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Life Really Flashes Before Your Eyes When You Die, According to Scientists

Update Date: Jan 31, 2017 08:20 AM EST
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Scientists have identified the parts of the brain that lead people to see events of their life flash before them. They analyzed personal experiences from people who have had near death experiences and identified life review experience (LRE) was the cause.

Researchers from Hadassah University in Jerusalem found the part of the brain that stores the memories is the last to shut down when the body is close to death. The common themes occur during the experience where normal memory processing is more intense.

According to Daily Mail, LRE has been featured in countless works of literature and films. But little is known of its cognitive and psychological basis.

The researchers asked more than 200 people about their LRE, and then analyzed seven accounts of the common responses from in-depth interviews. Their responses were used for a questionnaire that was sent out to 264 other people who gave detailed response of their experiences.

One common experience was they lost sense of time when viewing their life events. One participant said there was no linear progression and time limit. Their life memories were rarely in order and came at random.

Another common experience was feeling the pain of others. One participant said they sensed the pain and sadness from the people in the room with them when they were close to death.

The prefrontal, medial temporal and parietal cortices are the parts of the brain known to store memories. It continues to function longer than other parts of the brain after serious injury. These parts are not affected by oxygen and blood loss.

These parts of the brain could be responsible for LRE related to near -eath experiences. Scientists concluded that psychological and physiological stress could lead to such experiences when close to death according to Huffington Post.

"Re-experiencing one's own life events, so-called LRE, is a phenomenonli with well-defined characteristics, and its subcomponents may be also evident in healthy people," researchers said.

The study was published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition. It suggests life events exist as a continuum exist and maybe further expressed in conditions of psychological and physiological stress.

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