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A Neurobiological Model for Near-Death Experiences

Description: Article presenting a neurobiological model for near-death experiences (NDEs) in an attempt to correlate the biological and psychological domains. This model is based on temporal lobe dysfunction, hypoxia/ischemia, stress, and neuropeptide/neurotransmitter imbalance.
Date: Summer 1989
Creator: Saavedra-Aguilar, Juan C. & Gomez-Jeria, Juan S.

Clinical Approaches to the Out-of-Body Experience

Description: Abstract: The author reviews aspects of the out-of-body experience (OBE) related to psychic experiences and personality traits, and describes a continuum of experiences of altered mind/body perception, from the prototypical OBE on the healthy end to schizophrenia and organic brain syndromes on the other end. The impact of the OBE on the individual's life is described, with suggestions for a psychoeducational approach to the clinical management of the patient with an OBE to allow maximum growth from the consciousness-expanding effects of the experience.
Date: Autumn 1989
Creator: Twemlow, Stuart W.

Near-Death Experiences: A Neurophysiological Explanatory Model

Description: Abstract: Prior hypotheses as to the etiology of near-death experiences (NDEs) have been limited to psychiatric explanations or brief discussions of endorphins as causative agents. We present a neurophysiological explanation for NDEs based on their similarities with lysergic acid-, ketamine-, and hypercampnia-induced hallucinations. We believe the core NDE is genetically imprinted and triggered by serotonergic mechanisms.
Date: Autumn 1989
Creator: Morse, Melvin L.; Venecia, David, Jr. & Milstein, Jerrold

The Physiology of the Tunnel

Description: Article describing several theories to account for the origin of tunnel hallucinations and tunnel experiences near death: (1) the idea of a "real" tunnel; (2) representations of transition; (3) reliving birth memories; (4) imagination; and (5) physiological origins. Three different physiological theories are considered that relate the tunnel form to the structure of the visual cortex.
Date: Autumn 1989
Creator: Blackmore, Susan J. & Troscianko, Tom S.

Assessing Psychologists' Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Near-Death Phenomena

Description: Abstract: Nina Thornburg's (1988) Near-Death Phenomena Knowledge and Attitudes Questionnaire was distributed to 326 randomly selected Illinois psychologists. Of 117 usable questionnaires received, the mean score for knowledge questions was 7.5 of a maximum score of 18. Respondents were most knowledgeable about near-death elements of peace, out-of-body transcendence, and tunnel/light phenomena. The mean score for the attitude portion of the instrument was 61.3 of a maximum score of 85 points for the most positive attitude. Seven percent of the respondents indicated having had a near-death experience, 19% indicated having counseling near-death experiencers, and 28% indicated having had personal contacts with an experiencer.
Date: Winter 1989
Creator: Walker, Barbara A. & Russell, Robert D.

Editorial: Can Science Explain the Near Death Experience?

Description: Article discussing empirical questions about near-death experiences (NDEs) that can be explored by the scientific method. Scientific study poses risks both to NDErs and to our understanding of the NDE itself. However, because the NDE allows unique access to information about consciousness and death, those risks are outweighed by the benefits to NDErs and to humanity derived from a scientific description of NDErs.
Date: Winter 1989
Creator: Greyson, Bruce

Psychic Phenomena Following Near-Death Experiences: An Australian Study

Description: Study examining the incidence of reports of psychic phenomena and associated beliefs both before and after the near-death experience (NDE). The near-death experiencers interviewed reported no more psychic phenomena before the NDE than the general population. There was a statistically significant increase following the NDE in the incidence of 14 of 15 items examined.
Date: Winter 1989
Creator: Sutherland, Cherie

Community Attitudes Toward Near-Death Experiences: A Chinese Study

Description: Abstract: In a survey of Chinese attitudes toward near-death experiences (NDEs), 197 respondents were read a hypothetical description of an NDE and asked to choose from a range of explanations and social reactions that might approximate their own. Fifty-eight percent of respondents believed that NDEs were probably hallucinations or dreams. Less than nine percent believed the NDE was evidence of life after death. Rural and younger persons were more likely to react positively to NDErs. The results are discussed with reference to an earlier Australian study by Kellehear and Heaven (1989).
Date: Spring 1990
Creator: Kellehear, Allan; Heaven, Patrick & Gao, Jia

Guest Editorial: The Near-Death Experience: An Ancient Truth, a Modern Mystery

Description: Article discussing the near-death experience (NDE) as an experience of wholeness, an adventure in consciousness, and a metaphoric encounter with light. It links theoretical physics with the occult, the Primordial Tradition, and various religious belief systems. Where science sees mystery, religion sees metaphoric truth; the NDE as spiritual quest and physical encounter beckons to both disciplines for explanation.
Date: Spring 1990
Creator: Fenske, Elizabeth W.

Near-Death Encounters with and without Near-Death Experiences: Comparative NDE Scale Profiles

Description: Abstract: In a retrospective study contrasting the near-death encounters of 183 persons who reported near-death experiences and 63 persons who reported no near-death experience, the two groups did not differ in age, gender, or time elapsed since the near-death encounter. Near-death experiencers reported all 16 items of the NDE Scale significantly more often than did nonexperiencers.
Date: Spring 1990
Creator: Greyson, Bruce

The Near-Death Experience and the Taoism of Chuang Tzu

Description: Article comparing excerpts from Chuang Tzu's writings and the descriptions of near-death experiencers (NDErs). Similarities between the beliefs of NDErs and those of Taoist patriarch Chuang Tzu suggest that NDErs have experienced a kind of awakening that leads them to reject conventional attitudes toward life and death.
Date: Spring 1990
Creator: Hermann, E. J.

Near-Death Experience by Proxy: A Case Study

Description: Abstract: A recent interview with a 34-year-old man, currently serving a life sentence for murder, revealed a remarkable case of "near-death experience by proxy." The phenomenological features of the experience unfolded typically, with some slight variation in content. The immediate drastic changes in attitude and belief following the experience are described.
Date: Summer 1990
Creator: Sutherland, Cherie

The Omega Project: An Empirical Study of the NDE-Prone Personality

Description: Article discussing a questionnaire given to near-death experiencers (NDErs) and persons interested in NDEs, assessing the role of psychological factors in influencing susceptibility to NDEs and to measure aftereffects stemming from such events.
Date: Summer 1990
Creator: Ring, Kenneth & Rosing, Christopher J.

Changes in Religious Beliefs, Attitudes, and Practices Following Near-Death Experiences: An Australian Study

Description: Abstract: This study examined changes in religious beliefs, attitudes, and practices in the lives of 50 near-death experiencers. I attempted to clarify whether these changes were to greater religiousness or to a deeper spirituality. I found that before the near-death experience (NDE), my respondents were no more religious or spiritually inclined than the general Australian population. Following the NDE there was a statistically significant shift towards spirituality on most items investigated.
Date: Autumn 1990
Creator: Sutherland, Cherie

Extrasensory Perception, Near-Death Experiences, and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge

Description: Article discussing the following issue: If mental state can influence the external world, or if alternate dimensions of reality are accessible only in certain mental states, then important aspects of the universe are unknowable with current scientific tools. Near-death studies suggest that both those conditions may occur. Thus the exploration of NDE-like phenomena requires a radically new scientific paradigm.
Date: Autumn 1990
Creator: Becker, Carl B.

Guest Editorial: Thomas Kuhn Revisited: Near Death Studies and Paradigm Shifts

Description: Article purporting that near-death studies can be viewed within a theoretical framework of "paradigms" and "paradigm shifts" as explicated by Thomas Kuhn. Assuming the validity of Kuhn's model, it hypothesizes that the paradigm of today's "normal science" is shifting to a new paradigm to accommodate data from near-death studies.
Date: Autumn 1990
Creator: Serdahely, William J.

Near-Death Experiences and the Measurement of Blood Gases

Description: Abstract: Although cerebral anoxia is not thought to be responsible for triggering near-death experiences (NDEs), the issue is not so clear in the case of hypercapnia. Detection of normal blood gases in Michael Sabom's (1982) case study seems to be the major reply to suggest that hypercapnia may have a causal role in NDEs. We argue, however, that routine arterial measures of blood gases are not a reliable indicator of cerebral levels.
Date: Autumn 1990
Creator: Gliksman, Michael D. & Kellehear, Allan

Near-Death Verdicality Research in the Hospital Setting: Problems and Promise

Description: Study of near-death verdicality in the hospital setting. The paper describes problems, both anticipated and unanticipated, that were encountered. Based on the successes and failures of this undertaking, recommendations for future research of this type are presented.
Date: Autumn 1990
Creator: Holden, Janice Miner & Joesten, Leroy