Study Suggests Brain May Affect Religious Response
From a LA Times Staff Writer
NEW ORLEANS--No one knows why humanity felt its first religious stirrings, but researchers at UC San Diego reported Tuesday that the human brain may be hard-wired to hear the voice of heaven, in what researchers said was the first effort to directly address the neural basis of religious expression.
In a provocative experiment with patients suffering from an unusual form of epilepsy, researchers determined that parts of the brain's temporal lobe--which the scientists quickly dubbed the "God module"--may affect how intensely a person responds to religious beliefs.
They emphasized that their findings do not suggest religion is simply a matter of brain chemistry. "These studies do not in any way negate the validity of religious experience or God," the team cautioned.