Does a "transient surge" in electrical activity in rat brains disprove survival after death?
Several media reports state that this study shows that near-death experiences are not real, eg."Near-Death Experiences Might Just Be Brain Fireworks" (The Atlantic, http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/08/study-near-death-experiences-might-just-be-brain-fireworks/278723/) and "Near-death experiences are 'electrical brain surges'"(http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264740.php).Not discussed in the study, or in the media reports, are the extensive findings supporting the reality of the near-death experience, including reports from experiencers about information they could not have learned about otherwise (eg Long and Perry, 2010). Most relevant here is the finding that near-death experiences can occur when experiences are under anesthesia, when brain activity associated with consciousness is not present (Long and Perry, 2010), and when patients have been pronounced brain-dead (Sabom, 1998). (But see comments by Sam Parnia, at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/13/near-death-experiences-surge-activity-brain_n_3745339.html).
Long, J. and Perry, O. 2010. Evidence of the Afterlife. Harper One.
Sabom, M. 1998. Light and Death. Zondervan.
Wambach. H. 1978. Reliving Past Lives. Barnes and Noble.
The Journal of Near-Death Studies, begun in 1987, includes many careful studies of the near-death experience.