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How does religion show up in brain chemistry?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Scientists have long speculated that religious feelings can be tied to a specific place in the brain. They found out by studying a form of epilepsy in which seizures originate as electrical misfirings within the temporal lobes. Epileptics who have this form of the disorder often report intense religious experiences, leading researchers to speculate that localized electrical storms in the brain's temporal lobe might sometimes be related to religious experiences. These feelings may be connected to the limbic system, which comprises interior regions of the brain that govern emotion and emotional memory, such as the amygdala and hypothalamus. It's also possible that different religious feelings arise from distinct locations in the brain (and individual differences might also exist).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.