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Author Topic: Is hearing the last of the senses to go after we die?  (Read 20632 times)

Jeff Waddell via facebook

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Jeff Waddell via facebook asked the Naked Scientists:
   
(A bit morbid) , but how do we know that hearing is the last of the senses to go after we die? ...

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 05/11/2010 09:30:03 by _system »


 

SteveFish

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Is hearing the last of the senses to go after we die?
« Reply #1 on: 05/11/2010 13:48:29 »
I don't think that this is true. You could argue that the ear drum (tympanic membrane) will respond to sound for days after death but when you think about it, one couldn't be aware of any sensory information when deeply unconscious, much less when dead.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2010 02:25:13 by SteveFish »
 

Offline rosy

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Is hearing the last of the senses to go after we die?
« Reply #2 on: 05/11/2010 14:46:26 »
People who've been resucitated after their hearts stopped have subsequently told paramedics that they heard them say things like "ah hell, he's arrested", one anecdote here, there are others about on the web:
http://999medic.com/2010/10/28/proof-that-hearing-is-the-last-to-go/

It makes a certain amount of sense that vision would be lost early on, because the retina requires a phenomenal amount of bloodflow to work properly and if blood supply's compromised (as it would be if your heart had stopped) then you'd expect that to be lost (if you've ever fainted, you might have noticed the world going dark..).
Mind you, I've no idea how touch and smell fit in.

Of course, "after we die" is a bit of a vague term. I would say that if someone can still hear then they're not in any meaningful sense dead. Even if someone's heart has stopped, until their brain packs up completely they're not dead... and if they can hear then by definition their brain must be decoding the nerve signals from their ears, and thus they're not dead.
 

Offline JnA

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Is hearing the last of the senses to go after we die?
« Reply #3 on: 05/11/2010 14:49:07 »
I was under the impressions that people in comas have responded to sound. (happy to be corrected) Sound certainly seems to wake us when we are sleeping.

It might come down to definition. I believe that sound exists even if noone is around to 'hear' it.. much like I believe that an orange is still orange even if there is no light. (what colour is an orange in the dark?) so is a sound a sound if your brain cannot interpret it?
 

Offline Don_1

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Is hearing the last of the senses to go after we die?
« Reply #4 on: 06/11/2010 14:36:27 »
Pardon?
 

Offline Donnah

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Is hearing the last of the senses to go after we die?
« Reply #5 on: 12/11/2010 07:40:39 »
I died (briefly).  First my vision went, then the pain disappeared and I felt like my body turned to vapour.  As I felt myself begin to float upward, I heard the doctor talking.  The odd thing was that my sense of hearing took on new attributes.  It was as if I was connected to the thoughts/emotions of the speaker and understood his experience (he was freaking out inside, thinking that I was going to be the first patient who died under his care).
 

Offline JnA

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Is hearing the last of the senses to go after we die?
« Reply #6 on: 12/11/2010 09:09:04 »
"(he was freaking out inside, thinking that I was going to be the first patient who died under his care)."




and were you? 
:)
 

Offline Don_1

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Is hearing the last of the senses to go after we die?
« Reply #7 on: 12/11/2010 09:37:31 »
"(he was freaking out inside, thinking that I was going to be the first patient who died under his care)."




and were you? 
:)


Aghhhh! A post from beyond the grave!!!



 

Offline Donnah

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Is hearing the last of the senses to go after we die?
« Reply #8 on: 12/11/2010 15:17:43 »
Hahaha, thanks Don_1 for my morning chuckle.

I was the opposite of freaked out.........blissful.
 

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Is hearing the last of the senses to go after we die?
« Reply #8 on: 12/11/2010 15:17:43 »

 

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