How Does Religion Manifest in Your Brain?

Religion is sometimes thought of as the sworn
enemy of science, but can we actually use science to better understand religion? Now I’m not trying to get into a religious
debate here, so put your Twitter fingers away, alright? Using neuroscience, we can dive into how religion
is recognized by the brain. But first, let’s define a few things: Religion
is a set of beliefs and those beliefs are correlated with activation of different parts
of our brains. That brings us to theory of mind. Theory of mind is our ability to interpret
one’s own and other people’s emotional and mental states — including
our desires and beliefs. Which means, religion and theory of mind may
be connected by people’s ability to imagine a reality beyond one’s own immediate sensory experience. If that’s true, then the same parts of the
brain that activate during theory of mind tests will also activate when thinking about
G-O-D. And that’s just what scientists have found. When researchers asked people about theory
of mind tasks or to think about religion, the same regions of the brain lit up when
put under an fMRI, and neurotheologists –– the folks who study the intersection of religion
and neuroscience –– are interested in why those parts light up. According to fMRI data, the ventromedial prefrontal
cortex, the anterior cingulate gyrus, the nucleus accumbens, and the parietal lobe are
all affected when subjects are prompted about religion. In a study where 15 Christians and 15 “non-believers”
were asked about the existence of the big G, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex lit
up in all participants. This region of the brain is specifically responsible
for reward and perception of self-relevance. Remember “rewards” because we’ll come
back to that. Another region that lit up was the anterior cingulate gyrus. This part of the brain is thought to modulate
conflict, errors, and violations of our expectations. This suggests there was a degree of internal
conflict when subjects were asked to think about a higher power. Even non-believers had this area light up,
because whether they chose Yahweh or the highway, they were still experiencing some type of
uncertainty. In 2016, another study found that when Mormon
participants were in the midst of an intense religious experience, it increased their heart
rates and activated parts of their brains linked to rewards…the same way sex and drugs
do. Please don’t excommunicate me. This is science, I swear. The state is actually called “religious
euphoria” or “religious ecstasy.” The nucleus accumbens, specifically, lit up
like a Christmas Tree … which is another reward center just like the the ventromedial
pre (oh my God this is so much to say I’m just gonna say VMPFC, which is almost worse). A 2010 study found that during religious activity,
there was a decrease in activity in the parietal lobe, which processes physical sensory stimuli. Meaning, when people think about God, they’re
potentially experiencing a feeling of being somewhat detached from their physical body. Does this mean those of us who practice a
religion are succumbing to a higher power? Letting the Force flow through us, perhaps? More research definitely needed. (If I could be a Jedi, I absolutely wouldn’t
be here talking to y’all. I say that as a friend. Moving things in my house.) Science and religion seem to be like Azealia
Banks and staying out of drama but rather than have them constantly at odds, perhaps
look at religion as a thing that developed as part of human social cognition and behavior
over our evolutionary history. The development of our prefrontal cortex over
generations allows us to have that abstract, existential, and/or religious thought. And that’s an important part of what makes
us ‘human’– as our brains were advancing physically, religion and other belief systems
came about to help us connect and understand each other. One common theme across religion is prosociality,
basically “love thy neighbor;” we relate to one another through what we believe. And even if your beliefs are different from
your neighbors’, just remember ‘Theory of Mind’ — our brains have the capacity
to understand and interpret their thoughts and perspectives, so just be good to each
other is all! (Oh, and find out if midichlorians are real
and if they’re found in the parietal lobe ‘cause I’m really trying to use the Force
to clean my apartment. Laundry. Clean.) Yo, did someone say pray…ing mantis? I’m pretty someone in here said praying
mantis. If you want to find out more about praying
mantises, check out this video right here on the mating rituals of the praying mantis. And don’t forget to subscribe to Seeker
for answers to all the questions you never knew you had! We have them. We have all the answers.

  1. We need to stop using the word "belief" in place of "delusion". Some mental trauma has caused them to believe, or want to believe, things are different than they actually are, under the pretense that will somehow make it real. That's all fine and good, but the fact that they actively brainwash children into joining their belief system, or attempt to do so under threat (or often action) of death is a serious social problem. We have a death-cult consisting of 33% of the people on the planet who are eagerly awaiting the apocalypse, I don't know how this doesn't alarm people.

  2. the force of the Holy Ghost frequency. The E L F extremely low frequency… the mercy seat sits in frequency

  3. God's the source of every existence including intelligence and everything science and this science he governed it in a scientific way aswell,,.

  4. I fuckin hate this social justice ass soy boy bitch that moumoufoudou or wtf ever his name is. Im far less likely to watch in the future if he comes back

  5. I believe there is a one creator but not some white haired bearded guy watching us over the clouds and getting mad over people masturbating.

  6. Religion Manifest in my brain just like everything else does. In fact, I believe in God differently than nearly everyone else. I find most Religious people to be cultist. Generally they expect something from God that is never going to happen and use the cult to justify their fantasy. It ends up being a power trip because they were never actually Believers to begin with, so they go off the rails.
    STOP! Take a deep Breath and realize that your personal problems are infinitesimal compared to the big picture. You are here to solve your own problems.God is not your baby sitter!
    Welcome to Day 8.
    Those days are not Our days, because on Day one, we didn't exist. It was never about us. It was about God and Days where God, the Almighty Creator of the Universe exist. In the time it took God to create mankind, Prehistoric Animals may have come and went. Millions of Earth years have gone by.

    Science is merely the Art of Learning the Gifts that God left us. We've got a lot of learning to do. But whatever we learn, it is only temporary. Eventually every trace of the Carbon Based Earthling known as man, will be gone as well as everything we know to be true….which isn't much.

  7. "Science and religion seem to be like Azalea Banks and staying out of drama"

    I AM DEAD 💀💀💀💀💀

  8. I am an atheist. but I went to my friend's church. The priest guy started "speaking-in-tongues" and I felt suddenly weird. My heart raced and I felt like a wave was overpowering me. It is so hard to describe in words, I've never had intercourse or taken drugs but maybe it was like that? It wasn't pleasure, though, it was just a feeling of complete powerless over my body and sensations. Like something flowing through me. I've felt that once before when reading a book about demonic possessions. That time though was seriously weird, and wasn't the same, but was similar. The book said people had to be willing and ask to be possessed, so jokingly I, well, asked. And then that feeling started like I was falling asleep but I couldn't shake myself awake. and it was sudden and out of the blue. I hadn't been tired and it was the middle of the morning. and I felt that same "something flowing through me" but that time it felt like dread. and I felt like I was falling into myself. And it only stopped when I yelled "get out" in my head. and right when I said "get out" it stopped and I realized I'd fallen off my chair and was on the floor and my heart was pounding faster than I've ever felt it beat. I was so scared I couldn't even approach that chair for a few hours. I've never been that afraid before or since. Again I am an ATHEIST but WHAT was that? I don't even believe, is my brain that suggestible? I can understand a sort of placebo effect if you actually believe in demons and glossolalia, but what was that? I've never read of anything like it, I've never felt anything like it again until that guy started "glossolalializing". I really wish someone could tell me why I had those two incidents and what they were. I wish I could take LSD in a research environment to compare the sensations. It just really bugs me, why did I feel that? What was it?

  9. As long as science and professors claim sexual dimorphism and gender are social constructs, support feminism while ignoring issues of men, deny genetics affecting IQ, and side with muslims: then we will dismiss global warming and dismiss science.
    Making America great again


  10. So did you draw the short stick, or did they punish you for forgetting to bring snacks to a department meeting?? 😂 😂 I hope people were nice to you. You did a great presentation. Nicely animated!

  11. “… Science is constantly proved all the time. You see, if we take something like any fiction, any holy book… and destroyed it, in a thousand years’ time, that wouldn’t come back just as it was. Whereas if we took every science book, and every fact, and destroyed them all, in a thousand years they’d all be back, because all the same tests would [produce] the same result.”
    ― Ricky Gervais

  12. You're thinking about the mind of a fictional(according to atheists)/supernatural(according to theists) character (God), so it makes sense that it would activate theory of mind. I bet the same activation happens when you're reading a book and thinking about what's going on in the characters' minds, or when you think about the mental states of hypothetical people who may or may not turn out to actually exist.

  13. As a Christian who has a large amount of knowledge and evidence to back up why I know God exists, it's made me realize how difficult it is to pick a tiny fraction of that knowledge to share in the hopes someone will listen and believe it. So if I were to pick one thing it would be this: The Bible is a record of the ancient Jewish people spanning across 1500 years of history. It details the rise and fall of ancient nations like Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and more. It include specific details about events that took place, individuals who lived, the rules and laws of that era, etc. It also includes genealogies of people so that we can know their ancestry (as it was important to the Jews to know which of the 12 tribes their ancestors were from, as well as who was royalty). It even records Jesus's lineage back 42 generations, from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Judah, to Ruth, to King David to King Solomon, etc. You can read the entire genealogy in Matthew 1:1.

    All of this serves to prove a single point: that the Bible is REAL recorded history. Anyone who says otherwise hasn't done enough research to know what they're talking about. Literally, the Bible is the source of most of the information we know about the past. And if you say the Bible is a "book of myths," then you're literally denying the only history we have recorded for us. You're rewriting actual recorded history saying that it didn't happen, while taking history you completely made up and saying that's what actually happened. Because apparently ancient people were too stupid to witness events with their own eyes and accurately record it, right? And yet they were smart enough to build Pyramids that we still haven't figured out how.

    And besides all of that, the Bible is the only book in existence that contains over 1,800 predictions about the future, claims those predictions were given by God, hinges God's existence on the off chance that every single one of them comes true, then as history pans out we see it being fulfilled exactly as prophesied. For example, Daniel predicted the rise and fall of Babylon, then Persia, then Greece, then Rome, and then that the Papacy would rule for exactly 1,260 years (which it did from 538-1798 A.D). Bible prophecy is not something meant for entertainment. God doesn't tell us the future to be flashy or display his power; it serves a practical purpose: to prove his existence in a way that we can't deny. If you want more proofs of prophecy, I would suggest reading Isaac Newton's "Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of Saint John". Isaac Newton was a pretty smart guy. He invented calculus, discovered gravity and the laws of motion, and discovered how light refracts color, which changed the prevailing view of the time and formed our modern understanding of light.

    Isaac Newton made more contributions to science than most other people ever will. Definitely more than Richard Dawkins, or Bill Nye, or Neil DeGrasse Tyson (all evolutionists). And yet, Newton devoted tens of thousands of hours of his life to studying and understanding the Bible, especially prophecy. He said that "atheism is so senseless". If I were to bet my soul on Isaac Newton or Richard Dawkins being right, I'd pick Isaac Newton any day.

    So if you're an atheist reading this, I just want you to know that you're wrong, and Isaac Newton thinks so too. And so does literally all of recorded history.

  14. Even if god actually exists why is he all loving but at the same time he wants to kill people because of how they are? Or that they should burn in hell for not believing in him? Free will isn't convincing me.

  15. What’s funny is that religious books are the only thing that shows “proof” of god. Anyone could have wrote that book… my great, great, great, great, great grandfather could have wrote that.

  16. I believe in God, I'm an Orthodox Christian. But I'm not religious. I only bring the 10 commandments or the religious as my principle of life.

  17. Its not about religion, the fact is that every human being is spiritual and we all have different spiritual experience no matter the belief. At the end of the day wether you like it or not , we all deeply crave spiritual awareness just like physical food.

  18. This is my first time seeing this host… I think. I more listen than watch. I like 'em he seems more comfortable being filmed.

  19. I have had this question for a while. Even if some high power God might have created us and our beginnings are from its creation, what about the origin of God itself? Everything in this Universe has its source, some form of energy. People just believe and follow what's written on the holy books but do anyone every question this? Wouldn't you want to know?

  20. Religion is a mental illness. That needs to be completly and utterly destroyed. The most common mental illness is called "Christianity". We need to destroy that mental illness first.

  21. As I am Asian and English is not my primary language, with full respect to the anchor, its hard to comprehend what he speaking. He is Speaking to fast, Please revert back to previous presenter for global videos. Please don't get me wrong and sorry for my bad English.


  23. There is no good, there is no evil. In the beginning we were one. God is an alien. The god Christians believe is the natural flow of the universe aka karma aka fungshway. We're made in the image of alien beings, because god is extraterrestrial. Alien doesn't mean grey little man with big eyes. Media is a lie. Throw away your tvs.

  24. some researches exist to "prove and just prove" one idea and used money in case the science don't accept that…
    i feel this one is one of them

  25. preaching influencing or otherwise using religion in any way should be a crime all churches should be destroyed all major religious figures should be imprisoned or killed and anyone stupid enough to believe such obvious bullshit are of no use to humanity and should be eradicated or banished being stupid is inexcusable and endangers everyone political correctness and equality will be the downfall of humanity

  26. Great video! I was looking for this exact info! Thanks for the links.

    One note of feedback: way to fast for me. The performance was fantastic, so maybe add in more beats and asides in editing to ease the pace.

    May the force be with you!

  27. "Neurotheologist" are you joking? First and foremost, there is no such mainstream discipline as neurotheology. Unless perhaps you graduated from Oral Roberts School of Medicine. Seriously, recent advances in neuroimaging (fMRI) have allowed scientists to identify particular areas of the brain, such as the limpic system, which among others, respond to mystic (religious) stimulation. That said, science is not trying to prove the existence of god or not, but attempting to better understand how and why mysticism continues to be such a large part of the human psyche. So, "neurotheology" is a neologism for nonsense.

  28. It's really quite simple: Mankind invented god, then god invented the universe and all within it. The only thing left to ponder is why?

  29. Religion (and spirituality) are a coping mechanism to cope with the fear of that we very well may never fully understand. It only lost it's purpose and is a cause of many signs of mental illnesses.

    Ofcourse feeling totally religious and the belief of being in contact with something that does not exist causes dissociative behaviour. It can trigger a huge amound of mental power to extremely fantasize, that's only natural and does not need to inflict your mental state in a bad way. Dissociative behaviour can really bring you in a state of feeling high. When it's not part of a dissorder, disconnecting your brain from your body could be a euphoric state to be in and is kinda addictive like drugs! It's just getting dangerous when people feel the need to convince others they made contact with God or something instead of having a dissociative mind-trip. Keep the joy to yourself please, and no one needs to get frustrated. It's often the fear of going to hell and demons and stuff that makes religious people go insane so easily. When the dissociative mind-trips get a dark twist, which happens a lot in religious people, we get poopiebrains and the coocoo's.

    It's simple, logical, and people tend to make this far more complex then it really is. I love this youtube channel but these kinds of video's are quite irritating tbh😅
    *sry for bad english

    P.s. i'm totally for expoiting dissociative behaviour! It's a great way to escape reality without needing drugs or alcohol. I know a lot of special magical people would be very angry, because visiting "other worlds" would be totally normal, but it is a really fun way to develop your fantasy and be creative and stuff! I think it can be done in a healthy way when being educated propperly and can even bring warning signs of ,for example, psychosis earlier to light!i think it may very well be a way to train our minds to beat certain mental illnesses and decrease pain and suffering. O and relief stress! < big one! Stronger minds make a healthier society!

  30. I respect all religions because i believe in respect begets respect. I am born catholic and its not a brand, nor human tag. Im not active not even practising it as well, everything they say dont do this and that i just hear it and goes into onther ear. But u wont hear me saying bad words againt it. Im not an idiot to believe that jesus will save me if i pray. And take note that non of it words affect my everyday life. U dont have basic morals not to kill, steal? So u can blame religions and the problems will be the same. Its ur parents and u is the problems. How u take knowledge, information is the problems, if u dont have normal brain to properly process, the way u recieve information can affect ur life. Once again its not religion but ur brain processor is the problem.

  31. Thanks! Religion & science are not – or at least, should not – be sworn enemies. They both seek answers to some of life's deepest questions; they just go about it in different ways. Sometimes, religious leaders of some religions will publicly pick on science; mostly to get attention (I think.) But most people have little or no trouble reconciling their religious (or spiritual) beliefs with everyday science. It's unfortunate that those very few dissenters behave that way; I feel they give both science and religion a bad name. These two domains of human thought & endeavor need to respect each other. There's absolutely no real reason why the two can't coexist (much like that bumper sticker says.) Thanks again. 𝓡𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲 𝓣𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲.

  32. Religion represents the inner consciousness of Man. God represents the good side of your consciousness and The Devil represents the evil side of your consciousness. The other Gods are the smaller details of your consciousness. The evil gods are on The Devil side and the good gods are on God's side.

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