The study of the human mind and consciousness has for many years been somewhat neglected. Although, the reasons for this are probably numerous, the most likely factors are a combination of the difficulty in studying the human mind itself, a completely undiscovered entity so far, together with the difficulties in defining ‘death’ itself as well as the philosophical and theological connotations that people associate with ‘near death experiences’ and the dying process in general.
These factors combined have meant that there has been relatively little research carried out in this field since near death experiences were first described over 30 years ago. At the end of the 1990’s it was proposed to use the cardiac arrest model to objectively study the dying process and in particular the relation of the mind and consciousness at that time with physiological processes occuring within the body (click here for more details) .
Today, to our disappointment, there is still very little research that is going on into this process, however current research proposols are centred largely around objective testing of claims of ‘conscious’ awareness and the ability to ‘see’ from a vantage point above. Attempts are being made to test this fascinating aspect of NDE using random hidden image makers. Others areas of interest include the psychological profile of people who have near death experiences as well as attempts to potentially discover the biological mediators and pathways that are involved in the near death experience.
One of the biggest obstacles to making potentially ground breaking discoveries has so far been a relative lack of financial support, however with the appropriate studies in place, this area of research promises to be one of the most exciting areas of medical research. .