Throughout the ages, cultures and religions have tried to explain the concept of an afterlife to the masses. Each group cultivated its own beliefs and ideas, which then spread throughout the world. Many of these concepts are very similar to each other, though at other times they can be significantly different. In the last few centuries science has taken a major role in organizing research into the possibilities of life continuing after the death of the body. Outside of religious and cultural barriers, more in-depth scientific research continues into the possibility of continued consciousness beyond the grave.