It is a known fact of life that everything dies eventually. It is something we see and hear about at all times. Often death plays a pivotal role in stories, both as a dramatic turning point and as the possible fate of both heroes and villains, should they ever fail to meet their goals.Yet despite all this, whenever faced with the knowledge that we ourselves are going to die, we seem to have an extraordinary ability to ignore that fact and its ramifications. This, according to a new Bar-Ilan University study, is not just being in denial, it is in fact, something our brains are wired to do. “We cannot rationally deny that we will die,” the study’s leader, Yair Dor-Ziderman, says. “But we think of it more as something that happens to other people. The brain does not accept that death is related to us.”“We have this primal mechanism that means when the brain gets information that links self to death, something tells us it’s not reliable, so we shouldn’t believe it,” Dor-Ziderman told The Guardian newspaper.The experiment to prove this theory involved scanning participant's brain activities while showing them photographs of themselves and of strangers several times in succession. Half the photos were accompanied by words relating to death. The other half had no such connotation. At the end of the experiment, they were shown a different face, to which some would normally react with surprise, since it clashed with previous photos. It’s this prediction system the researchers wanted to measure in relation to death.The results were that the participants' prediction systems essentially and eventually stopped relating these images to fears of death, so when the new face at the end showed up, there was no registered surprise.The test provides “a prediction-based account of how the mind avoids mortality awareness” and how “self-other perceptual inference mechanisms are actively involved in death denial.” Though it is still unknown how this mechanism operates.