The neuroscience argument that religion shaped the very structure of our brains

Religion and neuroscience are not an obvious pairing. But earlier this week, a study published in Social Neuroscience demonstrated that spiritual feelings activate the neurological reward systems of devout Mormons. The study used fMRI scans to show that the nucleus accumbens—an area associated with reward—is activated when Mormons who have a strong sense of spirituality carry out religious activities. The same area can also be activated by love, sex, drugs, and music. In this particular paper, the study, with a sample size of just 19, has serious limitations. But it’s part of a young and fast-growing new field that examines the relationship between our brains and religion, called neurotheology. Jordan Grafman, head of the cognitive neuroscience laboratory at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and neurology professor at Northwestern University, says that…


Link to Full Article: The neuroscience argument that religion shaped the very structure of our brains

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