The neural correlates of religious and nonreligious belief.

TitleThe neural correlates of religious and nonreligious belief.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHarris, S, Kaplan JT, Curiel A, Bookheimer SY, Iacoboni M, Cohen MS
JournalPloS one
Date Published2009
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Behavior, Brain, Brain Mapping, Christianity, cognition, Emotions, Female, Humans, Judgment, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, memory, Neural Pathways, Neuropsychological Tests, Religion

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 [1], and others have looked specifically at religious belief [2]. However, no research has compared these two states of mind directly.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE