Near-death experiences involve common elements, including clarity, sense of peace, traveling through dark tunnel toward light, etc Most often interpreted in the context of religious experiences Frequency of about 10% of the nearly-dead Unknown cause.
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Hypothesis: Could NDEs reflect altered temporal lobe function?
Two groups: NDE (N = 23) >6 on the NDE Scale
Control group (N = 20) no near death illness
EEG recording during one night sleep
Several paper and pencil tests
21.7% of the NDE show epileptiform-like activity associated with left temporal lobe and abnormal sleep pattern
5% of control group showed similar pattern but over right temporal lobe
Temporal lobe symptoms checklist showed significant difference (p < .005)
So did the Complex Partial Epileptic signs test (p < .001)
In line with the hypothesis, NDE patients showed greater EEG and self-report data implying temporal lobe epileptiform activity than control patients