Posts Tagged ‘religion’

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On the importance of quotation marks

May 18, 2017

It was refreshing to see the word “spiritual” surrounded by quotation marks in this post from the British Psychological Society Research Digest on the effects of psychedelic drugs. As I have previously argued, there is a lot of nonsense written about drugs generating “spiritual” experiences, most of which can simply be explained by the pre-existing beliefs of the participants. If you experience a wild trip you are going to interpret it in religious terms, or not, based on whether you are religious, or not. What does this tell us? Probably not much.

The research used magneto-encephalography, which records magnetic fields at the brain’s surface. By Emma Young

via Neural changes after taking psychedelic drugs may reflect “heightened consciousness” — Research Digest

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Neuroscience for the Soul article published

July 3, 2012

As promised in an earlier post, my article on the field of neurotheology Neuroscience for the Soul is published this month in The Psychologist.

The synopsis follows:

The burgeoning field of ‘neurotheology’ or ‘spiritual neuroscience’ attempts to explain religious experience and behaviour in neuroscientific terms. Research in this field can swing erratically between the extremes of rigorous science and the fringes of pseudoscience in a perplexing and sometimes downright odd way. This lack of quality control stems mainly from the fact that it is a field that polarises opinion – due to the cosmic significance attached to each and every research finding, no matter how trivial, that emerges from the confines of the laboratory. This article plots a course through such research, asking whether there is a ‘neuroscience for the soul’.

Of course, you will need to be a member of the BPS to read it before July 2013. Or you can always contact me. Or watch me in action courtesy of The Chris Worfolk Foundation Lectures

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Neuroscience for the Soul (teaser)

February 7, 2012

I recently became interested in the neuroscience of religion, a field that in more journalistic circles is referred to by the complete misnomer “neurotheology”. I have written a feature article on this topic that should see publication in a fairly popular venue soon. But for the moment, here’s me in action:

Neuroscience for the Soul courtesy of The Chris Worfolk Foundation

Enjoy, its only 48 minutes long.

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