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What Near-Death Experiences Show About Our Brains And Our Beliefs

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Near-death experiences are undeniably difficult to study. And yet a passionate few scientists have dedicated their careers to understanding this phenomenon experiencers say creates an immediate and lifelong transformation. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Dr. Bruce Greyson, a psychiatrist and former director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia, about his research into near-death studies and what the experience shows about our brains. He also talks with Susan Amsden, group leader for the International Association for Near Death Studies in Durham, about what people near death experience, how it changes their understanding about life and death, and what the phenomenon tells us about the human desire to believe.

Jennifer Brookland is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow. She covers stories about the military and veterans as well as issues affecting the people and places of North Carolina.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.