Religious Thoughts Trigger Reward Systems Like Love, Drugs

CNN’s Jacqueline Howard reports that a recent study from the journal Social Neuroscience found that religious experiences can trigger brain responses that are similar to that from love, music, or drugs. To conduct the study, researchers gave 19 Mormons brain scans while they took part in spiritual exercises such as reading Scripture or listening to religious speeches. Jordan Grafman, director of brain injury research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, said, “Reinforcing your beliefs makes you feel a little bit better and secure,” and may activate the brain’s reward systems.

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