The Daily Mail has an interesting article detailing exactly how you brain’s chemistry changes just before you’re killed by an axe murderer.
First, they say, you’ll feel an intense rush of fear, which is an evolutionary response that gets you ready to react or run away.
Fear is thought it could be controlled by a cluster of neurons that form the PVT, or paraventricular nucleus of something known as the thalamus. This region of the brain is extremely sensitive to stress, acting as a sensor for both psychological and physical tension. ‘When the signal reaches the periaqueductal grey, it switches to a state of alertness,’ scientists say.
Fear triggers the “fight or flight” response which causes your adrenal glands to start pumping out adrenaline. This raises your heart rate, sharpens your senses, and provides access to huge reservoir of energy in order to cope with the threat.
Sometimes, though, the threat is so intense it can cause a ‘freeze’ response instead. This might be the brain being overwhelmed, or it may have evolved as a way of keeping still to hide from predators.
If you do manage to get away from the axe murderer, you’ll no doubt start screaming.
‘We perceive screams in a completely different part of the brain to language,’ scientists explain.
‘Unlike normal speech, screams go from your ears to the amygdala, which is the brain’s emergency centre. It’s almost like the screamer is trying to share with you the state of their brain chemistry.’ Screams are mostly instinctive, and used to cause others to be fearful and react.
If your axe murderer catches up with you, you will likely feel severe pain (duh).
When you’re injured, neurons called nociceptors send messages up to the brain.
Those are collected by the thalamus, which in tries to tell the brain to do whatever it can to stop the injury happening again.
‘So now you’re dead on the floor’, they say.
‘Assuming no massive brain injury was inflicted, at this point you’d be assumed clinically dead.’
But your brain keeps working. According to recent studies, the brain appears to undergo a final surge which can be associated with consciousness.
‘Some folks believe this is an explanation for near-death experiences,’ the video says.
Then comes biological death. And what happens after that is anyone’s guess.
Watch the video below. (via Daily Mail)