Religious thoughts stimulate same part of brain as love, drugs, music and sex: study

Religious thoughts stimulate same part of brain as love, drugs, music and sex

Religious thoughts, love, drugs and sex all stimulate the same part of a person’s brain, a new conducted by University of Utah researchers suggested.

The researchers led by Prof. Jeffrey Anderson, of radiology and bio-engineering at the university, took 12 male and 7 female devout Mormons between 20 and 30 years old, and studied by under an MRI machine as they focused on religious quotes and videos and prayer.

The researchers were surprised to find that the religious thoughts were activating the same part of the participants’ brains that is activated by romantic and parental love, drugs and even sex. Dr. Anderson said across a broad range of stimuli, it’s a pleasure hub for the brain.

Sharing their findings, Anderson added, “Is it possible that a Lutheran woman in Minnesota reading the Bible and an ISIS fighter in Syria contemplating religious violence may activate the same brain regions, that it might feel the same way for vastly different religious ideologies?”

Moral reasoning and empathy were the other parts of the brain that were impacted by the participants’ religious experiences.

The astonishing results of the study were detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Social Neuroscience.

User login

You May Have Missed...

Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption linked to reduced stroke risk
Tue, 11/29/2016 - 08:48

Light-to-moderate consumption of alcohol reduces risk of ischemic stroke, a fresh review of more than two dozen previous studies suggested.


Nigeria Update

Fresh Polio Cases lead to WHO Travel Restrictions on Pakistan and Syria
Tue, 05/06/2014 - 00:45

World Health Organization has slapped international travel restrictions on Pakistan, Cameroon...

Economy Watch

US Import Prices decline in April
Thu, 05/14/2015 - 01:13

For a straight 10th month, US import prices declined in April. The decline could be due to the...

Health Tonight

A quick look at the disease of prostate cancer
Sat, 11/19/2016 - 09:16

Prostate cancer, a disease that mostly affects elderly males, is luckily one of the slowest...

Science Tonight

SpaceX may partner with Facebook, Verizon on Mars mission
Sun, 11/27/2016 - 07:27

Billionaire entrepreneur & innovator Elon Musk-led SpaceX is reportedly planning to join...

UK News

Researchers find direct link between bedtime media device use & inadequate sleep
Tue, 11/01/2016 - 09:53

Children and teenagers who use mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and computers at night...


Sat, 01/17/2015 - 06:04

Aetna inc., health care company, on Friday announced that it has signed a deal with Gilead...

US News

Microsoft’s popular version of Solitaire comes to iOS and Android
Thu, 11/24/2016 - 10:05

In a Wednesday announcement, Microsoft said that it is launching the popular Microsoft Solitaire...

Technology Tonight

Samsung is reportedly in talks with Lenovo to sell its PC business
Fri, 11/25/2016 - 09:43

According to a report from South Korean, bigwig device maker Samsung Electronics has efforts...