Where is God in the Brain?

ScientificAmerican has an interesting article on the physiology of religious experiences.

The spiritual quest may be as old as humankind itself, but now there is a new place to look: inside our heads. Using fMRI and other tools of modern neuroscience, researchers are attempting to pin down what happens in the brain when people experience mystical awakenings during prayer and meditation or during spontaneous utterances inspired by religious fervor.

This might seem strange, but logically it makes sense. If we use separate parts of the brain to manage different activities, why wouldn’t religion be represented? Is the same part of the brain responsible for all epiphanies, or does religion hold a special place?

I can see people on both sides of the debate getting worked up over this, but to me it’s just the next logical step. The deeper we go, the more things are related. This reminds me of Einstein’s cosmic religious feeling.

Searching for God in the Brain [ScientificAmerican]

Update: Doug Kyle points us in the comments to a documentary investigating the connection between epileptic seizures and religious experiences.


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