Article (Scientific journals)
Neurophenomenology of near-death experience memory in hypnotic recall: a within-subject EEG study
Martial, Charlotte; Mensen, Armand; CHARLAND-VERVILLE, Vanessa et al.
2019In Scientific Reports
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Abstract :
[en] The neurobiological basis of near-death experiences (NDEs) is unknown, but a few studies attempted to investigate it by reproducing in laboratory settings phenomenological experiences that seem to closely resemble NDEs. So far, no study has induced NDE-like features via hypnotic modulation while simultaneously measuring changes in brain activity using high-density EEG. Five volunteers who previously had experienced a pleasant NDE were invited to re-experience the NDE memory and another pleasant autobiographical memory (dating to the same time period), in normal consciousness and with hypnosis. We compared the hypnosis-induced subjective experience with the one of the genuine experience memory. Continuous high-density EEG was recorded throughout. At a phenomenological level, we succeeded in recreating NDE-like features without any adverse effects. Absorption and dissociation levels were reported as higher during all hypnosis conditions as compared to normal consciousness conditions, suggesting that our hypnosis-based protocol increased the felt subjective experience in the recall of both memories. The recall of a NDE phenomenology was related to an increase of alpha activity in frontal and posterior regions. This study provides a proof-of-concept methodology for studying the phenomenon, enabling to prospectively explore the NDE-like features and associated EEG changes in controlled settings.
Research center :
GIGA-Consciousness-Coma Science Group; CHU de Liège - Centre du Cerveau²
Disciplines :
Neurosciences & behavior
Author, co-author :
Martial, Charlotte  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Consciousness-Coma Science Group
Mensen, Armand 
Rentmeister, Daniel
Bahri, Mohamed Ali  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > CRC In vivo Imaging-Aging & Memory
Cassol, Helena ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Consciousness-Coma Science Group
Englebert, Jérôme ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Psychologie > Département de Psychologie
Gosseries, Olivia  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Consciousness-Coma Science Group
LAUREYS, Steven  ;  Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège - CHU > Département de médecine interne > Centre intégré pluridisc. étude cerveau-cognition-conscience
Faymonville, Marie-Elisabeth ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences cliniques > Département des sciences cliniques
Language :
Title :
Neurophenomenology of near-death experience memory in hypnotic recall: a within-subject EEG study
Publication date :
October 2019
Journal title :
Scientific Reports
Publisher :
Nature Publishing Group, London, United Kingdom
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Available on ORBi :
since 14 October 2019


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