The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

For the discussion of spirituality -- from LDS and non-LDS sources
User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 6757
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

Post by SilentDawning » 30 Nov 2016, 21:06

The article indicates the part of the brain that was simulated by the spiritual experience is the same part of the brain that lights up during drug use or other thrill-related sensory input.

I see the lighting up of the brain as an indication of the PERCEPTION of the JS story as something thrilling, magical, or spiritual, not as it actually being a proven spiritual experience.

To me, it proves very little other than the movie has a lot in common with other high sensory experiences people have. It doesn't prove the existence of the spirit.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 5913
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Dec 2016, 05:09

SilentDawning wrote:The article indicates the part of the brain that was simulated by the spiritual experience is the same part of the brain that lights up during drug use or other thrill-related sensory input.

I see the lighting up of the brain as an indication of the PERCEPTION of the JS story as something thrilling, magical, or spiritual, not as it actually being a proven spiritual experience.

To me, it proves very little other than the movie has a lot in common with other high sensory experiences people have. It doesn't prove the existence of the spirit.
I agree SD. To me it's a lot more about emotional response and perhaps even confirmation bias than anything else. As I said earlier, I doubt a devout member of any other church would have similar reactions to some of the things these young men and women did. Members of other churches do claim to have spiritual experiences and even use the terminology of feeling the spirit or being moved by the spirit or Holy Ghost. I am particularly thinking of some Pentecostal and Evangelical people I have known over the years and some "charismatic" services of different churches I have attended. I believe that they believe they have spiritual experiences in the the same way Mormons believe they do, and I think these others would not have the same reaction as devout members if shown the First Vision video. It would be very interesting to see.

At least in this life, perception is reality for almost all of us.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 6757
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

Post by SilentDawning » 02 Dec 2016, 08:22

I think it would be interesting to have a control group that watches something a-religious, such as documentary on sea creatures, an experimental A group where Mormons watch the JS story, and an B group where some muslims or hindus watch a movie that is generally regarded as spirital.

I would suspect that both the A and B experimental groups would have their brains light up due to the perception of spirituality within their own religion.

Another interesting experimental design would be to then have the Hindus or Muslim group watch the JS story, and the Mormons watch the Hindu/Muslim video, and see what impact that has on the brain.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 6865
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

Post by Heber13 » 02 Dec 2016, 10:11

Reuben wrote:
Albus Percival Wolfric Brian Dumbledore wrote:Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?
That said, I'd love to see some follow-up studies, too.
:thumbup:

I wonder if they'll do studies with controls and other elements, not just "spiritual experience". What about comparing to emotional experiences? Artistic expressions? Mathmatical proofs?

How the brain works is fascinating.

I'm not sure science is the right realm for proving things spiritual.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2846
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

Post by LookingHard » 02 Dec 2016, 12:50

Heber13 wrote:I'm not sure science is the right realm for proving things spiritual.
I agree with that whole-hardheartedly. I think even some TBM's would agree with that, but probably not the same way I think of it.

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 3656
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

Post by nibbler » 02 Dec 2016, 14:17

When the science is against our beliefs we say spiritual things are only discerned with the spirit. When the science supports our beliefs: cool, there's the proof. ;)

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2846
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

Post by LookingHard » 03 Dec 2016, 06:52

I just watched a PBS Nova show on "Memory Hackers" (you can possibly watch it here) VERY interesting. I have thought about how that interplays with the church and just checking if anybody else has watched it.

Cnsl1
Posts: 210
Joined: 05 Jan 2009, 01:33

Re: The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

Post by Cnsl1 » 04 Dec 2016, 01:06

Very interesting study that hopefully leads to several follow-up experiments. I love putting anything to the test, but I do have a science and psychological bias.

I'd suppose that if brain reward centers are stimulated during a spiritual experience, it's a little easier to understand why these experiences can be so powerful and hard to deny. Feeling something strongly does not make it true (obviously to many of us at least), but it does make it memorable.

I remember years ago learning about Gary Schwartz's research on the sympathetic recording of others' electro magnetic waves on your EEG and thought that might explain the vehicle of the spirit, or spiritual feelings regarding loved ones, in particular. Fascinating stuff.

It would be interesting to see further research looking at devout people from different religions, non believers or atheists, and the same group exposed to other types of emotion provoking stimuli.

GBSmith
Posts: 967
Joined: 24 Apr 2010, 08:51

Re: The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

Post by GBSmith » 04 Dec 2016, 08:48


User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2846
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: The Neurology of Feeling the Spirit

Post by LookingHard » 04 Dec 2016, 09:43

He is my fav!

Post Reply