Why was the hit from the first AWARE given more importance?

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I know that it doesn’t bear the same weight as if the patient had seen the target image, but they have verified perception of events, including visual perception, up to three minutes into cardiac arrest. Am I missing something? Years after it was reported I don’t see it brought up by proponents of veridical perception in NDEs.
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  • tim
Pretty sure it's been mentioned here a few times?

It probably doesn't get mentioned here as much because it's sort of assumed the small group of people who post here are aware of it.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • tim
I read up a lot on NDEs and psi phenomena about 12 years ago and only recently found my way back into it, at the time AWARE was ongoing, and now we’re about to see the results of AWARE II published. However the general gist I get from people talking about AWARE it’s that it’s been generally disappointing, so reading up on the results of the first study im surprised they had an OBE known to have happened deep into cardiac arrest.
I know I mentioned it, but that was a long time ago now. I don't really bother engaging in long debates with sceptics or I'm sure i would be regularly bringing it up.

But in the wider community maybe it depends on who one is listening to. For example years ago in the late 70s/early 80s I was reading about the psi research of J. B. Rhine. That was long before the internet of course. Many years later I did a search online to see what progress had been made and one of the first pages I reached basically said, "Nothing to see here, move along please".

What I'm referring to there is that the loudest voices may dominate discussions. Loudness is not equal to well-informed.

Back to that first AWARE study, that case did appear in the published paper on the results. Other people try to distract from that by pointing very narrowly to the hidden targets placed on high shelves. I reached the conclusion with a back-of-a-fag-packet* estimate that given the low numbers of patients included in the study, it might take something like 500 years to gather sufficient data with that experimental design, given that it is always a low priority in a clinical care environment where the care and well-being of the patient is the first priority.

* fag = cigarette
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(2022-12-11, 02:32 AM)xxii Wrote: I read up a lot on NDEs and psi phenomena about 12 years ago and only recently found my way back into it, at the time AWARE was ongoing, and now we’re about to see the results of AWARE II published. However the general gist I get from people talking about AWARE it’s that it’s been generally disappointing, so reading up on the results of the first study im surprised they had an OBE known to have happened deep into cardiac arrest.

That patient saw a doctor, a nurse and them self… we got a cherry picked section of the interview… and absolutely no details about what was verified (I think it said something like the team was checked, not who, and how staff many were actually present etc. So it wasn’t very useful, the verification was frankly useless.

The paper also suggests that hidden secret targets were used up high, so as to confirm the typical up near the ceiling OBE is likely an illusion if no patients accurately recalls the target.

So this study fails to put targets into the general field of view, but at heights above that of the patient, and so lose any possibility of verifying the patients access to anomalous information. Aware II suffers from the same failing, by using a hidden secret target up high, and no other targets at lower levels.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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If I may take the liberty of quoting directly from the published paper which I downloaded from here:
https://ifac.univ-nantes.fr/IMG/pdf/awar..._study.pdf

4. Discussion
Quote:The other two patients (2%) experienced specific auditory/visual awareness (category 5). Both patients had suffered ventricular fibrillation (VF) in non-acute areas where shelves had not been placed. Their descriptions are summarized in Table 2. Both were contacted for further in-depth interviews to verify their experiences against documented CA events. One was unable to follow up due to ill health. The other, a 57 year old man described the perception of observing events from the top corner of the room and continued to experience a sensation of looking down from above. He accurately described people, sounds, and activities from his resuscitation (Table 2 provides quotes from this interview). His medical records corroborated his accounts and specifically supported his descriptions and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Based on current AED algorithms, this likely corresponded with up to 3 min of conscious awareness during CA and CPR.2 As both CA events had occurred in non-acute areas without shelves further analysis of the accuracy of VA based on the ability to visualize the images above or below the shelf was not possible.

Table 2
Quote:Categories 4 and 5 recollections from structured interviews.

Category 4 recollections

“I have come back from the other side of life...God sent (me) back, it was not (my) time — (I) had many things to do...(I traveled) through a tunnel toward a very strong light, which didn’t dazzle or hurt (my) eyes...there were other people in the tunnel whom (I) did not recognize. When (I) emerged (I) described a very beautiful crystal city... there was a river that ran through the middle of the city (with) the most crystal clear waters. There were many people, without faces, who were washing in the waters...the people were very beautiful... there was the most beautiful singing...(and I was) moved to tears. (My) next recollection was looking up at a doctor doing chest compressions”.

Category 5 recollections

Recollection # 1
(Before the cardiac arrest) “I was answering (the nurse), but I could also feel a real hard pressure on my groin. I could feel the pressure, couldn’t feel the pain or anything like that, just real hard pressure, like someone was really pushing down on me. And I was still talking to (the nurse) and then all of a sudden, I wasn’t. I must have (blanked out)....but then I can remember vividly an automated voice saying, “shock the patient, shock the patient,” and with that, up in (the) corner of the room there was a (woman) beckoning me...I can remember thinking to myself, “I can’t get up there”...she beckoned me... I felt that she knew me, I felt that I could trust her, and I felt she was there for a reason and I didn’t know what that was...and the next second, I was up there, looking down at me, the nurse, and another man who had a bald head...I couldn’t see his face but I could see the back of his body. He was quite a chunky fella...He had blue scrubs on, and he had a blue hat, but I could tell he didn’t have any hair, because of where the hat was.

The next thing I remember is waking up on (the) bed. And (the nurse) said to me: “Oh you nodded off...you are back with us now.” Whether she said those words, whether that automated voice really happened, I don’t know. ... I can remember feeling quite euphoric...

I know who (the man with the blue hat was)...I (didn’t) know his full name, but...he was the man that...(I saw) the next day...I saw this man [come to visit me] and I knew who I had seen the day before.”

Post-script – Medical record review confirmed the use of the AED, the medical team present during the cardiac arrest and the role the identified “man” played in responding to the cardiac arrest.

Recollection # 2
“At the beginning, I think, I heard the nurse say ‘dial 444 cardiac arrest’. I felt scared. I was on the ceiling looking down. I saw a nurse that I did not know beforehand who I saw after the event. I could see my body and saw everything at once. I saw my blood pressure being taken whilst the doctor was putting something down my throat. I saw a nurse pumping on my chest...I saw blood gases and blood sugar levels being taken.”

Part of the image showing categories 4 and 5.
   
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(2022-12-11, 12:45 PM)Typoz Wrote: Back to that first AWARE study, that case did appear in the published paper on the results. Other people try to distract from that by pointing very narrowly to the hidden targets placed on high shelves. I reached the conclusion with a back-of-a-fag-packet* estimate that given the low numbers of patients included in the study, it might take something like 500 years to gather sufficient data with that experimental design, given that it is always a low priority in a clinical care environment where the care and well-being of the patient is the first priority.

* fag = cigarette

Yeah I feel as if these studies are almost designed with the hope of failure.

That said, I'm not overly worried. As medicine gets better at bringing people back from the brink, we will have more and more NDEs.

The phenomenon is already part of public discourse in tandem with other parapsychological research, and the increased number of NDEs will just bring more and more focus onto the field as a whole.

If anything I feel like the skeptics are grasping at their last chances to turn the tide against the paranormal. Once we have confirmation that consciousness involves quantum level aspects/processes, we will have the avenue parapsychology needs to close the gap between the non-mental and mental aspects of reality...

IMO anyway. Big Grin
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2022-12-11, 03:41 PM)Typoz Wrote: If I may take the liberty of quoting directly from the published paper which I downloaded from here:
https://ifac.univ-nantes.fr/IMG/pdf/awar..._study.pdf

4. Discussion

Table 2

Part of the image showing categories 4 and 5.

I have the paper on hand, but its hard to understand how this verification is “useless”. Sure, it’s not a hit of the target, but the fact that it is reported in the paper implies all the authors agreed that this was an accurate description of what happened. If this person is recounting events that happened three minutes into cardiac arrest, and this is understood by medical personnel as information that couldn’t have been gathered by the patient in the state he was in (specifically visual recognition of elements that couldn’t have been reconstructed by hearing alone), this is very strong evidence. Hardly useless or unimportant, but it seems to have been largely glossed over and AWARE thought of a failure.

If that’s the logic, then a verified hit wouldn’t be convincing, you’d have to have a patient being monitored with deep electrodes, with all their senses impaired, so as to convince a skeptic. I understand there was no EEG monitoring in this case, but not only do you have to assume that three minutes into cardiac arrest the patient was able to process information, but immediately after confabulate, and moreover you still have the issue of a hit of visual elements.
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Well, it was classified as 'verified' in the paper. There's no ambiguity there.

Personally I think the EEG-measurement aspect is following a separate tack. There are two different things under examination here. One is, do the perceptions described by the patient when observing from outside the body have a factual basis, or are they some sort of delusion/fabrication? A second question is does consciousness persist after the death of the body, which the AWARE study considered in a limited fashion. Sam Parnia has said that he is confident that the individual consciousness persists for at least some short though undefined period of time after death.

The reason for separating these issues out and considering them separately is that even if there was a very lively brain activity going on the whole time, the verified observations from beyond the body are still inexplicable. All sorts of convoluted hypotheses have been proposed, but they are even more incredible than the simple one, that the person really is observing from that location - while apparently lifeless and certainly not having the use of eyesight. The case described by Dr Tom Aufderheide (not within the AWARE study) is another example of an impossible event which nevertheless happened.
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(2022-12-11, 06:33 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Yeah I feel as if these studies are almost designed with the hope of failure.

That said, I'm not overly worried. As medicine gets better at bringing people back from the brink, we will have more and more NDEs.

The phenomenon is already part of public discourse in tandem with other parapsychological research, and the increased number of NDEs will just bring more and more focus onto the field as a whole.

If anything I feel like the skeptics are grasping at their last chances to turn the tide against the paranormal. Once we have confirmation that consciousness involves quantum level aspects/processes, we will have the avenue parapsychology needs to close the gap between the non-mental and mental aspects of reality...

IMO anyway. Big Grin

I hope your right...

...but I notice the world has changed... at least here in the UK it has... healthcare has changed radically... thousands every month now die at home suddenly... they never get the chance for resuscitation. It was never like this before. Euthanasia slowly creeps forward to replace hospice services (Is it MAID in Canada?). Doctors are discussing awareness during resuscitation with regards to PTSD, and how they might ensure people don't become aware. Many procedures are now done under 'twilight' conditions. A whole class of new biological Diamond Synchrotron medications are arriving. I feel we've lived through a golden age of these experiences in the west... and the pool of these experiences will now shrink.

The people I respected on QM have gone, or are going. Nima has never revealed the Kinematic view of his theory in spacetime again (it's buried away in just 2 videos), although his theory is sweeping all before it. Universities are being forced to change, focus on new technologies for the energy transition, computing, new materials, food, pharmaceuticals, and budgets are being cut. Media has changed, google has depreciated forums with considered discussion like this one, replaced by short burst social media which can be frankly toxic and is also easily manipulated by interest/pressure groups.

I think we're balanced on a knife edge... and things could go either way at present.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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