We've seen it in comedies - someone is decapitated, but still talking - usually scolding or lecturing in some way. Now, a new study shows that the brain may live on after being separated from the body, at least for a while, reports LiveScience.
In a strange twist in logic, researchers at Raboud University Nijmegan in the Netherlands who were concerned about the ethics of killing lab rats through decapitation decided to study that very thing - by killing lab rats through decapitation. They wanted to find out whether awake rats suffer or swiftly fell unconscious.
Their study found that the EEG, which measures brains electrical activity, went dead about 17 seconds after decapitation (and it appeared the rat was unconscious after about 4 seconds). But then a minute later, they noticed a large electrical wave go through the brain, reports LiveScience. They called it the "wave of death," which sounds pretty final, which researchers thought it was.
But now neurologist Michel van Putten of the University of Twente in the Netherlands and his colleagues have published a paper suggesting it's not the final act of the brain before permanently shutting down. Using a computer model, they decided that brain cells could be revived if given oxygen and glucose.
Either way, there still seems to remain a fairly severe impairment - the lack of the rest of the body.
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