Over the past few years, brain imaging technologies have evolved a lot. We have developed a more detailed understanding of some taboos that have been around for thousands of years. According to the study of Utah University Medical Faculty researchers; religious and spiritual beliefs activate the brain's reward cycles. In the same way as experiences such as sex, gambling, drugs and music.
On November 29, 2016, a research was published in Social Neuroscience.
of believers; How did the experiences they described as supreme work in the brain?
The researchers created an environment that would make the participants "feel spiritual". The member of the "Mormon Sect - a cult with Christian faith" - wanted to identify the brain connections that were activated in the spiritual feelings of a religious group. Identifying the sense of peace and intimacy with God in them is critical in the lives of the Mormons. They make their decisions based on these feelings. and they see these feelings as a "divine" means of communication.
During "Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging" scans, 19 young-adult church members held to evoke "spiritual" sensations
was included in four missions.
One hour of examination,
- 6 minutes; rest, -6 minutes; audiovisual control
-8 minutes; Listening to the words of Mormon and other cult leaders in the world,
-8 minutes; Reading the familiar parts of the Bible,
-12 minutes; audiovisual stimuli (religious reminders)
-8 minutes, again, was arranged to be reserved for word quotes.
During the exam, participants were asked questions during the part of the first oral quotations.(all full time missionaries)
To the participant after each quote; "Do you feel spirituality?" was asked. The participants asked the question; He gave answers that vary as much as "never felt" or "I feel very strong."
The researchers made detailed evaluations about the emotions of the participants who reported that they had an intense worship. The team determined the participants' feelings of peace and physical well-being. At the end of the screening, it was seen that many participants shed tears. In an experiment, from the participants; When they watched a stimulus produced by the church, they were asked to press the button in front of them when they felt that their "spiritual" feelings peaked.
Michael Ferguson, researcher and author of the article; When the participants of the study are asked to think of a savior and think of rewards like paradise, he says that their brains and their bodies offer a physical response to this situation.
in their screening, the brain reward center (nucleus accumbens), which is a critical part of the brain in reward processing and is responsible for actions such as sex, cocaine, methamphetamine and romantic love; activation due to strong "divine" sensations was seen. It was observed that this activity reached its peak approximately 1-3 seconds before the participants pressed the button. and the same situation was repeated in all four tasks. It was seen that as the participants got intense emotions, their heartbeat accelerated and their breathing became deeper.
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