These academic papers and scientific research summaries studying near-death experiences have been cited by professors and PhDs.

About the Continuity of Our Consciousness

A look at the content of near-death experiences, the effects on patients, and similarities seen worldwide across cultures.

The Journal of Near-Death Studies

A vast collection of scholarly articles in volumes.

Near-death experience. Evidence for their reality

Results from the largest near-death experience (NDE) study ever reported.

“Reality” of near-death-experience memories: evidence from a psychodynamic and electrophysiological integrated study

A study using EEG (electroencephalogram, a measure of brain electrical activity) concludes that, “…at a phenomenological level, NDE memories cannot be considered equivalent to imagined memories, and at a neural level, NDE memories are stored as episodic memories of events experienced in a peculiar state of consciousness.”

Getting comfortable with near-death experiences. My unimaginable journey: a physician’s near-death experience

A gripping account of a personal near-death experience (NDE) from a prominent physician. This has many of the commonly seen characteristics in NDEs.

Almost 40 years investigating near-death experiences: an overview of mainstream scientific journals

This study found 266 articles about near-death experiences published in mainstream scientific publications, demonstrating that NDE research is extensively published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.

Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands

This investigation of 62 patients is the largest prospective study of near-death experiences ever published.

Distressing near-death experiences: the basics

This review article discusses near-death experiences that are distressing, frightening, and even hellish.

Characteristics of memories for near-death experiences

This study evaluates the phenomenological characteristics of memories of near-death experiences and compares them to memories of a real event and an imagined event. The data suggests that memories of near-death experiences are not imagined.

Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind: A Study of Apparent Eyeless Vision

This investigation into the near-death experiences of 31 blind respondents, including several blind since birth, finds that many reported being able to see during their experience—and that details seen during out-of-body experiences could be corroborated by independent evidence.

Near-death experiences with reports of meeting deceased people

This study of 274 people examines their reports of meeting loved ones and other people to test the hypothesis that human consciousness survives death.

Consistency of near-death experience accounts over two decades: Are reports embellished over time?

This study compares accounts of the same near-death experiences over time and finds that people’s descriptions of their experience do not greatly vary, even after an extended period of years.

Do Prevailing Societal Models Influence Reports of Near-Death Experiences? A Comparison of Accounts Reported Before and After 1975

This study compares accounts of near-death experiences from different years to test the hypothesis that cultural beliefs influence descriptions of near-death experiences. The data provides evidence that a person’s pre-existing beliefs do not affect the content of their near-death experience.

The Near-Death Experience: A Medical Perspective

This study conducted by a cardiologist investigates the near-death experiences of 107 people using standardized interview techniques to catalogue the social, religious, and demographic backgrounds of each person, plus details of each medical crisis event and any recollections of their experiences.

Incidence and correlates of near-death experiences in a cardiac care unit

This 30-month survey identifies near-death experiences in 10-percent of patients with cardiac arrest and that the probability of having an NDE does not correlate with gender, religious belief (or lack of religious belief), socio-economic status, or other demographic variables.

Altered beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors following near-death experiences

This study or 53 subjects investigates the extent and types of their beliefs, attitudes, and values that were changed after a near-death experience. The findings strongly suggest that an NDE, rather than some other factor such as merely being exposed to a life-threatening situation, is crucial to facilitating substantial life changes, commonly called aftereffects.

Near-Death Experiences and Religion: A Further Investigation

This study of 40 near-death experiences finds no relationship between religious orientation at the time of the near-death experience (NDE) and the depth of their NDE. However, a significant correlation is found between the depth of the NDE and a subsequent increase in religious interest and activity.

Childhood Near-Death Experiences

This study of children who underwent a near-death experience concludes that, “the elements of NDEs reported are similar to those previously described in adults.”

Panoramic Memory: A Response to the Threat of Death

This article examines accounts from 60 people who experienced a vivid recall of significant past experiences, often spanning a lifetime.

Features of “near-death experience” in relation to whether or not patients were near death

This investigation finds that near-death experiences are more likely to occur during life-threatening events with increasing closeness to death. Patients close to death were more likely than those who were not to report an enhanced perception of light and enhanced cognitive powers.

A qualitative and quantitative study of the incidence, features and aetiology of near death experiences in cardiac arrest survivors

This study documents physiological parameters such as oxygen status as well as the religious convictions of patients who survived cardiac arrest. Of those studied, 11.1-percent reported memories of their unconscious period.

Veridical Perception in Near-Death Experiences

This chapter from the book, The Handbook of Near Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation, describes Dr. Holden’s study of all out-of-body accounts that occurred during near-death experiences from all prior published scholarly books and articles. The study finds that 92-percent of the near-death experiencers (NDErs) had observations of earthly, everyday events that were completely accurate, without any error, as verified by investigations.

Iranian Shiite Muslim Near-Death Experiences: Features and Aftereffects Including Dispositional Gratitude

This investigation of 20 near-death experiences from Iran finds that the content of NDEs seems to be strikingly similar in Western and non-Western countries, providing strong evidence that near-death experiences are not are not related to pre-existing cultural or religious beliefs.

pop culture refErences

Have you ever noticed how many great movies and shows feature near-death experiences? How many of these examples are you familiar with?


Scholars and authors have filled entire bookshelves with books about near-death experiences. Here are the most informative and respected.



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More than one thousand accounts of near-death experiences shaped the insights in this book by New York Times best-selling author, John Burke. If you’ve lost a loved one, received a frightening diagnosis, or wondered about what happens after death, this concise look at the life to come will bring you hope and reassurance.

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