Study: People are aware of when they die

X-ray image of a human brain

NEW YORK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Researchers in New York say that after a person dies, their brain is still active.

What this means, according to CBS contributors, is that “in many cases they can be aware that they’ve passed away.”

The research has been done by a team at New York University’s Langone School of Medicine. They are studying people who have suffered cardiac arrest.

Dr. Sam Parnia told Live Science “Technically speaking, that’s how you get the time of death — it’s all based on the moment when the heart stops.”

KDKA, CBS contributors in Pittsburgh, cited a report from Live Science, which said the following:

“They’ll describe watching doctors and nurses working; they’ll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them,” Parma said.

The team of researchers wants to find out more about what happens in the brain before it stops working.

“We’re trying to understand the exact features that people experience when they go through death, because we understand that this is going to reflect the universal experience we’re all going to have when we die,” Parnia said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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