Skip to comments.Links to Spirituality Found in the Brain
Posted on 02/12/2010 11:54:57 AM PST by serf_and_cotus
Scientists have identified areas of the brain that, when damaged, lead to greater spirituality. The findings hint at the roots of spiritual and religious attitudes, the researchers say. The study, published in the Feb. 11 issue of the journal Neuron, involves a personality trait called self-transcendence, which is a somewhat vague measure of spiritual feeling, thinking, and behaviors. Self-transcendence "reflects a decreased sense of self and an ability to identify one's self as an integral part of the universe as a whole," the researchers explain. Before and after surgery, the scientists surveyed patients who had brain tumors removed. The surveys generate self-transcendence scores. Selective damage to the left and right posterior parietal regions of the brain induced a specific increase in self-transcendence, or ST, the surveys showed. "Our symptom-lesion mapping study is the first demonstration of a causative link between brain functioning and ST," said Dr. Cosimo Urgesi from the University of Udine in Italy. "Damage to posterior parietal areas induced unusually fast changes of a stable personality dimension related to transcendental self-referential awareness. Thus, dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors." Previous neuroimaging studies had linked activity within a large network in the brain that connects the frontal, parietal, and temporal cortexes with spiritual experiences, "but information on the causative link between such a network and spirituality is lacking," explains lead study author, Urgesi said. One study, reported in 2008, suggested that the brain's right parietal lobe defines "Me," and people with less active Me-Definers are more likely to lead spiritual lives. The finding could lead to new strategies for treating some
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
So spiritually minded folks are brain damaged? Nice try, “lifescience” editors. :p
if interested, a couple books on the topic are “the spiritual brain” and “finding darwin’s god”
File this one with “The Search for the Historical Jesus.”
It’s all in our heads, don’t you know?
Oh that’s just ducky.Yet another attempt by atheists to classify the religious as mentally ill.So their idea of normal, is a selfish person, who has a me complex.If you are able to grasp the idea of God then they’ll call you brain damaged. If you go through a devastating injury and find strength in God you must be defective. A good way to justify cracking down on those bitter clingers. HMMM that sounds a bit bitter doesn’t it. Notice how the more selfish you are, the more normal. This could also apply to the subject of abortion and euthanasia of elderly and disabled. If you have compassion and indentify and object you are abnormal, but if you think me,me,me you are healthy.We better wise up and start pushing back against these people are we are going to be sorry.
I’ve always thought it was the “moment of epiphany” the sudden realization that God does exist and Jesus is His son not some sort of brain cell scientist to tell us ....
Well lets see, homosexuality is no longer a behavioral aberration but is considered normal. Now we are told that spiritual feelings are the result of brain damage. Interesting.
They don’t know what came first here, the chicken or the egg.
Whether what they are seeing is cause, or effect.
They can only look at material things anyway, if it can’t be measured and recreated in a lab, it ain’t real and that’s the end of it as far as they’re concerned.
Leary and Alpert wrote similar material in the early 60’s, relating chemical damage of the brain to religious experiences.
Agreed. I would recommend responding to these “scientists” by noting the lack of science in their approach. It is clear to me that this research was conducted on the premise that spirituality can be mapped to a physical part of the brain. Instead, these scientists should be observing and drawing conclusions from the raw data.
Where is the control group? I believe that most people that encounter a life threatening experience and live become more spiritual. If they told the same number of patients they had brain tumors when they in fact did not and then performed a successful surgery (but not really), I believe the same percentage would become more spiritual. It seems cruel to do, but it would yield more meaningful results. That being the debunking of their theory.
Though as our bodies, brains and minds operate through the at least four main forces of nature we are "an integral part of the universe as a whole".
Here's the red flag that this is totally bogus pseudo-science.
Anti-social SamsonEric Altschuler from the University of California at San Diego and his colleagues say that Samson showed signs of no fewer than six of the seven behaviours associated with antisocial personality disorder. Samson routinely got into fights, and once killed 1000 Philistines single-handedly and then gloated over it, showing no remorse. He also showed a reckless disregard for his own safety when he told Delilah, a woman who'd tried to kill him three times before, the secret of his strength. The researchers note that Samson also burned Philistine fields, which showed both his impulsivity and his inability to conform to social norms. He was deceitful, not telling his parents, for instance, that he got honey from the carcass of a lion. And like many people with ASPD, Samson behaved badly as a child: setting things on fire, torturing animals, stealing, and bullying other children. A whole chapter is devoted to Samson's mother being warned by angels not to drink while she's pregnant.
by Alison Motluk
February 14, 2001
don’t miss this...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.