Skip to comments.Scientists Find 'Spirituality' Center of Brain
Posted on 02/12/2010 10:03:52 PM PST by TBP
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.
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.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
The story says that self-transcendence is "a somewhat vague measure of spiritual feeling, thinking, and behaviors." I'd say it's probably not as vague as the scientists seem to think it is. I'd say it's a pretty good correlation.
“Scientists have identified areas of the brain that, when damaged, lead to greater spirituality.”
Sounds to me like they are saying if you believe in anything spirtual or religious you are a few cards short of a full deck.
Ahhh... looks like they figured out which part of the brain generates pride.
I am all for science and spirituality coming together. However, I fail to see how spirituality can be quantitized and measured scientifically. I wonder what my ST score is?
The spiritual experiences I have had, and the many I have read about, involved an enhanced sense of self, but a transcendence of petty ego concerns. Maybe the language gets in the way of speaking about spiritual experiences. To feel oneself as a seamless part of the cosmos is hardly a 'selfless' feeling.
I read the whole article, and found that the enhanced spirituality came after brain tumors were removed. I find it hard to believe that 'selective damage' to any part of the brain is beneficial.
In deep prayer or meditation, the normal activities of the brain are turned off, directing one's attention inward. But to achieve this by deliberately damaging the brain makes as much sense to me as losing weight through colon bypass surgery. No self-control or mental concentration is required.
Of course, those of us in New Thought view ourselves that way anyway. It's one of the movement's basic principles.
Could you tell me more about New Thought? Or provide a link? It sounds interesting.
Spirituality indicates brain damage?
Only athiests are "normal?"
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
I’m not even sure this is worthy of comment but did I miss something here? Isn’t this twisted logic? Didn’t they get it wrong?
If a portion of the brain is destroyed and spirituality increases ...how can that part of the brain be ‘responsible’ for spirituality?
An obsessive or out of balance me focus . . . the opposite of spirituality . . .
. . . a bit of a familiar notion . . .
sounds like a book I read . . .
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.