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Near Death Experience Nonsense

For shame New Scientist.

Twitter headline: Serotonin triggers near death experience

Article headline: Near-death experiences may be triggered by serotonin

Article lede: The bright light at the end of the tunnel which some people close to death describe may result from a flood of serotonin in the brain.

Actual story:

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are reported by around 1 in 5 critically ill people, and their cause is a mystery. Alexander Wutzler’s team at the Charité University of Medicine in Berlin, Germany, wondered if serotonin – a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation and processing vision and sound – plays a role.

They gave six rats an overdose of anaesthetic and found that serotonin levels in their brains had tripled by the time they died (Neuroscience Letters, DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.04.051).

Wutzler expects to see a similar increase in dying human brains. He says serotonin could be behind NDEs, but Jakob Hohwy at Monash University in Melbourne is unsure. “One thing that you don’t want to say is that rats have NDEs,” he says.

Coming on the back of the Sheldrake review debacle, seems like New Scientist is aiming at a change of name in the near future, to Stodgy Old Defenders of Orthodox Science

(I’m not attacking the research here, which is a possibly interesting insight into ‘time of death’ changes in the brain. I just find the manner in which New Scientist presented it as…misleading.)

  1. This indeed is nonsense
    To what do the researchers attribute the phenomenon of “out of body experience” that also accompanies the NDE in many instances? What of the consciousness remaining aware and a person afterwards being able to recite what happened in the room, despite machines recording that person as being unconscious? What of that strange sensation of traveling remarkably fast toward the light?

    Mind/brain and body are inextricably connected. Perhaps serotonin levels rise because the brain is sending instructions to the body in order to protect the psyche from the realization or emotional “shock” of impending death.

  2. New Scientist
    I cancelled my subscription to New Scientist some time ago when it became clear they where attempting to become a clone of the Nature journal, hide everything that does not conform to the dead brain establishment view.
    Thankfully the Internet will eventually bury these people trying to hide reality.
    Science is making itself look more foolish by the day.

    1. Serotonin is like any other
      Serotonin is like any other powerful drug. It can alter consciousness and the brain’s power to see and mentate. It is notable how often materialist neurologists jump up and down with glee when the discover the presence of some endogenous hormone implicated in a given mental state. It is like they have suddenly solved something when in fact they have merely given one aspect of a condition. Serotonin is apparently not as volatile as endogeneous DMT in their worldview, so serotonin is mundane. It is not mundane. I know several people taking SSRI’s who were amazed by the increase in psychic abilities after the drug kicked in.

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