That’s because, researchers say, our brains do their best to keep us from dwelling on our inevitable demise.
A study found that the brain shields us from existential fear by categorising death as an unfortunate event that only befalls other people.
“The brain does not accept that death is related to us,” said Yair Dor-Ziderman, at Bar Ilan University in Israel.
Being shielded from thoughts of our future death could be crucial for us to live in the present.
The protection may switch on in early life as our minds develop and we realise death comes to us all.
To investigate how the brain handles thoughts of death, Dor-Ziderman and colleagues developed a test that involved producing signals of surprise in the brain.
Arnaud Wisman, a psychologist at the University of Kent, said people put up numerous defences to stave off thoughts of death. »