Man with electrodes on his head

Petter Kallioinen /Wikimedia Commons

Brain activity may continue after heart stops beating

Anyone who’s ever watched a medical drama is familiar with the famous “flatline” that appears on a heart monitor when a person dies. But what happens to signals from your brain? A new study in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences attempted to investigate this by tracking brain activity in four dying patients. In three patients, brain activity appeared to stop well before the heart ceased beating, but in one patient brain activity was detected up to 10 minutes after the heart stopped. Scientists were unable to explain this deviation, but suggested it might be an artifact of some unknown aspect of their procedure, writes Discover's Neuroskeptic blog.

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