately many hardcore materialists are still trying to salvage their world view by getting around QM through retarded bullshit like super determinism/many world. It’s likely conscious experiences have to do with vibrations. I heard quite a few NDErs say everything is vibrations, e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1ehaSCWGJo 3:18. And current theory says all fundamental particles are vibrations in their respective fields (I don’t know what a quantum field is, it’s not vibration like with classical fields but they say “vibration” so w/e).

      https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-hippies-were-right-its-all-about-vibrations-man/. Vibrations will only explain the contents of consciousness, why conscious experiences are so tightly linked with brain activity, why there’s a gradual increase in conscious experiences as animals become more complex (human experience is vastly more rich than fish experience). The “observer” still needs to exist, this was the channel thing I mentioned before. Without vibrations like in anaesthesia, it’s like a TV that’s turned off.

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  22. David on said:

    With QM I am not even sure what material or reality even are anymore!
    But I do think this is positive because I cannot come up with a classical material explanation why you should recall anything and of course there is none when it happens during death.

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  23. Unlike the rather unimpressive pig cell thing I found the worm study posted here much more impressive. How did the worm keep memories when it regenerated a new brain? Since tgen I have been acting like a Jain and tossing out the bugs.

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  24. Werner Bartl on said:

    Yes, David, I read the researches of Michael Levin, it would be interesting what he thinks about the worms, but do you think there was no material transfer of memory? And thanks for your answers, best regards from Austria werner

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  25. Some of these people are associated with the far right libertarian ideology of Ayn Rand . I will leave it there and skip that conversation and assume that is why Parnia bothered to mention it to bet a certain group .
    I Have no idea how the worms retained the memory . The reigning ide is that memory is associated with synaptic strengthening . … in the brain. So few neurons remained innthe worm none in the brain. Based on Popperian falsifcation…..btw I am not religious on the falsifcation thing.

    How about multiple storage mechanism for memory including a panpsycic cloud like consciousness.?

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  26. werner Bartl on said:

    What exactly does Dr.Parnia say, my english is too bad 😦

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  27. David on said:

    Its everything Parnua has said before and what we have discussed here. The interviewer asks simple direct questions where Parnia explains CA is really death before decay. He does mentiion A 2 BUT he closes with a hit from a collegue who had what we would all agree was a big hit. And ends the interview with WOW!

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    • Lukas on said:

      Sorry but I will not agree here. I must have heard another interview because he does not mentioned any hits at all. Also he Dr. Parnia admits that it takes time to die and they mentioned the pig study.

      The last thing he mentions that a colleague said to him about a NDE he had in the past and did not told anyone where the person flat-lined and that after a hour when the adrenaline levels dropped he came back to life which happens in a Lazarus Phenomena and is known even when the mechanism is unknown why this happens. Also nothing special is mentioned in the story at all, Dr. Parnia only said that he described what happened there but that is a vague description and not a concrete one. The story starts around 6:50.

      As for AWARE II Dr. Parnia does not mentioned anything concrete only that he has some stories like those above but nothing with the verified testing or iPad so no hits for me personally.

      Sorry to be so sceptical but after so many claims from Dr. Parnia before AWARE I, I remain sceptical if there is not a normal hit with the iPad or a hit that is concrete and cannot be explained by normal means. So I do not want to get carried away with too much positive promises and then be badly surprised like it was with AWARE I.

      I wish you a nice day.

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    • That last story about Parnia’s associate sounds a lot like Dr. Lloyd Rudy’s nde story. Rudy was the doctor. Wonder if it’s the same guy.

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  28. werner Bartl on said:

    Thanks for the answers, I’m more positive, and I hope they got hits, but yes we do not know

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  29. Stefan on said:

    Now more evidence is showing that the brain is still active, even hours after the heart has stopped. Doesn’t that strenghten the skeptics case, namely that nde’s could be caused by a still functioning brain and therefore anyone who had one was not really dead??

    Of course, I do not know whether during an nde and during cardiac arrest, a brain could still be active enough, to continue generating normal conscious experiences. Does anyone here have any thoughts on that??

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    • No they’re just saying the cells can be brought back to activity. Even if some cells are still active 1 minute after brain dies, consciousness requires very organized activity from the entire brain, every experiment with coma patients has confirmed this, this is also how anaesthetics work by knocking out the coordinated global activity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWWB_tgo2G8. Under surgery people’s brains are very active yet they are not conscious, saying a minute brain activity causes NDEs is like saying a broken cpu is doing building collapse simulations just because it’s warm. If you don’t believe what I said you can try it yourself, crouch for a long time and maybe tighten your neck a bit, when you stand up you almost lose consciousness within 4-5 seconds. This skeptical argument that there’s still activity deep in the brain is beyond stupid, the real reason I’m doubtful is because CPR does generate some blood flow so a person might be able to receive information subconsciously, or just learn the information from nurses/doctors, then later confabulate it to a NDE narrative.

      I don’t think this study has anything to do with NDEs, parnia said many times about death is a process and not a moment in time, this study is just empirical evidence for his claims and why he’s spamming it.

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  30. David on said:

    No it jyst means brain cells dont die. There is NO synaptic activity. So as we understand it there is no brain activity. So its really nothing new.

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  31. David on said:

    Remember how UFOs were ridiculed well Politico confirmed by CNN and tge Philadelphia Inquirer are reporting the Navy has admitted after what since WW 2 they are real and they aee developing a reporting system for pilots. They dknt know what the realky are. Looks doubtful to be Russia. Russia can fly 60s space ships and needs Exxon to help it dig holes. China not much different. Anyway my point here is something extraordinary can suddenly become well accepted.

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    • Chad and David spot on. Much of Parnia’s work focuses on preserving brain cell viability for as long as possible during resuscitation. NDEs are just a side effect of this. This study is a bit of a gimmick, as many studies have shown that human brain cells experience irreversible damage/death after just a few minutes without oxygenated blood flow or dramatic lowering of temperature. Period.

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  32. Stefan on said:

    Does anyone know about verified cases where nde patiënts saw things at other places than the room they were in at the moment of NDE (so things that they saw that are not related to the operating room/emergency room they were in at the time of NDE)?

    Anyway, if parnia gets some hits from aware 2, that would be impressive and maybe indeed indicating that there is more to consciousness than just the brain.

    I just think that we need some verified hits like that to have proof of something beyond the brain and only nde’s won’t convince material scientists.

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    • Lukas on said:

      Stefan you need more then that if you want to convince material scientists. You need hits that are bulletproof that means that the person had no other way of knowing that information. That there was no leak etc..

      Also you need a hit that is not recorded years or months away because that will not convince anyone and will not prove anything because again that hit can be contaminated and that way no hit at all.

      The last thing is that you need this to be replicated by someone else not just Dr. Parnia or someone who had a hit.

      If these three things are done then you will be able to convince the material scientists that there is more to consciousness then just the brain.

      So its a long way to convince the material scientists and the sceptics.

      I wish you a nice day.

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  33. That is an interesting question about ndes. As to the skeptic crowd that is why I used the UFO example. Their initial reactions make themselves look foolish now but likr the religious fundamentalists it wont stop them. Real science just follows the observations. I just saw a local TV mention of tge Navy report. They make a reference to LGM. Basically the Navy says its agnostic to what theory you have about them.

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  34. I have a couple of questions I can’t seem to find answers for:
    1. Does anyone know of an NDE study, either retrospective or prospective, in which the researcher(s) leading the study did NOT come to the conclusion that consciousness can leave the body? I know there are many critics who have read studies done by others who dismiss the conclusion, but are there any researchers who say there must be a medical explanation?
    2. I don’t know if there is a prevailing materialistic explanation for NDEs beyond the “it’s something in the brain we just haven’t figured out yet,” but has anyone heard someone try to explain how someone “imagining” this experience would also be able to edit it in a way to include being told one has to return to one’s body? In other words, if it’s the brain making this all up because someone is dying (dead), how can it suddenly change the drama when the person is revived?
    Thanks

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    • Jon Livingston on said:

      Hi Will. These are really good questions. For the first question I don’t know any believers who have come to this conclusion. A few people like Sam Parnia (don’t know if he qualifies as a believer or skeptic) and Jan holden posted pictures up above but no hits. There has been a study with Penny Saratori (I think) about OBEs in cardiac arrest. One group had NDE’s and could give correct details about their cardiac arrest vs another group who didn’t have the NDE and couldn’t give her details. Then you just have alot of anecdotal evidence. There is also a study with JS and the dentures case. So to answer your question I am not aware of any believers that have a case that think consciousness cant leave the body, but they never really say it can usually it’s more like we have to do more studies because its always anecdotal.

      As far as skeptics go I heard Susan Blackmore say in a podcast (don’t remember which one) that she tried OBE trials in her house a long time ago (not cardiac arrest) but couldn’t get anyone to tell her like what the item looked like in a different room they couldn’t see. Don’t quote me on that. Most skeptics focus on the “afterlife” part of the NDE, not this worldly data. As far as what they think how people gather this world data as right before the heart stops and right after when it gets online people can access data and doctors don’t know about it. So no skeptic has even had a study that address your first question, and all the believers haven’t really had a hit besides anecdotal evidence to address that question beyond anecdotal evidence (thats my opinion).

      For the second question I have not. The skeptic part of my brain thinks that memory is fragile so maybe it has something to do with their memory thinking that the light told them to go home after the experience. I am really not sure though. I think kevin Nelson’s Rem intrusion theory is the best skeptic theory out there (it convinces me the most) and as far as obe’s go maybe the patients are really taking in what is happening and doctors and nurses are too busy reviving them to look at their eyes (to see if there open). Sorry for the long answer. Thanks for reading if you got through it all.

      Like

  35. There are most people in Parnus studies that dont have an obe out of body and all sorts of explanations have been made go to Sagans Brocas Brain for some way back. He ironically wrote a whole booknof nonsense called Dragons of Eden but he could get away with it. I say very sarcastically.

    Like

  36. David on said:

    I just went back to look over Aware 1 . There was a visual with hearing the automated device. Though it was a CA on the run it still qualifies . The Iands also has a review with the skeptics. We have pretty much gone over them but one was really lame. The patient would have been familiar with automated voices from TV.
    The study didnt make me question the ADE work. It makes me question the main purpose. Most resuscitation make the case for a DNR.
    Sadly my Aunt died this week . She was over 90 and had a quick decline. I cant say I saw terminal lucidity because she had only mild dementia. But I did see the rally effect. Her son rushed to get here and she both held on seemed to improve then died.

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  37. I am sorry to hear of your loss David. It is nice that Aware 1 got something to progress the study further.

    Like

  38. David on said:

    Aunts service was African American even though she was mideast muslim.But the preacher was old friend and the African Amerixan interpretation of Christianity is inspiring. And this comes from a Jewish guy who has declared victory from Aware 1 because it already proved at least Shoel.

    Like

  39. Raf on said:

    “This study complements our work in AWARE II, and we anticipate that we will discover exciting new aspects of the human mind.”

    Hi all, new around here. This final piece looks really interesting, as they sound rather sure about finding out something precedently unknown/unresearched, so they may have already some info gathered from AWARE II (maybe a single hit or something like that) andare searching for extra proof via this study. I admire Parnia’s work because he started a bit skeptic and now seems like he is starting to believe that, in fact, consciousness might work very differently from what we understood. also, check this out from his twitter

    https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/life-after-life-does-consciousness-continue-after-our-brain-dies

    he sounds pretty excited about the idea that consciousness might be separated from the body, at least partially. He also gives a good, necessary beating to the materialist POW of emergence of consciousness which sounds a bit odd on it’s own. I dunno, he sounds like a guy who may already know something but can’t still let it go public for many reasons.

    I’m a “moderate skeptic”, but I gotta say I would really to see sam and those other doctors triumph in this battle. I’ve recently read “the self does not die”, and I admire the work done by the researchers although it was really a bit too biased from the believer side. I mean, they support Eben Alexander NDE and that couldn’t be defended in any way. They just say “the debunkers didn’t speak to the family” but family isn’t a reliable source of information, and there are zero veridical elements in Eben’s NDE. By what i get from it it was either an hallucination or a fraud, but I don’t want to judge him badly so i’d say hallucination.
    What they really did, and well, was showing how absurd woorlee debunking of Pam Reynold’s NDE was. There is no credibility in Worlee arguments, and also the surgeons present at the operation confirmed that what happened was without a clear explanation. The idea of anesthesia awarness+filtering out the clicks+re-creating a mostly perfect picture of the environement from the noises sounds even more absurd than consciousness being out of the brain, honestly. No human in Pam’s condition would have been able to report detailed information like those she did without some paranormal element involved.

    Also, they cleared a lot of disinformation/debunking on the “dentures man” NDE, still very good work, and demolished the arguments against it from woorlee, who at this point doesn’t sound reliable at all.

    Like

    • Raf on said:

      I would also like to add a small study conducted by an italian physician, Davide Vaccarin. He focused on the NDEs for his graduation thesis, and studied also a lot the difference between them and drug induced hallucinations. He comes to the conclusion that, although similar, they have anyway several differences and can’t be considered the same. Also, there are no veridical OBEs in those drug induced states.

      I would also like to add that NDE researchers and believers should stay away from “magical/paranormal” superpowers people claim to have received after an NDE as they lose a lot of credibility. In “The Self does not die” the writers claim as true and verified the powers of psychokinesis of a girl called Cherylee Black, while providing no verified and certain use of her power. There are no videos of her in action, nothing to validate her statments to a general public. I’m pretty sure there is no such thing, and she is wrong or faking it, because if it was true at least a video showcasing what she can do would have been made public. They just expose them to skeptical attacks accusing them of being naive, gullible or pseudoscientists. The famous Randi’s Prize has never been claimed, and skeptics lean hard on that, so let’s keep super powers out of the equation unless you can prove them reliably.

      Like

      • Jon on said:

        I agree Raf. I really like how Sam Parnia is bringing science to this field and started out skeptical. The verified OBE with someone seeing the iPad I think is the only thing that would convince me or something outside the room. Also the stories that are less than like 10 years old are better than older stories.

        Like

      • Raf on said:

        The only real “old stories” I really care about are Pam’s and the Denture’s one. Pam is incredibly solid, and while skeptics tried to debunk it in any possible way the surgeons present there corroborated everything she said. Really outstanding. Dentures is pretty good, but the fact that the man can’t be traced down makes it less good than Pam’s. Then there are the “peak in Darien” experiences, people who spoke with dead relatives/friends claiming they didn’t know they were dead. Interesting for sure, but can be easily faked/be coincidence or something. The real deal is veridical perception reported and corroborated by surgeon and nurses, and then made public in papers. For now, only Pam’s and Dentures are up for this kind of standards I think. If Parnia get’s even a single hit hard materialism is debunked, and I suppose he has one by now. Heck, he would have had it in AWARE I if the OBE happened in the room with the pictures, i think.

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      • Raf on said:

        Oh, also this was very interesting https://www.resuscitationjournal.com/article/S0300-9572(11)00575-2/fulltext

        the only reason it isn’t as good as the ones Parnia would provide is that there wasn’t any EEG on her, otherwise her report has been verified by medical staff and she came into the operating room already with eyes taped and under anesthesia, so it is really good evidence. Not a proof, but good evidence.

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  40. Jon on said:

    Thank you for sharing that Raf. I saw that case and it really intrigued me. Especially if she really couldn’t see the machines behind her head. Because her eyes were tapped after she already was in the operating room right? I think I am reading that right. Either way I agree that’s good evidence.

    Like

    • David on said:

      All the critics mentikn start with a religious statement. Attack Parnia and then often cite research that Parnia has cited.

      Like

    • Raf on said:

      Yes, it looks like her eyes were taped after being wheeled in the surgery room. But she was wheeled in, so she probably had no real way of seeing what was behind her head, and was surely in a short time sedated and given anesthesia. What was practically impossible for her to see isalso the nurse passing tools to the surgeon. At that point her eyes were surely taped, so even with anesthesia awarness nothing can explain how the heck she did that. Sum this with the panoramic, accurate description of the room (and I don’t know if you ever underwent surgery, I did but with no general anesthesia I was only sedated on benzodiazepine intravenous injections. You can’t really remember details, it’s like being totally drunk those drugs really scramble your memory) and you get a strong case. The absence of an EEG at that time is the only thing at which skeptics can really cling too, as normally all of their debunking is now based on the idea that the brain was somehow still active, that is why Parnia’s work is vital. They are going to record the EEG all the time, like in Pam’s case, and if any veridical perception happens under flatline EEG it’s basically sure that the idea that the brain produces the mind is debunked.

      The amount of anectodal evidence is much, but a claim such as this would not only change our views about medicine but of life in general, so you need extra solid proof. Only Parnia’s work, as far as I am aware (no pun intended), can provide similar evidence.

      Like

  41. David on said:

    Thanks to Parnis work you really dont need an eeg on because he has pretty well established eeg stops right after CA. While tge cells live they are under stress and cant communicate. I too never thought this could be provable one way or another but Parnuas work has gone farther than I ever thought back in the 70s.

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    • Raf on said:

      EEG is needed otherwise skeptics will keep telling that the event happend wither while the brain was shutting down or when it was rebooting, or maybe during a spike of eletrical activity. This is why Pam’s case is still the best avaible, her EEG was monitored under burst suppression, and on the second phase of her OBE/NDE she saw the first electrical shock being delivered to restart her heart, while her EEG was being monitored. The amount of veridical information she reported is beyond human capacity, he had eyes taped shut and earbuds playing loud clicks (90-100 decibels) in her ears. Even with anesthesia awarness, which usually features panic, pain, and is rather short, no human being would have managed to “paint” a nearly perfect picture of what happened like Pam did, and hear dialogue clearly without earing the clicks is also impossible. Only Woorlee, who is totally biased, could base his debunking on her “filtering out” 100 decibel strong clicks in her ears because she was a musician. Also, anesthesia awarness is anyway not really compatible with the burst suppression monitorin of her EEG, so it couldn’t be that first place.

      Pam’s case isn’t definitive only because it happened casually, not in a researched environement and without hidden targets, but is a really strong evidence anyway.

      Like

  42. David on said:

    The National Pist brought up every issue we have dealt with here. The debunkers really contradict themselves. If consciousness is an epiphenomon the why is it occuring without synapitc activity.

    Like

    • Chad on said:

      Consciousness is epiphenomenon? If consciousness didn’t do anything it couldn’t have evolved to its current rich and detailed state, in fact it should be quite unrelated to what an organism is physically perceiving and should be random. Materialists are hilarious, they say evolution shapes consciousness/mind then say it doesn’t do anything, but something that has no effect on an organism’s behaviour is not going to evolve… cognitive dissonance of materialists… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_zaMO3vdDA

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      • Materialism is easy, it basically accepts as given the most easy, direct explaination even without understanding completely the causes. You can’t say it doesn’t work, much of what we know right now we owe to materialism, but sometimes it just doesn’t fit. Psychiatry and consciousness is a classic example, we employ a wide variety of drugs in psychiatry which we don’t know how they work, and why. Just look at Lithium, we know nearly nothing about it yet we don’t care. A materialist, when he doesn’t understand something but it is working anyway, will use the Occam’s Razor and cut short, usually speaking about neurochemistry and brain connections which can’t be verified or proven in any way. NDEs are just like that for them, they don’t have a true, proven explanation for the OBE part of it (sometimes even for the rest) yet they’ll keep saying stuff incredibly absurd like “dying brain”, “chemicals in the brain”, “anoxia” providing zero real answers. All those explanations are rather stupid, the dying brain was just an hypothesis and looks to be pretty fake, chemicals like DMT don’t magically happear out of nowhere in the brain in a single specific circumstance, it makes no sense for the body to do something like it and also would need to produce enough DMT to produce powerful hallucinations, so how the heck is it making so much stuff it’s just absurd. The anoxia one is maybe even worse, as we know what are the effects of anoxia and are totally different from an NDE. In Italy, when I was young, we used to do a thing called “indian flash” that was basically blocking the blood flow to brain pressing with your palms on the neck, blocking veins and such. It made you suffer some sort of anoxia as the blood flow drastically reduced, and it was nothing like an NDE, it made you feel dizzy, impaired vision and you felt drunk-like, sometimes had visions too but nothing consistent.

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  43. David on said:

    I am going withbParnia and calling them ADEs

    Like

    • Raf on said:

      You’re right, they are ADEs when the brain is shut down and blood isn’t pumping anymore. Skeptics have also exploited the name “near death experience” to say that they account for nothing, as it is only close to death. But death isn’t clear, and two hundred or so years ago absence of heartbeat would have been defined as death. Aren’t you “dead”, after all, if your EEG is flat? If everything you are is your brain, a flat EEG means you’re dead, so it is actually and ADE. If Parnia’s and these other researchers can provide a verified hit when somebody has a flat EEG it means that, somehow, consciousness and death are two different things. The implications would be enormous, and impose shift in paradigm of our entire understanding of the world. Had the AWARE I been better organized with the OBE happening in a room fitted with hidden targets we woud probably have had the answer already.

      Like

  44. lkjfdf on said:

    Looks like Parnia recently published an article commenting on the pig study in Nature: https://leapsmag.com/coming-back-from-the-dead-is-no-longer-science-fiction/

    This line jumped out at me “The fact that these experiences occur is a paradox and suggests the undiscovered entity we call the “self,” “consciousness,” or “psyche” – the thing that makes us who we are – may not become annihilated at the point of so-called death.”

    However, does this imply that “psyche/self” DOES become annihilated at actual death and not “so-called death”?

    Parnia’s work seems to be advocating pushing the definition of “death” to be more of a process and that NDEs/ADEs occur during the grey area of “so-called death.” If so, wouldn’t this just support skeptics’ claims that NDEs are a result of a functioning brain, albeit functioning in a way we don’t completely yet understand.

    I don’t want that to be true but I do want to realistically understand what the research is saying. I’d be happy to hear from anyone who reads this a different way!

    Like

    • Lukas on said:

      Nothing new here again which people who follow this kind of research would not know. Also Dr. Parnia is showing his bias here which is not good in my opinion. He keeps confusing two terms clinical death with brain death. As for the pig study the pig did not show a sign of consciousness in the first place. It only showed some brain functions and it takes 72 hours for cells to completely die in a body which even neurologist agree. So again nothing new and his claims that NDEs are actual After Death Experiences is in my opinion not true.

      His claims of After Death Experiences will be true when he has some bulletproof hits in the mean time it does not convince me at all.

      Like

    • Good find lkjfdf. I wish Parnia wasn’t biased but I guess it’s good and bad. Yeah Lukas is right nothing new. But I am glad Parnia is posting because it keeps me excited. The only new thing we’re going to get won’t be until 2021. So I’m glad Parnia is putting stuff out there. So thanks for sharing.

      Like

      • jon on said:

        I know I am replying to my own comment but Sam Parnia is doing an awesome job and is the reason why we are all here. So didn’t want to come across that I don’t respect what he is doing at all. He is the one (in my opinion) doing the most relevant thing one can do in this field.

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      • I agree with you Jon, and much of what else is said here. Parnia’s redefinition of NDEs and ADEs has never sat easy with me since in my personal view you are only actually dead if you are beyond returning, however, I get what he is saying, because technically without a beating heart and conscious brain activity you are dead.

        The whole pig head thing is a big fat distraction. I was going to do a separate post on it, but it is just not worth it. The cells might be able to perform some basic biochemistry, but they are not functional in terms of being able to generate the neural connections required of a conscious brain.

        Like

    • Sorry lkjfdf I feel like I didn’t answer your question. The answer is no one really knows. We all want someone to see the iPad during cardiac arrest. If that happens. Then we know that someone’s soul was floating above in the room when they had cardiac arrest. To me that would be enough evidence. Aware 1 had evidence of someone seeing what was happening during ca that’s not quite enough evidence for me. You have to decide for yourself what works for you. Keep in mind no one knows. If Parnia didn’t look at aware 2 results he doesn’t know any more than you. Keep in mind that actual death to Sam Parnia is cardiac arrest. Actual death to some people is you don’t come back. If someone sees the iPad though I don’t think it’s relevant. Hope this helps let me know if you have any other questions.

      Like

      • Lukas on said:

        This is not disrespect Jon. This is pointing out that he is wrong with a definition. Also you are not dead without a beating heart and conscious brain activity because nature has shown us its not the case. Even some animals can live without a heart beat and conscious brain activity when they hibernate. Take for example the Wood Frog.

        When its hibernating it can freeze but not die. As the temperature drops below freezing each winter, the wood frog buries itself and goes into a deep hibernation, its breathing and heartbeat stop, and as much as 65% of the water in its body gradually turns into ice.

        Source: https://www.kidzone.ws/lw/frogs/facts-woodfrog.htm

        Also the frog is in this state the entire winter and it’s alive, in a state of suspended animation. In spring, the wood frog thaws from the inside outward. First the heart starts beating. Then the brain activates.

        Source: https://www.nps.gov/gaar/learn/nature/wood-frog-page-2.htm

        This is the reason why I do not believe Dr. Parnias definition of After Death Experiences because the frog is never dead. Its alive the whole winter if you would just thaw it, it would live and all the activities of the brain and heart would start.

        This is all I have to add to the false definition of After Death Experiences.

        I wish you a nice day.

        Like

      • Lukas on said:

        Until I wait that my reply gets published because I added links about Wood Frogs which is fascinating reading and shows that the pig study added nothing new.

        I also forget to add that besides Wood Frogs there are Tardigrades that were frozen for 30 Years and sprang back to life and like Wood Frogs when they hibernated they had no signs of life at all.

        Therefore calling NDEs as After Death Experience is not valid in my opinion.

        Like

      • Chad on said:

        Cell death is not the same as clinical death (i.e. loss of consciousness). Life is never alive to begin with, life is just organization of material objects, being alive means just the material objects function as they are supposed to. NDEs are most definitely ADEs if they occur 1 minute after 0% blood flow.

        Like

  45. JP Rand on said:

    Very interesting new discovery. I would like to see where this new finding goes. Seems that this could increase the pace and provide good evidence this year. Looking good.

    Like

  46. JP Rand on said:

    It just makes me think when all this evidence towards immaterial minds goes mainstream what technologies could be made. Mind transfer is a pretty hot topic among technological enthusiasts. We could put people into new advanced bodies. It’s nice to be a ghost possessing a vessel and all but if your vessel is about as fragile as glass like this puny meat sack is then it’s best to trade it in for something better methinks.

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    • I think what is missing from that thinking is the consideration of the many other aspects of the NDE experience. OBEs are but one small part of the experience. Yes, they are of most interest to us and the wider scientific community because if validated they prove the conscious is a separate entity, however, what actually interests me more is what happens after the NDE. Whatever “meat suit” we inhabit, life here is but a dull reflection of the life that may await us on the other side if NDE accounts are true.

      Like

    • Lukas on said:

      Sorry to contradict you Chad.

      However NDEs are not After Life Experiences. Its nonsense even if they would occur 1 minute after 0% blood flow. Also after zero blood flow brain cells begin their cell death. Read about Brain ischemia. Another thing take for example Wood Frogs when they hibernate they look like this:

      As the wood frog is freezing, its heart continues pumping the protective glucose around its body, but the frog’s heart slows and eventually stops. All other organs stop functioning. The frog doesn’t use oxygen and actually appears to be dead. In fact, if you opened up a frozen frog, the organs would look like “beef jerky” and the frozen water around the organs like a “snow cone,” says Jon Costanzo, a physiological ecologist at Miami University in Ohio who studies freeze-tolerance.

      Its from LiveScience article Can Frogs survive Being Frozen.

      Therefore again if Wood Frogs can live like this and are fine then NDEs cannot be called After Life Experiences. That would mean that every animal that has this kind of hibernation would every year go to the Afterlife and return. Wood Frogs are not the only animals that hibernate like this but I mentioned that already.

      Like

      • Firstly it’s not Chad, it’s the OP. You are assuming that frogs have a conscious like a human. There is no evidence for that. Secondly, and purely for arguments sake, if they did have a consciousness like ours, how do you know they don’t spend the winter in the afterlife? If you are going to contradict people then do it using solid evidence that supports your position in a rational manner, rather than conflating observations that do not necessarily have relevance to the central point you are trying to make.

        Like

      • Chad on said:

        I don’t understand your point. The frogs will be not be conscious while they are frozen. The whole point of NDE research is to demonstrate conscious awareness during a period of no coordinated brain activity, that proves consciousness can exist without a brain and by extension afterlife. Are you saying the frogs are conscious while frozen with no brain activity?

        Like

    • Chad on said:

      JP Rand you’re talking substance dualism and I’m quite certain it’s not true. I think mind is mostly a product of brain activity (not sure to what extent, but certainly almost everything about mind is due to brain). By mind I mean all the non physical experiences a person has like thoughts/emotions, in contrast to physical sensations like physical pain/fatigue/hunger/vision/hearing. Consciousness =/= mind, it’s the real intractable problem with materialism. A computer can have a mind by no consciousness to experience it.

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