Student_Wk5_NDE_Two - Week Five: Handout Number Two:...

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Week Five: Handout Number Two: Explanations of NDEs Three kinds of theories are commonly used to explain NDEs: biological, psychological, parapsychological and spiritual. Several authors are mentioned; see list of some of their publications in Week Five: Handout One: Near Death Experiences. Biological theories 1. NDES are the effects of drugs or anesthesia given to the patient. Considered implausible because a. Ring’s and Schoonmaker’s samples: include persons not given drugs or anesthesia. b. Ring’s data show that the chance of having an NDE goes down with anesthesia. Anesthesia may block remembrances of NDEs that actually happened. 2. NDEs are hallucinations caused by dysfunction of the brain when deprived of oxygen. Considered implausible because a. Hallucinations are typically rambling; NDEs are a logical progression of events. b. Hallucinations differ widely from person to person; NDEs are fairly consistent in general content and structure across thousands of persons. Plausible because a. Oxygen deprivation does cause narrowing of the field of vision and blackening around the edges, giving a tunnel effect. 3. Patterns of light and music in NDEs result from electrical seizures of the nervous system. Untested. 4. NDE is produced by the Sylvian fissure of the right temporal lobe of the brain when it is activated by brain dysfunction. This is part of the story. Summarized by Dr. Melvin Morse’s Closer to the Light (1990). a. Wilder Penfield did extensive mapping of the brain (1930s and 1940s). While patients were under local anesthesia when having brain operations, he electrically stimulated different areas of the brain and documented what happened. (e.g.: stimulate motor cortex, legs and arms move)
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Student_Wk5_NDE_Two - Week Five: Handout Number Two:...

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