Here’s What Belief In A Religion Does To Your Brain

Their research found that those with religious or spiritual beliefs appeared to suppress the brain network used for analytical thinking in order to engage the network for empathetic thinking. Equally, those who were non-religious showed they suppressed their empathetic thinking for analytical thinking.

“When there’s a question of faith, from the analytic point of view, it may seem absurd,” said Tony Jack, who led the research, in a press release. “But, from what we understand about the brain, the leap of faith to belief in the supernatural amounts to pushing aside the critical/analytical way of thinking to help us achieve greater social and emotional insight.

Does consciousness survive death

March 26, 2016 | by Tom Hale

photo credit: Sanjib Mitra/Flickr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The perceived conflict between religion and science has played out across history, from lectures in Ancient Greek pantheons to discussions on Internet forums. According to a new study, the origin of this clash actually begins as a conflict between two networks in the brain.

The researchers came to this conclusion through eight separate questionnaire-studies and thought experiments. Each contained between 159 to 527 adults and compared the results of those who held beliefs in a god or universal spirit and those with no religious beliefs. The researches from Case Western Reserve University and Babson College recently published their findings in PLOS One.

Their research found that those with religious or spiritual beliefs appeared to suppress the brain network used for analytical thinking in order to engage the network for empathetic thinking. Equally, those who were non-religious showed they suppressed their empathetic thinking…

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