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‘Brains really do replay lives just before we die’

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An 87-year-old man died of a cardiac arrest while having continuous electro-encephalography (EEG), where sensors are attached to the scalp to pick up electrical signals produced by the brain. Scientists looked at what happened in the 30 seconds before and after his heart stopped. They identified rhythmic brain wave patterns similar to those seen during dreaming, memory recall and meditation.

Dr Ajmal Zemmar, a neurosurgeon at the University of Louisville in the US, said: “The brain may be playing a last recall of important life events just before we die, similar to the ones reported in near-death experiences.

“Although our loved ones have their eyes closed and are ready to leave us to rest, their brains may be replaying some of the nicest moments they experienced in their lives.”

The study, in the journal Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience, is thought to be the first evidence gathered from the dying human brain in a non-experimental, real-life setting.

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