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        雙語熱點:瀕臨死亡時,大腦在想什么?研究首次記錄人類死亡時的神經活動

        2022-02-28 06:03:32 GMT2022-02-28 14:03:32(Beijing Time) Sina English

        最近,一場意外死亡的悲劇讓科學家在無意間,首次記錄下人類死亡過程中的大腦活動。這項最新研究指出,死亡時的大腦比我們預想的更加活躍,甚至可能是在回顧一生。

        A replay of life: What happens in our brain when we die?

        Imagine reliving your entire life in the space of seconds. Like a flash of lightning, you are outside of your body, watching memorable moments you lived through. This process, known as ‘life recall’, can be similar to what it’s like to have a near-death experience. What happens inside your brain during these experiences and after death are questions that have puzzled neuroscientists for centuries. However, a new study published to Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience suggests that your brain may remain active and coordinated during and after the transition to death, and may even be programmed to orchestrate the whole ordeal.

        想象一下,在生命的最后幾秒鐘回顧你的整個人生,自己的意識似乎脫離了軀體,腦海中走馬燈一般快速回憶起一生經歷過的難忘時刻。這個過程被稱為“生命回憶”,人在瀕臨死亡時也會出現相似的“瀕死體驗”。在經歷這些“瀕死體驗”和死后,人的大腦內部發生了什么是困擾神經科學家幾個世紀的問題。然而,發表在《衰老神經科學前沿》(Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience)上的一項新研究表明,死亡時的大腦比我們預想的更加活躍,甚至可能的確是在回顧一生。

        When an 87-year-old patient developed epilepsy, Dr Raul Vicente of the University of Tartu, Estonia and colleagues used continuous electroencephalography (EEG) to detect the seizures and treat the patient. During these recordings, the patient had a heart attack and passed away. This unexpected event allowed the scientists to record the activity of a dying human brain for the first time ever.

        當一名 87 歲的男性患者出現癲癇癥狀時,愛沙尼亞塔爾圖大學的科學家 Raul Vicente 博士及其同事使用連續腦電圖 (EEG) 來監測患者的癲癇癥狀并進行治療。但就在監測過程中,患者突然心臟病發作并去世。這一意外使科學家們有史以來第一次記錄了垂死的人類大腦的活動。

        Findings ‘challenge our understanding of when exactly life ends’

        研究結果“對于生命何時終結的看法提出了挑戰”

        “We measured 900 seconds of brain activity around the time of death and set a specific focus to investigate what happened in the 30 seconds before and after the heart stopped beating,” said Dr Ajmal Zemmar, a neurosurgeon at the University of Louisville, US, who organised the study.

        這項研究的領導者,美國路易斯維爾大學的神經外科醫生 Ajmal Zemmar 博士說:“我們持續監測了患者死亡前后共 900 秒的大腦活動,并特別關注研究心臟停止跳動前后 30 并且特別關注了心跳停止前后各30秒的數據?!?/p>

        “Just before and after the heart stopped working, we saw changes in a specific band of neural oscillations, so-called gamma oscillations, but also in others such as delta, theta, alpha and beta oscillations.”

        “就在心臟停搏之前和之后,我們看到了特定的神經振蕩波段的變化,即所謂的伽馬振蕩,以及其他的變化,如德爾塔、西塔、阿爾法和貝塔振蕩?!?/p>

        Brain oscillations (more commonly known as ‘brain waves’) are patterns of rhythmic brain activity normally present in living human brains. The different types of oscillations, including gamma, are involved in high-cognitive functions, such as concentrating, dreaming, meditation, memory retrieval, information processing, and conscious perception, just like those associated with memory flashbacks.

        腦振波(通常稱為“腦電波”)是人類大腦中通常存在的有節奏的大腦活動模式。包括伽馬波在內的不同類型的振蕩波與高階認知功能有關,例如集中注意力、產生夢境、冥想、記憶提取、信息處理和有意識的認知,而此前瀕死體驗報告中的記憶閃回,同樣屬于這一范疇。

        “Through generating oscillations involved in memory retrieval, the brain may be playing a last recall of important life events just before we die, similar to the ones reported in near-death experiences,” Zemmar speculated. “These findings challenge our understanding of when exactly life ends and generate important subsequent questions, such as those related to the timing of organ donation.”

        “通過形成參與記憶提取過程的腦波,大腦可能在臨死時最后一次回顧了一生的重要事件,這一點與那些瀕死體驗的報告相似?!?Zemmar博士說,“這些發現向我們對于生命何時終結的看法提出了挑戰,同時也產生了新的問題,例如器官捐獻的合適時間?!?/p>

        A source of hope

        希望的源泉

        While this study is the first of its kind to measure live brain activity during the process of dying in humans, similar changes in gamma oscillations have been previously observed in rats kept in controlled environments. This means it is possible that, during death, the brain organises and executes a biological response that could be conserved across species.

        雖然這項研究首次監測到人類死亡過程中的大腦活動,但在此之前,也有研究在大鼠實驗中觀察到類似的伽馬波異常。這意味著在死亡過程中,大腦的生物學響應可能在不同物種間具有保守性。

        These measurements are, however, based on a single case and stem from the brain of a patient who had suffered injury, seizures and swelling, which complicate the interpretation of the data. Nonetheless, Zemmar plans to investigate more cases and sees these results as a source of hope.

        然而,這些研究結果僅是基于單個病例,并且這位患者此前遭受了腦部損傷、癲癇和血腫,這些癥狀都使得對數據的解釋更加錯綜復雜。盡管如此,Zemmar博士計劃研究更多案例,并將這些結果視為希望的源泉。

        “Something we may learn from this research is: although our loved ones have their eyes closed and are ready to leave us to rest, their brains may be replaying some of the nicest moments they experienced in their lives.”

        “我們可以從這項研究中學到的是:雖然我們所愛的人已經閉上了雙眼,準備與世長辭,但他們的腦海中可能正在回顧一生中最美好的片段?!?/p>

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