Author Topic: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism  (Read 1093 times)

Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« on: November 11, 2020, 07:33:14 AM »
I'm always interested when a psychological process is found to be related to a specific area of the brain.

Study pinpoints neural basis for the interplay between a close relationship with God and enhanced sense of control

A recent study offers new evidence that having a close relationship with God serves the psychological purpose of enhancing one’s sense of control. The study was published in Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Spiritual belief is a fundamental aspect of human culture, dating back to ancient times. Psychology researchers have explored this tendency toward supernatural belief, suggesting that a close relationship with God offers humans a sense of control and a coping mechanism

Study authors Shira Cohen-Zimerman and colleagues wanted to explore this interplay between a belief in God and a sense of control and to investigate the possibility that the constructs share a neural basis.

To do this, researchers conducted a lesion-mapping study among a sample of veterans who had served in Vietnam. The researchers were interested in exploring damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), an area of the brain that has been linked to “emotionally meaningful religious experiences” in addition to a sense of control. They accordingly divided their sample into veterans with vmPFC lesions, veterans with posterior cortex lesions, and veterans with no brain injury.

All participants responded to 17 items assessing their personal relationship with God (e.g., “I can talk to God on an intimate basis.”). They also completed a measure of sense of control which used the item, “How often do you feel powerless to get what you want out of life?”.

The researchers matched their participants according to age, handedness, and general intelligence pre-injury.

The analysis found that subjects with damage to the right vmPFC demonstrated an enhanced personal relationship with God when compared to subjects with posterior lesions or no lesions at all. The group with right vmPFC damage also showed greater perceived sense of control, compared to the group without brain injury.

Next, the researchers conducted mediation analysis to further examine the interplay between lesions in the vmPFC, sense of control, and closeness with God. They found that a stronger relationship with God mediated the relationship between lesions in the right vmPFC and increased sense of control.

“This pattern of results,” the authors report, “supports a model of right vmPFC damage enhancing participants’ sense of control through enhancing their personal relationship with God.”

As Cohen-Zimerman and team emphasize, their study is the first to pinpoint a neural basis for the interplay between a close relationship with God and a sense of control. ...

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 09:35:52 AM »
Almost seems like they are saying that their data shows that brain damage promotes a personal relationship with god.... :santasleigh:

Offline aitm

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2020, 10:02:54 AM »
Wonder if they restructured the study to see how children saw their dad as emotional support, it that would reveal the same. One father for another.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Baruch

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2020, 10:18:37 AM »
Per Dr Sapolsky at Stanford ... mentioned on the post regarding violence ...

There are boring unimaginative people, the majority, and two degrees of mental illness ... the less severe kind is a constructive minority and the more severe kind is a destructive minority, shamen virsus madmen ... all three of these are found in religious behavior:

1. schizo-typical meta-magical vs schizophrenia

2. the daily performance of ritualistic behaviors vs ocd

3. seriousness vs temporal lobe epilepsy

A spectrum of mental illness, like profound autism vs asperger's syndrom.  The amygdala generates the disgust reaction, which produces the individual and collective desire to contain or drive out the extremes ... but society needs the people with the milder conditions.  Mild minority is contained, harsh minority is driven out.

Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline SGOS

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2020, 10:20:40 AM »
These neurological studies that connect the brain to supernatural predispositions are always interesting.  I wonder of theists use them to justify their belief in God:  "God wired us to believe in him."?? 

Of course, that's not what the studies actually show.  Instead, they show how believing in things that have no evidence in realty, appear to have a neurological pathway, in this study a pathway that is damaged. 

Theists call it a gift.  I'd call it a quirk of the brain that comes along with expanded consciousness that gives us imagination among a host of other useful fuctions.  I respect imagination, but it needs to be used responsibly, less our imagination becomes a substitute for reality.

In the case of this particular study, belief in the unreal seems to be associated with a damaged brain, but other studies show that it happens without such obvious brain damage too.  I think most of the time, belief in the unreal is simply due to sloppy thinking, but then I'm not a neurological expert.

Offline Baruch

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2020, 10:24:25 AM »
Christian apologetics are still trapped in the 4th century ;-)  As I have pointed out, everything about people is psychological, which of course includes religion.  If we want to blame G-d, then G-d makes some people religious and some people irreligious, which is great, because then no human need taken any responsibility for anything ;-(
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2020, 08:20:36 PM »
There is a great amount of magical thinking in America these days. I think it may be linked to the longtime practice of dumbing down the citizens, along with the use of pesticides and fertilizers all across Trump country.
God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman

Offline Baruch

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2020, 08:36:20 PM »
There is a great amount of magical thinking in America these days. I think it may be linked to the longtime practice of dumbing down the citizens, along with the use of pesticides and fertilizers all across Trump country.

Normies spoil everything, they are the true deplorables.  I enjoy skillful magic acts, but not the kind that pull 450,000 votes out of Biden's ass.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2020, 04:30:04 AM »
Almost seems like they are saying that their data shows that brain damage promotes a personal relationship with god.... :santasleigh:

In a way, they're also saying that pagan beliefs with no black and white understanding of evil and good is more developed and realist than the so called monotheistic religions. LOL
« Last Edit: November 12, 2020, 05:35:21 AM by drunkenshoe »
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline Baruch

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2020, 09:01:38 AM »
In a way, they're also saying that pagan beliefs with no black and white understanding of evil and good is more developed and realist than the so called monotheistic religions. LOL

Secular people are pagans, minus the gods (as atheists love to claim).  But yes, polytheism is smarter than monotheism, as a demi-god I already knew that.  Be normal and be a drone.  At least with mild mental problems one is better than a drone.  Queen bees of course disagree.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2020, 08:19:50 PM »
The trust and belief in any power superior than you, especially if it is all-powerful, can provide you with confidence and comfort, and relief.


Offline Baruch

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2020, 09:02:24 PM »
The trust and belief in any power superior than you, especially if it is all-powerful, can provide you with confidence and comfort, and relief.

So can the sense of belonging to a group, or an ideology.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2020, 01:35:31 PM »
So can a good bourbon.
God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman

Offline Baruch

Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2020, 02:00:35 PM »
So can a good bourbon.

Jesus was pro drugs
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Mr.Obvious

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Re: Neurologic evidence for God as coping mechanism
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2020, 04:21:15 AM »
Jesus was pro drugs

Drink this wine, for it is lit, fam.
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.

Atheist Mantis does not pray.