CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- With a packed auditorium at Pinn Hall on the University of Virginia Grounds, the Division of Perpetual Studies celebrated its 50th anniversary of research.
Wednesday's medical hour was based on Life After Death. Topics such as near-death experiences and cases of reincarnation were discussed.
Dr. Bruce Greyson has been studying near-death experiences for almost half a century. He states that records of near-death experiences date as far back as ancient Greece.
"I think the evidence we've been collecting for the past 50 years makes it plausible to believe in life after death; I don't think it's enough to compel one to believe in life after death. I think we've uncovered a lot of evidence that can be interpreted in many ways," stated Greyson.
Near-death experiences occur in 20 percent of all heart attacks. They can include out-of-body experiences, entering a mystical realm, and even seeing and talking to dead relatives.
There can be a few problems when speaking to people about their near-death experiences. One is how reliable the subject's memory truly is.
Greyson said, "I think there is good reason to be skeptical, but as a scientist, I have to look at the data and where the data goes. I can't let my cognitive biases stop me from looking at the data, no matter where the data point."
After studying data between 1980 and 2002, Greyson found that subjects did not embellish their memories over time. He also learned that people remember their near-death experiences better than other events from the same time period.
"In my perspective, the data is pointing towards mind being something beyond just the physical brain," said Greyson.
Aftereffects of near-death experiences include increased compassion and confidence, and a decreased fear of death and concern about material possessions.