Journal of Near-Death Studies

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 45–53 | Cite as

Near-death experiences: A neurophysiologic explanatory model

  • Melvin L. Morse
  • David VeneciaJr.
  • Jerrold Milstein


Prior hypotheses as to the etiology of near-death experiences (NDEs) have been limited to psychiatric explanations or brief discussions of endorphins as causative agents. We present a neurophysiological explanation for NDEs based on their similarities with lysergic acid-, ketamine-, and hypercapnia-induced hallucinations. We believe the core NDE is genetically imprinted and triggered by serotonergic mechanisms.


Ketamine Causative Agent Explanatory Model Lysergic Acid Prior Hypothesis 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melvin L. Morse
    • 1
    • 2
  • David VeneciaJr.
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jerrold Milstein
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics at the University of WashingtonSeattle
  2. 2.Children's Orthopedic Hospital and Medical CenterSeattle

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