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Read online The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief.pdf PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief ABSTRACT from a href http www plosone org article info Adoi F Fjournal pone top rel nofollow the full study a .

Background .

While religious faith remains one of the most significant features of human life little is known about its relationship to ordinary belief at the level of the brain Nor is it known whether religious believers and nonbelievers differ in how they evaluate statements of fact Our lab previously has used functional neuroimaging to study belief as a general mode of cognition and others have looked specifically at religious belief However no research has compared these two states of mind directly Methodology Principal Findings .

We used functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI to measure signal changes in the brains of thirty subjects fifteen committed Christians and fifteen nonbelievers as they evaluated the truth and falsity of religious and nonreligious propositions For both groups and in both categories of stimuli belief judgments of true vs judgments of false was associated with greater signal in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex an area important for self representation emotional associations reward and goal driven behavior This region showed greater signal whether subjects believed statements about God the Virgin Birth etc or statements about ordinary facts A comparison of both stimulus categories suggests that religious thinking is more associated with brain regions that govern emotion self representation and cognitive conflict while thinking about ordinary facts is more reliant upon memory retrieval networks .

Conclusions Significance .

While religious and nonreligious thinking differentially engage broad regions of the frontal parietal and medial temporal lobes the difference between belief and disbelief appears to be content independent Our study compares religious thinking with ordinary cognition and as such constitutes a step toward developing a neuropsychology of religion However these findings may also further our understanding of how the brain accepts statements of all kinds to be valid descriptions of the world .

Author Contributions .

Conceived and designed the experiments Sam Harris Jonas T Kaplan Marco Iacoboni Mark S Cohen Performed the experiments Jonas T Kaplan Analyzed the data Sam Harris Jonas T Kaplan Marco Iacoboni Mark S Cohen Contributed reagents materials analysis tools Marco Iacoboni Mark S Cohen Wrote the paper Sam Harris Jonas T Kaplan Performed all subject recruitment telephone screenings and psychometric assessments prior to scanning Ashley Curiel Supervised our psychological assessment procedures and consulted on subject exclusions Susan Y Bookheimer Gave extensive notes on the manuscript Mark S Cohen Marco Iacoboni by Sam Harris, Jonas T. Kaplan

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The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief
Title:The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief
Format Type:eBook PDF / e-Pub
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Number of Pages:9
Category:religion, science, neuroscience, non-fiction, philosophy, psychology, atheism, brain
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Letter to a Christian Nation, Functional Neuroimaging of Belief, Disbelief, and Uncertainty, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, Lying, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue, An Atheist Manifesto, The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief, Free Will
Sam Harris first book i The End of Faith i ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion In the aftermath Harris discovered that most people from religious fundamentalists to non believing scientists agree on one point science has nothing to say on the subject of human values Indeed our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the most common justification for religious faith It is also the primary reason why so many secularists and religious moderates feel obligated to respect the hardened superstitions of their more devout neighbors br br In this explosive new book Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well being viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a moral landscape Because there are definite facts to be known about where we fall on this landscape Harris foresees a time when science will no longer limit itself to merely describing what people do in the name of morality in principle science should be able to tell us what we i ought i to do to live the best lives possible br br Bringing a fresh perspective to age old questions of right and wrong and good and evil Harris demonstrates that we already know enough about the human brain and its relationship to events in the world to say that there are right and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human life Because such answers exist moral relativism is simply false and comes at increasing cost to humanity And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra there can be no Christian or Muslim morality br br Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience along with his experience on the front lines of our culture wars Harris delivers a game changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation, No description available, Sam Harris argues against irrational faith and its adherents, In response to i The End of Faith i Sam Harris received thousands of letters from Christians excoriating him for not believing in God i Letter to A Christian Nation i is his reply Using rational argument Harris offers a measured refutation of the beliefs that form the core of fundamentalist Christianity In the course of his argument he addresses current topics ranging from intelligent design and stem cell research to the connections between religion and violence In i Letter to a Christian Nation i Sam Harris boldly challenges the influence that faith has on public life in our nation