Alleged Near-Death Experience

Carr (1982) proposed that near death experiences is the result of stimulation of the hippocampus by endorphins. The stress of dying generates natural opiates, such as encephalin and endorphins, and encephalin have been documented to inhibit neural discharge within the hippocampus. This theory proposes that increased endorphin levels will allow the hippocampus, as well as lower the seizure threshold within the temporal lobe, and that NDEs are the result of limbic lobe and temporal lobe seizures.

Locke, Thomas P, Shontz, Franklin C.

(1983) conducted a study to find the correlation between personality and near death experience. 1000 undergraduate participated in the study and they were administered with intelligence and personality, measures, including WAIS, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Eysenck Personality Inventory, and Rorschach. The study findings indicate that there is no difference between the near death experiencer and inexperience on the Rorschach or on measures of intelligence, extraversion, neuroticism, or anxiety.

Bruce Greyson (1983) conducted a study on 264 members of an organization through questionnaire study of their personal values.

Out of 264 participants, 89 reported near death experiences and 175 denied of having any such experience. Both the groups were compared, the one who experienced near death experiences and one who did not. The group of experienced people had a large number of women than the group of inexperienced. Each participant was given a questionnaire consisting a list of 28 goals, objectives, behaviors and abstract concepts and was asked to rate each item on a four point scale (from very important to me to not at all important to me ).

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Value items were grouped into meaningful clusters of five items each- success, self actualization, altruism and spirituality. It was found that there is no difference in values of both the groups. They only differed in success item. The near death experiences valued success more than he or she did before experiencing any such event.

Melvin L. Morse, David Venecia, Jerrold Milstein (1989) presented a neurophysiologic model on near death experiences. They found that near death experiences are the result of activation of neural connections in the temporal lobe that code for near death experiences memories. These neural connections are in turn activated by serotonergic pathways. Disturbance in central serotonergic activity due to high emotional or physiological stress or due to psychoactive drugs could lead to activation of these neural connections resulting in near death experiences.

Musgrave, Cassandra (1997) conducted a study to know about how the life of a near death experiencer changes after experiencing any such event like near death experiences wherein she interviewed fifty one near death experiencer’s in person and also did a survey through mail. She concluded in her study that there were major changes in the lives of the subjects after experiencing near death. Major changes were found in the lives of the participants in the area of spirituality, mythological beliefs, and religion based beliefs and its practice, lifestyle, relationships and career.

Sam Parnia, Derek G. Waller, Robin Yeates & Peter Fenwick (2001) carried out a prospective study of cardiac arrest survivors to understand the qualitative features as well as incidence, and possible etiology of near death experiences (NDEs) in group of cardiac arrest patients. In their study they found out that 11.1% of 63 survivors reported memories of their unconsciousness. The majority had NDE features. There appeared to be no differences on all physiological measured parameters apart from partial pressure of oxygen during the arrest which was higher in the NDE group. The study concluded that Memories are rare after resuscitation from cardiac arrest.

Pim van Lommel, Ruud van Wees, Vincent Meyers, Ingrid Elfferich (2001) conducted a prospective study wherein they included 344 cardiac patients who were resuscitated after cardiac arrest and compared their demographic, medical, pharmacological and psychological data between patients who reported near death experiences and patients who did not after resuscitation. They concluded that 18% that is 62 patients reported near death experience out of which 12% that is 41 patients reported core near death experience. They also concluded that depth of near death experience was affected by sex, surviving cardiopulmonary resuscitation outside the hospital and fear before cardiac arrest. In this study it was also found out that the patients who had a near death experience died within 30 days of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Also the study found out that age plays a major role in reporting of a near death experience.

Zalika Klemenc- ketis, Janco Kersnik, Stefek Grmec (2010) conducted a prospective observational study on effect of carbon dioxide on near death experiences in out of hospital cardiac arrest survivors. The study included 52 patients who were out of hospital after cardiac arrest. Greyson’s near death experience scale was used to assess the presence of near death experiences. Initial partial pressure of end tidal carbon dioxide, the arterial blood partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide and the levels of sodium and potassium in blood veins were analyzed. It was found that 11 that are 21.2% patients reported near death experiences and it was concluded that high concentration of carbon dioxide proved significant and high serum level of potassium might be important in provocation of near death experiences.

Bruce Greyson (2010) conducted a study where 194 participants of age group between 22-82 years reported near death experiences to know the correlation between post traumatic stress disorder and near death experiences. The study concluded that the participants who reported near death experiences acknowledged more intrusive symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than those who came close to death without near death experience.


Today, when the world is reaching new heights and gained an important insight into the importance of mind and body relationship, here emerged a very important field of parapsychology which has its origin in the study of mind and body relationship that is the field of Psychology. Parapsychology is a field that combines paranormal phenomenon and psychology together that is the study of extrasensory perception and paranormal claims like near death experiences, reincarnation, etc.

There are very few studies done in this field but one of the major branches of parapsychology that is getting famous and acknowledgement is near death experiences. Near death experience is a process of unconsciousness wherein the person claims to have out of bodily experiences. The reason for few numbers of researches in this field is due to few reporting of such incidences. And also this field emerged lately in the field of science.

The main learning’s of this study on near death experiences is that near death experiences are dependent on the factor of age and the kind of problem a person is suffering from and the fear of death. Some studies concluded that the sole cause of such experiences is neurological while some claimed it to be completely religious, culture based or transcendental. This study also includes a literature which tried to find out the relation between personality and near death experiences which came out to be null. As studies done are few and also reporting of near death experiences is few it can’t be said if the results of the quoted researches is true.

The field of Parapsychology and its branches does needs to boost up the number of researches and studies that are needed to be done. As interesting the name sounds, the field is interesting too. The field of parapsychology including its branch of near death experiences and also the other branches needs further research which will help us better understand these unique and interesting experiences.

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Alleged Near-Death Experience. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Alleged Near-Death Experience
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