Principal fissures and lobes of the cerebrum viewed laterally. Figure 728 from Gray's Anatomy.
MU researcher dispels notion of a single ‘God spot’ in brain
A University of Missouri researcher has found that contrary to previous theory, there is no one “God spot” in the human brain. Rather, within the mass of gray and white matter are multiple places responsible for our spirituality.
“We found a neuropsychological basis for spirituality, but it’s not isolated to one specific area of the brain,” said Brick Johnstone, professor of health psychology in the MU School of Health Professions.
“Spirituality is a much more dynamic concept that uses many parts of the brain. Certain parts of the brain play more predominant roles, but they all work together to facilitate individuals’ spiritual experiences.”
Until now, studies have indicated that belief in a higher power is associated with decreased right parietal lobe functioning. The right parietal lobe is where our thoughts of self lie — including things as basic as “I’m hungry” or “I’m cold.”
Johnstone explained it by saying that peering at a picture of one’s self would activate the right parietal lobe. A picture of someone else activates the left parietal lobe. Johnstone said his research proved that a person with an injury to the right parietal lobe becomes less focused on self and more focused on spiritual connections.
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