Brain activity recorded as much as 10 minutes after death

Originally published at:


Just like dead fish!


It’s that walking dead pathogen trying to get a foothold.


Ha, because death wasn’t scary enough.

Pain… nothing but pain and coldness. I knew I was dying, but I wasn’t ready for how much it would hurt. Please, god, something, stop the pain.

That light… that warm, beautiful light… I know it’s in my imagination but if I could just reach it I think all my pain would go away… Here it comes, wonderful sweet oblivion!

Oops, wait, no, I’m back in my shitty dead body. Just what I wanted, another half a second of consciousness.

Here comes the light again! This time I’m going to stay within it. Finally, this is the end of my pain!

Wrong again. Wow, you’d think being trapped in a room temperature brain for fractions of a second at a time would be less annoying.

Finally, glorious nothingne–

Ahhhh fuck this is getting old.


This terrifies me. Thanks for posting.


Darkness imprisoning me
All that I see
Absolute horror
I cannot live
I cannot die
Trapped in myself
Body my holding cell
Landmine has taken my sight
Taken my speech
Taken my hearing
Taken my arms
Taken my legs
Taken my soul
Left me with life in hell


Ya’ know if we can only get Brain Activity while humans are alive, well that would be something.


I’ve often thought that suicide is the brain killing the body, and “natural” dealth is the body killing the brain.

And that’s why this post disturbs me.


It doesn’t surprise me.

When learning about CPR, it was pretty much stated that if the brain stopped receiving oxygen for <2 mins, there was a good chance for normal function, 2-5 mins is probably minor brain damage, 5-10 mins is probably severe brain damage, and >10 mins is “almost certainly can’t be revived at all.”

For those people worrying about remaining conscious for those 10 minutes: it should be no different than a sleeper hold, in which depriving the brain of oxygenated blood for a few seconds is enough to render it unconscious.


Yeah, and? I mean it’s cool in the abstract sense, and I know people are going to read all sorts of things into it, but it doesn’t change much for me. If I am unlikely to recover, take whatever is useful and leave me. If it shaves off a couple of minutes of unconsciousness, I can deal with that. In fact I probably won’t know the difference.

Seriously, if bits of me can help someone who HAS a chance, that’s more priority than ten minutes I probably won’t even be aware of.


Research was further hindered by a shortage of volunteers for the next round of testing.


Thanks for the reassurance.

I know I’ll be sleeping better. Waiting for Death to come put me in a sleeper hold.


Well yeah. Of course.


It makes sense. After the cessation of cardiovascular activity, you will have a lack of oxygen arriving at tissues. This means your cells can no longer undergo NEW cellular respiration and thus can’t produce NEW ATP for the cell. But there should be some residual ATP around, and even after you run out of oxygen you have glycolysis and lactic acid fermentation for a while.
Eventually you will enter a hypoxic crisis, and an energetic crisis, but that takes time. Acidosis becomes a problem faster because you aren’t removing CO2, which becomes carbonic acid.
The lack of ATP means you can’t control ion gradients, so cells will swell from shifted osmotic gradients.

All of this takes time. It makes sense that a few cells with proximity to any remaining oxygen sources could fire as much as 10 minutes after cessation of the heart pump.

For those of you who are worried or afraid of this, I think loss of consciousness would happen before the cellular swelling would get bad. You’ll pass out first.

I’m just reasoning this out here. I’m an anatomist and I teach pathophysiology, so I’m probably reasoning pretty well, but any scientists feel free to chime in on time frames for hydropic swelling, for example.


I am pretty sure I will have zero brain function thirty, forty years before I pass.


It sort of seems like it has the potential to be the flipside of the pseudo-debate around abortion and when “life” begins.

Life in inverted commas because the religious fundies and anti-choice clowns keep trying to redefine it.


And that was only one of the many occasions on which I met my death, an experience which I don’t hesitate strongly to recommend.


A good source on this is Sam Parnia. He was actually my doctor (for one visit) so I can confirm he seems like a really good doctor.

This is a good interview with him on Skeptiko

edited to add this newer article that looks good

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Maybe it takes some people longer than others to finish uploading to the singularity? I don’t mean to point fingers, but not everyone I meet seems to be working with a full set of encyclopedias up there.


An n of 1? I want the grant money back.