2:15 "Logic with a Christian perspective"
Evolved Atheist @ 1/29/2013 06:33:00 am
PLoS One. 2009 Sep 28;4(9):e7180.
Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.
We hypothesized that religiosity, a set of traits variably expressed in the population, is modulated by neuroanatomical variability. We tested this idea by determining whether aspects of religiosity were predicted by variability in regional cortical volume. We performed structural magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in 40 healthy adult participants who reported different degrees and patterns of religiosity on a survey. We identified four Principal Components of religiosity by Factor Analysis of the survey items and associated them with regional cortical volumes measured by voxel-based morphometry. Experiencing an intimate relationship with God and engaging in religious behavior was associated with increased volume of R middle temporal cortex, BA 21. Experiencing fear of God was associated with decreased volume of L precuneus and L orbitofrontal cortex BA 11. A cluster of traits related with pragmatism and doubting God's existence was associated with increased volume of the R precuneus. Variability in religiosity of upbringing was not associated with variability in cortical volume of any region. Therefore, key aspects of religiosity are associated with cortical volume differences. This conclusion complements our prior functional neuroimaging findings in elucidating the proximate causes of religion in the brain.
Evolved Atheist @ 9/28/2010 12:06:00 am
Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
Multiple variants of the sensed presence often precede mystical and religious experiences that are frequently followed by sudden, permanent changes in self-concept. The model of vectorial hemisphericity assumes that the relative metabolic activity of synaptic patterns between the cerebral hemispheres at the time of transient interhemispheric intercalation determines the affect, content, and type of experience. Depending upon the relative activity of the two hemispheres, intrusions of the right hemispheric equivalent of the left hemispheric (and linguistic) sense of self generate experimental phenomena that include "evil entities," gods, out-of-body experiences, and alterations in space-time. Conditions that facilitate interhemispheric intercalation and the generation of these experiences are discussed.
J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1997 Summer;9(3):498-510.
UCLA-Reed Neurologic Research Center 90095, USA.
Religious experience is brain-based, like all human experience. Clues to the neural substrates of religious-numinous experience may be gleaned from temporolimbic epilepsy, near-death experiences, and hallucinogen ingestion. These brain disorders and conditions may produce depersonalization, derealization, ecstasy, a sense of timelessness and spacelessness, and other experiences that foster religious-numinous interpretation. Religious delusions are an important subtype of delusional experience in schizophrenia, and mood-congruent religious delusions are a feature of mania and depression. The authors suggest a limbic marker hypothesis for religious-mystical experience. The temporolimbic system tags certain encounters with external or internal stimuli as depersonalized, derealized, crucially important, harmonious, and/or joyous, prompting comprehension of these experiences within a religious framework.
Epilepsy Behav. 2006 Nov;9(3):407-14. Epub 2006 Aug 17.
Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N3BG, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
We examined the religious experiences of 28 patients with epilepsy and religiosity, 22 patients with epilepsy and no expressed interest in religion, and 30 volunteer regular churchgoers. We profiled the experiences of the first group, revealing more of their phenomenology, but also their bipolarity, and demonstrated that members of the religious group were significantly more likely to have had past episodes of postictal psychosis, and to have bilateral cerebral dysfunction. We added further data to support the validity of the Bear-Fedio Inventory, and noted that although the experiences of patients with epilepsy are different in content and intensity from the experiences of regular churchgoers, the patients with epilepsy and religiosity conform to those who William James referred to as having, with respect to religion, "an acute fever."
Epilepsy Behav. 2008 May;12(4):636-43. Epub 2008 Jan 2.
Department of Neurology, NYU School of Medicine, New York University, NYU Epilepsy Center, 403 E 34 St., New York, NY 10016 USA. email@example.com
Revered in some cultures but persecuted by most others, epilepsy patients have, throughout history, been linked with the divine, demonic, and supernatural. Clinical observations during the past 150 years support an association between religious experiences during (ictal), after (postictal), and in between (interictal) seizures. In addition, epileptic seizures may increase, alter, or decrease religious experience especially in a small group of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Literature surveys have revealed that between .4% and 3.1% of partial epilepsy patients had ictal religious experiences; higher frequencies are found in systematic questionnaires versus spontaneous patient reports. Religious premonitory symptoms or auras were reported by 3.9% of epilepsy patients. Among patients with ictal religious experiences, there is a predominance of patients with right TLE. Postictal and interictal religious experiences occur most often in TLE patients with bilateral seizure foci. Postictal religious experiences occurred in 1.3% of all epilepsy patients and 2.2% of TLE patients. Many of the epilepsy-related religious conversion experiences occurred postictally. Interictal religiosity is more controversial with less consensus among studies. Patients with postictal psychosis may also experience interictal hyper-religiosity, supporting a "pathological" increase in interictal religiosity in some patients. Although psychologic and social factors such as stigma may contribute to religious experiences with epilepsy, a neurologic mechanism most likely plays a large role. The limbic system is also often suggested as the critical site of religious experience due to the association with temporal lobe epilepsy and the emotional nature of the experiences. Neocortical areas also may be involved, suggested by the presence of visual and auditory hallucinations, complex ideation during many religious experiences, and the large expanse of temporal neocortex. In contrast to the role of the temporal lobe in evoking religious experiences, alterations in frontal functions may contribute to increased religious interests as a personality trait. The two main forms of religious experience, the ongoing belief pattern and set of convictions (the religion of the everyday man) versus the ecstatic religious experience, may be predominantly localized to the frontal and temporal regions, respectively, of the right hemisphere.
Can J Psychiatry. 2009 May;54(5):283-91.
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Religious and spiritual factors are increasingly being examined in psychiatric research. Religious beliefs and practices have long been linked to hysteria, neurosis, and psychotic delusions. However, recent studies have identified another side of religion that may serve as a psychological and social resource for coping with stress. After defining the terms religion and spirituality, this paper reviews research on the relation between religion and (or) spirituality, and mental health, focusing on depression, suicide, anxiety, psychosis, and substance abuse. The results of an earlier systematic review are discussed, and more recent studies in the United States, Canada, Europe, and other countries are described. While religious beliefs and practices can represent powerful sources of comfort, hope, and meaning, they are often intricately entangled with neurotic and psychotic disorders, sometimes making it difficult to determine whether they are a resource or a liability.
Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2010 Jun;12(3):174-9.
Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) School of Medicine, Research Center in Spirituality and Health at UFJF, Rua da Laguna 485/104, Juiz de Fora, MG 36015-230, Brazil. email@example.com
This review discusses the relationships between religion, spirituality, and psychosis. Based on the DSM-IV, we comment on the concept of spiritual and religious problems, which, although they may seem to be psychotic episodes, are actually manifestations of nonpathological spiritual and religious experiences. Studies reporting that hallucinations also occur in the nonclinical population and thus are not exclusive to the diagnosed population are presented. Then, other studies pointing to the strong presence of religious content in psychotic patients are also presented. Finally, the criteria that could be used to make a differential diagnosis between healthy spiritual experiences and mental disorders of religious content are discussed. We conclude that the importance of this theme and the lack of quality investigations point to the necessity of further investigation.
Evolved Atheist @ 9/27/2010 11:31:00 pm