PSYCH: Studies on birth methods

Max More (
Mon, 12 Aug 1996 16:19:58 -0700 (MST)

Does anyone know of any studies (preferably with good methodology) analyzing
possible psychological differences between persons born the traditional way
vs. those born by Caesarian section?

Some psychoanalysts make claims about the traumatic effects of birth. I'd
like to see some evidence.

I'm also curious as to whether, if there is anything in the claims that such
early experiences affect adult psychology, the birth experience could
explain the frequent reports of a tunnel in near death experiences. The NDE
experience of travelling down a tunnel into the light suggests the
possibility of a replaying of the birth experience. One way to investigate
this would be to see if all people having such an NDE were born the typical
way. If so, we'd have a nice explanation of the basic near death experience.

I suspect that the actual explanation is more likely to be in terms of
traumatic chemical events in the brain inducing experiences common to all
cultures due to shared brain features. There are certain common patterns
experienced by everyone on psychedelics regardless of their cultural
background. One of these is a tunnel-like effect. This might be the same
effect generated in NDE's.

Anyone know of any studies in the area? The NDE is a common argument for the
possibility of life after death. I'm interested in strengthening arguments
against the NDE claim for believing in an afterlife.

Upward and Outward!


Max More, Ph.D. =20
President Extropy Institute (ExI)
Editor Extropy

"I have never lost that humility of soul which is the mark of the truly
great man." =97 A. Crowley