There are probably few experiences you couldhave that would confuse your brain more than almost dying. Hey friends, Laci Green here for DNews. quot;Neardeath experiencesquot; have been described by people across the world who cameor thoughtthey were comingwithin an inch of their life. What's totally crazy is that no matterwho you are, where you come fromeveryone describes it very similarly. It starts witha warmth spreading throughout their body, absolute serenity and calm, some might evencall it nirvana. Then comes a bright light and a feeling of being detached from the body,as if you were floating.
The number of people who have a near deathexperiences is on the rise, thanks to technologies that can save people at the last moment. Naturally,there's a burning question: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!éé This is a complicated and emotionally chargedquestion. For some, the near death experience is proof of the afterlife. For others, it'sa fascinating neurological question. Let's take a look at this phenomenon through a scientificlens. One of the most highly regarded studies onNDEs comes from the University of Kentucky. They found that some Near Death Experiencesmay actually be something called REM intrusion.
During REM intrusion, the mind awakes beforethe body, which can trigger hallucinations. It's sort of like dreaming while you'reawake, kind of. I covered this phenomenon in my tutorial about sleep paralysis, so if you'reinterested you should definitely check that out cause it's freaky stuff. Because REM intrusion happens in the brainstem,it's possible for this to occur even when higher functioning parts of the brain havegone dead. Building on this research, trauma to the braincan result in a sensory mixup. As your brain struggles to stay alive, all of that chaosresults in an information overload in the
visual cortex. This is known to produce visionsof a bright light or a dark tunnel. The brain also releases a flood of happy endorphinswhich put you in a profound state of peace and calm. And because your brain is responsiblefor orienting your body relative to everything around you, trauma and oxygen deprivationcan cause a sort of out of body experience. This has been observed in lots of people whoaren't having a near death experience as well. Lastly, a new study has been published bythe Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on NDEs. The study was done on rats and found thatafter cardiac arrest, there is a crazy spike
in neural activity. The lead author says thatquot;if anything, the brain is much more active during the dying process than even the wakingstatequot;. Essentially, the neurons go into overdrive as death sets in, causing the brain to gohaywire in a predictable way cue warmth, bright light, floating, etc. We perceive thisexperience with profound intensity as our brain takes a last hurrah before death. I can't decide if this is beautiful or terrifyingor depressing or what. Let me know your thoughts about near death experiences down below oron our facebook page and I'll see you next time here on DNews!
Can Light and Sound Get You High
I love jamming out to a good song, it cantotally change my mood. But what if headphones could actually get you high off your tunesé Hi guys, Lissette here for DNews. You knowthose moments where you put on your headphones and dive into your own worldé Where everythingjust feels greaté Music is often an external expression of our emotion, and we use it toguide our own. But now a Florida startup claims its productcould turn your tunes into mood enhancers. Called Nervana, these headphones allegedlytrigger the release of additional dopamine in your brain. Howé According to the company,the headphones work by adding a lowpower
electric pulse that's matched to the beatof the music. They explain that an electrical signal is sent through the inside of the earcanal and to the vagus nerve, which causes a release of brain chemicals that make youfeel good. Supposedly. Now, there *is* research that shows that stimulatingthe vagus nerve does some pretty weird stuff. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nervein the body. It's name means wandering, and oh boy does it get around. It has branchesnot only in the ear but in the heart and lungs and gut, and it plays a crucial role in regulatingour parasympathetic nervous system. When the nerve receives certain signals fromstimuli, the vagus nerve tells the brain to
release certain neurotransmitters, like calmingGABA, stress inducing norepinephrine, and mood changing serotonin. So by â€œhackingâ€�this system, we could potentially control it. Which is the idea behind these headphones.But they aren't the only gadget on the block claiming to hack your bodyâ€¦ Another product called â€œThyncâ€� also claimsto change your mood by tapping into another nerve. The smartphone controlled wearabledevice includes two strips with electrodes that attach to your head and send electricalsignals to nerves in your face, like the trigeminal nerve in your forehead. A study in the journalEpilepsy Behavior found that stimulating the
trigeminal nerve can help treat depressionand epilepsy, and a peerreviewed study conducted by Thync found that it can â€œsignificantlylower levels of tension and anxiety.â€� One writer claims that Thync gives him a bit ofa pickmeup, similar to a cup of coffee and helps with relaxation. Another interesting piece of tech is a lightcalled Lucia No.3. Its makers claim it can induce a kind of meditative state by combiningflashing bright lights and music. They claim it activates the pineal gland. Which yes,light does seriously affect the gland because it's part of our circadian rhythm it'sresponsible for the production of melatonin,
the chemical that makes us feel sleepy. Andthere's some evidence that maybe the pineal gland makes DMT, a molecule that can triggersome serious psychedelic experiences. So it's plausible that the light works. Anecdotal evidence from BBC and VICE journalistsreveals mixed results. Some say they see psychedelic images and colors, kind of like synthesia,others say it's more uncomfortable and makes their eyes twitch. As for the headphones, well they're on theright track. Vagus nerve stimulation has been around since the 1990s. Researchers foundthat an electrically stimulating device implanted*
in the chest and hooked up to the vagus nervecan help ease epilepsy, treatment resistant depression, and even rheumatoid arthritis.One journalist who tried the headphones said she felt she had reached a personal high point,her happiness was 10 out of 10. So who knows. We'll just have to wait and find out. Dnewslabs anyoneé Some people have orgasmic experiences withoutgadgets thoughâ€¦ for more on brain orgasms check out Laci's old school epsisode hereWhich, if any, of these devices would you want to tryé And, I'm curious, what do youlisten to when you need a pick me upé Let us know in the comments and remember tosubscribe so you never miss an episode of