Religion: God stimulates your brain like love and drugs

The reward centres of the brain light up in an fMRI scanner when devout Mormons report having religious experiences, researchers say. The study authors claim that understanding how religion and reward are interconnected could aid research into religious radicalisation. The researchers studied 19 Mormons who were all former missionaries. They set out to see how the brains of these study participants responded when they were having a religious experience commonly described as “feeling the Spirit”. The participants were shown images, recordings and religious quotes from Mormon spiritual leaders and texts. They were asked to rate their spiritual feelings in response to each of them, while their brains were being scanned. Love and drugs Brain regions that the researchers said were associated with having religious experiences included the nucleus accumbens, which…

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