Have you ever laid in bed at night and wondered what happens after you die. Is there heaven? Hell? Will I still be aware or conscious? Is there a type of life after this one? Unfortunately, despite the title, there is no real answer to what happens after death. Science, as far as it has come, still can not provide a definite answer of all the mysterious that cause some of the most heavy and dark existential crisis’s of our lives. However, some studies in neuro-biology have been able to give us some ideas of what could occur.
Before discussing the findings of some of these studies we should first make some distinctions between types of death. Legally death occurs when your heart stops beating and all brain function ceases. However even within this short definition there are different times in which different parts of your body shut done and cease to function. For instance clinical death occurs after the heart stops beating however there is more to a person then just their heart. For instance while your heart is the first thing to shut down, other organs are still working, such as your brain. As such, because your brain is not the first thing to go, there are a couple of minutes after your heart stops where you are still legally considered alive and brain activity continues.
During this time, in a bid to gain as much oxygen as possible, the neurons in your brain go into rapid fire. But in this mad scramble they often damage themselves irreversibly. This is why brain damage can and often does occur when someone is resuscitated. As such it would seem that even after death there is a bit of time in which a person still experiences brain activity.
Currently there are a few studies which are trying to narrow down what type of activity occurs. As the brain is the epicenter of the body, there are many different portions of the brain which also seem to shut down in increments, no just completely in one shot. For instance there part of the brain which controls the heart and lungs is different from the part of your brain which controls thoughts and emotions, and clearly even though the heart and lungs stopped functioning other activity still remains. However even if studies are able to shed light on what functions remain there is no telling for sure what a person will experience. Will their life flash before their eyes? Will they go on experiencing things like smell, sound, and sight? Food for thought.
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