Does N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) Adequately Explain Near-Death Experiences?

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Abstract: Some NDE researchers have suggested that because some users of psychedelic drugs have experiences purportedly similar to near-death experiences (NDEs), neural receptors and neurotransmitters affected by a particular drug may underlie out-of-body experiences and NDEs. One of the most recent psychedelic candidates that allegedly causes NDE-like experiences is N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a natural substance that the body produces in small amounts. If DMT experiences are phenomenologically similar to NDEs, then it is possible that the human body in extremis may produce larger amounts of DMT that reach psychedelic experience-causing levels in the blood. In this paper, I explore the issue ... continued below

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21 p.

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Potts, Michael Autumn 2012.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Journal of Near-Death Studies and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 365 times , with 57 in the last month . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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Abstract: Some NDE researchers have suggested that because some users of psychedelic drugs have experiences purportedly similar to near-death experiences (NDEs), neural receptors and neurotransmitters affected by a particular drug may underlie out-of-body experiences and NDEs. One of the most recent psychedelic candidates that allegedly causes NDE-like experiences is N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a natural substance that the body produces in small amounts. If DMT experiences are phenomenologically similar to NDEs, then it is possible that the human body in extremis may produce larger amounts of DMT that reach psychedelic experience-causing levels in the blood. In this paper, I explore the issue of whether DMT might play a causal role in the production of NDEs. The first section summarizes basic information of about NDEs, focusing on their phenomenological aspects. The second scetion classifies theories of NDEs to place the DMT theory in some context of the history of the debate over the cause of NDEs. The following section discusses DMT's chemical composition, physical effects, and psychological effects. The final section explores whether NDE and DMT experiences have a sufficient degree of phenomenological similarity to justify a causal role for DMT in the production of NDEs and concludes that such similarity is lacking.

Physical Description

21 p.

Notes

"[The Journal of Near-Death Studies] is the only peer-reviewed scholarly journal (ISSN 0891-4494) devoted exclusively to the field of near-death studies. It is cross-disciplinary and published quarterly."

Pagination is continuous through volumes.

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  • Journal of Near-Death Studies, 31(1), International Association for Near-Death Studies, Fall 2012, pp. 3-23

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  • OCLC: 14781775 | External Link
  • ISSN: 0891-4494
  • Library of Congress Control Number: 88-648131
  • Library of Congress Control Number: sn 86-2701
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc937961

Publication Information

  • Publication Title: Journal of Near-Death Studies
  • Volume: 31
  • Issue: 1
  • Page Start: 3
  • Page End: 23
  • Pages: 21

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Journal of Near-Death Studies

The Journal of Near-Death Studies is a scholarly peer-reviewed journal devoted to the field of near-death studies. It is published on a quarterly basis by the International Association for Near-Death Studies. The Journal began publication in 1982 under the name Anabiosis which was changed to its current title in 1986 with the start of Volume 6.

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  • Autumn 2012

Start & End Dates

  • 1649~ - 2012~

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 2, 2016, 9:40 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 9, 2016, 2:44 p.m.

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Potts, Michael. Does N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) Adequately Explain Near-Death Experiences?, article, Autumn 2012; Durham, North Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc937961/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .